Discover the past through evidence from an archaeological site in the Mesa Verde region!
Investigating the Puzzle House Pueblo
incorporates authentic archaeological and historical research paired with oral histories to teach students about the use and importance of the Pueblo in the past and present lives of Hopi people.  Examine historic photographs, artifacts, and maps of the Puzzle House Pueblo shelter.  Students meet Deloria Dallas, a Hopi Tribal member, through reading a biography and oral histories. Then they “uncover” a real archaeological site, classify artifacts, and infer how the geographic area of the southwest shaped the Pueblo.  Explore the use of traditional Puebloan architecture today and engage students in a debate on a current civic dilemma involving archaeology and preservation.  In this investigation students will use geography, history, archaeology, and tree ring data to learn about a Pueblo and the Ancestral Puebloan people who lived in it.

SKU: pa-puzzle-house Categories: , ,



 “I think it’s the best thing we are doing right now. It’s lending itself so well to language functions, the kids are so engaged and just loving it…And, I think it really sets them up to think like scientists.”
- Rachel Gersh, 4th grade teacher, Camino Real Academy, Santa Fe, NM

Instructions for the Teacher:

The teacher’s document is 40 pages, consisting of background information and four sections corresponding with the student archaeology notebook. It includes a brief history of the Ancestral Puebloan people, including details about their livelihood, traditions, and Pueblo home. Quadrant maps from a pueblo archaeological site in southwest Colorado located in the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument are provided for students to study and use.

Student Archaeology Notebook:

The student notebook is 38 pages of informational texts and data collection sheets about the Puzzle House Pueblo. Deloria Dallas, a member of the Hopi tribe, guides students through the investigation. Through geography, archaeology, dendrochronology, historic photographs, and oral histories students learn how a site is interpreted, why it is important to today’s communities, and how to preserve sites for future generations to enjoy.


When you buy Investigating the Puzzle House Pueblo  you will also receive the essential companion products: Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter and access to online introductory videos.

Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter provides teachers and students with seven fundamental lessons on shelter and archaeology. With this pre-requisite, students are ready for Lesson Eight, an investigation of a shelter from the past, such as the Crow Plains Tipi. Finally, in Lesson Nine of Investigating Shelter students learn the enduring understanding that stewardship of archaeological sites and artifacts is everyone’s responsibility. Taught together, Investigating Shelter and Investigating the Puzzle House Pueblo is a complete, comprehensive unit that truly allows for a deep understanding of shelter and archaeology.

Investigating Shelter videos are a professional development experience for educators in lieu of attending a Project Archaeology workshop. Watch Project Archaeology lessons in action! See a professional development workshop and a teacher guiding a 4th grade class through Investigating Shelter. Instructors model Understanding by Design and archaeological inquiry. Plus, see interviews with teachers and students! The videos are also available on our Teacher Page.

  1. Introduction – Why archaeology matters
  2. Investigating Shelter and Understanding by Design
  3. Lesson Two: By Our Houses You Will Know Us
  4. Lesson Four: Observation, Inference, and Evidence
  5. Lesson Six: Context Game
  6. Lesson Eight: Being an Archaeologist