Lesson Plans and Activities Contributed by Educators
Incorporating Archaeology Content and Skills Into Classroom Instruction


Lower Grade Level Lesson Plans
Upper Grade Level Lesson Plans
Unspecified Grade Level Lesson Plans
Contribute Your Lesson Plan Suggestion

 

Lower Grade Level Lesson Plans

  • Archaeology State Map
    Grades 1-3
    Students will learn to read a state map to identify what cultural area the state is in, how to describe directions, and how the legend is utilized.  Requires a state map and photocopies of the map. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).
  • Archaeology US Map
    Grades 1-3
    Students will learn to locate the cultural areas on the U. S. map in which American archaeologists work. Requires a map of the U.S. and photocopies of the map.
    Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).
  • Archaeology World Map
    Grades 1 -3
    In this lesson students learn to read a world map by identifying geographic and cartographic features. Requires a world map and photocopies of the map. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).
  • Archaeology USGS Maps

    Grades 1-12

    The students will learn how to read the description, details, directions, distances, and designations of USGS maps, which archaeologists use the most. Requires enough USGS maps for students to work in groups of four. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • Archaeology: What Gets Preserved

    Grades 1-12

    After viewing a video, a film, slides, or a book on a culture from one of the cultural areas, students will be able to list the items that would be the most likely to be preserved over time. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • Digging in the Classroom 1

    Grades K-12

    Given a dig box and tools the students will excavate the contents, measuring and recording as they go.  They will be able to tell verbally or write about what they have excavated. Requires tapes, rulers, string, line levels, trowels, various brushes, small dust pan and whisk broom to get excavated dirt out of box and into the shaker screen (sieves), extra boxes for the sifter to shake the excavated dirt into, newspaper to cover tables and floor. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • Digging in the Classroom 2

    Grades K-2

    Given a dig box with puzzle pieces placed at different levels, students will excavate, measure, and record each piece before it is removed and the puzzle put back together. Requires tapes, rulers (for K measure with small blocks or strings of beads, how many beads deep, wide, and long) string, line levels, trowels (can be spoons or spatulas), various brushes, small dust pans, whisk brooms to get excavated dirt out of box and into the shaker screen (sieves), extra boxes for the sifter to shake the dirt into, newspaper for tables and floor. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • Digging in the Classroom 3 
    Grades 1-12
    Given a dig box with broken potsherds students will excavate the box, measuring the position and recording each piece before it is removed and the pot is glued back together. Requires tapes, rulers, string, line levels, trowels, various brushes, small dust pans, whisk brooms to get excavated dirt out of box and into the shaker screen (sieves), extra boxes for the sifter to shake the dirt into, newspaper for tables and floor.
    Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).
  • Digging in the Classroom 4

    Grades K-2

    Given a dig box with photocopied pictures, from a picture book pasted on cardboard, the learner will be able to excavate the pictures, measure and record their position, put the pictures in order and tell what story they have excavated. Requires tapes, rulers (for K measure with small blocks or strings of beads, how many beads deep, wide, and long), string, line levels, trowels (can be spoons or spatulas), various brushes, small dust pans, whisk brooms to get excavated dirt out of box and into the shaker screen (sieves), extra boxes for the sifter to shake the dirt into, newspaper for tables and floor. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • Digging Into Books

    Grades 2-12

    Students will scan archaeology books, find a definition of archaeology, and discover how math and science help us learn about the past. Requires archaeology books, paper, pencil. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • Measuring Artifacts

    Grades K-12

    Students will measure artifacts of various shapes and sizes using both the English and Metric systems. Requires calipers, tapes, rulers, string, and artifacts or photocopies of artifacts. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • Measuring Distance

    Grades 1 and 2

    Students will learn measuring techniques by simulating how archaeologists locate, measure and record artifacts using two points of reference on a dig. Requires metric tapes and rulers, 8.5”x11” paper (simulating an excavation unit) with artifacts and ordinal directions drawn on them. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • What's In the Soil?
    (Teacher background, Directions, Resource Sheets, Assessment)
    Students will graphically display information, organize, classify, and sequence information, and understand the importance of identifying soil levels during archaeological
    excavations. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • What is this Stuff? Artifact or Ecofact?
    Grade 3
    (Student Activity Sheet)
    Students evaluate whether an item is human made or something from nature. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • Written Clues About the Past: Rick's Backyard Site
    Grade 3
    (Teacher Directions, Student Reading,  Resource Sheets, Teacher Response Sheet)
    Students read a diary from 1845 to identify artifacts and ecofacts that an archaeologist might find while excavating in Ricks backyard archaeological site.
  •  The Apollo Program and Lunar Archaeology
    Grades 5-9
    Students will learn about the history and importance of the Apollo Program as part of the Cold War and will see how archaeologists are attempting to preserve archaeological evidence associated with the Apollo Program. Part of the Lunar Legacies Project of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, this lesson plan is courtesy of Dr Beth Laura O'Leary.


 

Upper Grade Level Lesson Plans

  • Archaeology USGS Maps
    Grades 1-12
    The students will learn how to read the description, details, directions, distances, and designations of USGS maps, which archaeologists use the most. Requires enough USGS maps for students to work in groups of four.
  • Archaeology: What Gets Preserved
    Grades 1-12
    After viewing a video, a film, slides, or a book on a culture from one of the cultural areas, students will be able to list the items that would be the most likely to be preserved over time.
  • Digging in the Classroom 1
    Grades K-12
    Given a dig box and tools the students will excavate the contents, measuring and recording as they go.  They will be able to tell verbally or write about what they have excavated. Requires tapes, rulers, string, line levels, trowels, various brushes, small dust pan and whisk broom to get excavated dirt out of box and into the shaker screen (sieves), extra boxes for the sifter to shake the excavated dirt into, newspaper to cover tables and floor.
  • Digging in the Classroom 3 
    Grades 1-12
    Given a dig box with broken potsherds students will excavate the box, measuring the position and recording each piece before it is removed and the pot is glued back together. Requires tapes, rulers, string, line levels, trowels, various brushes, small dust pans, whisk brooms to get excavated dirt out of box and into the shaker screen (sieves), extra boxes for the sifter to shake the dirt into, newspaper for tables and floor.
  • Digging Into Books

    Grades 2-12

    Students will scan archaeology books, find a definition of archaeology, and discover how math and science help us learn about the past. Requires archaeology books, paper, pencil.

  • Measuring Artifacts

    Grades K-12

    Students will measure artifacts of various shapes and sizes using both the English and Metric systems. Requires

    calipers, tapes, rulers, string, and artifacts or photocopies of artifacts.

  • Archaeological Interpretation: The McDonald's Archaeologist
    (Student Directions, Resource Sheet)
    Using architectural clues from McDonald's restaurants overtime, students draw conclusions about change overtime at a site and activity areas of a site. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • Torralba Site Activity
    Middle School (World Cultures)
    (Student Reading, Activity Sheets, Maps, Assessment)
    This activity teaches about human hunting activities more than 300,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Era . It uses maps and artifacts related to a hunting camp in Torralba, Spain. Students gather and organize data and interpret maps to learn about this way of life long ago. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • Archaeology in the News
    High School
    (Resource Sheet)
    Using contemporary news stories, students will gather information, practice istinguishing between fact and opinion, and use a map to locate archaeological sites. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.

 

Unspecified Grade Level Lesson Plans

  • Archaeology Ice Man 1

    Grade Level:  not indicated

    After reading and discussing articles and books about Otzi, the Iceman,  students write research questions based on the information from their readings. The lesson requires several articles and one book on the Iceman. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).

  • Archaeology Ice Man 2
    Grade Level: not indicated
    After reading and discussing articles and books about Otzi the Iceman, students will understand what scientists can learn about Native North Americans from studying the Iceman of Europe.  The lesson requires several articles and one book on the Iceman. Provided courtesy of George Schneider, Elementary Teacher, Wanda Hirsch School in Tracy, California (B.A., M.A., Anthropology).
  • Interpreting an Archaeological Site
    (Activity Directions, Resource Questions, Teacher Answer Sheet)
    Using a simulated soil profile, the student will apply the skills of the archaeologist to reconstruct a number of events that took place at an archaeology site. Students will pose a series of research questions to be answered during and after the excavation. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.

  • Gridding an Archaeological Site
    (Background Information, Activity Directions, Assessment, Student Activity Sheets)
    Using a map and the Cartesian coordinate system, students will establish a grid system over an archaeological site, determine the location of artifacts within each grid unit, and construct an hypothesis concerning the distribution of artifacts in the grid to explain the activities that once took place at the site. Provided courtesy of George Brauer of the Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • An Exercise in Seriation Dating
    (Background Information, Student Activity Directions, Student Activity Sheet, Teacher Response Sheet)
    Students develop a chronology of occupation for seven Maryland sites by charting changes in historical ceramic decoration overtime. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • Site Formation in Archaeology
    (Teacher Directions, Student Directions, Discussion Questions, Activity Sheet, Teacher Response Sheet)
    This exercise illustrates the process of site formation using a Hopi Indian pit house site (a structure constructed partially underground). This example demonstrates how the sequence of events at a site can be reconstructed using archaeological remains. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • To Dig or Not To Dig: The Stadium Showdown
    (Background Information, Activity Directions, Activity Resource Materials)
    This simulation encourages students to examine an ethical public dilemma. Through the use of role play, students examine their personal beliefs and feelings concerning the protection of cultural resources, and evaluate possible actions they might take regarding the protection of those cultural resources. Students will analyze conflicting points-of-view using a discussion format, participate in a group centered decision-making activity focusing on a public issue, articulate personal decisions about issues affecting the individual and community, and explore personal values concerning the preservation of historical resources. Provided courtesy of George Brauer, Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • Topographic Map Unit Plan
    (Activity Directions, Power Point Topo Map resource available here)
    In this 4-part instructional activity, students learn to identify features on a topographic map (e.g., understand contour lines, decipher contour intervals) and complete a topographic map lab assessment involving archaeology evidence of cultural habitation of the landscape. This unit plan can be integrated into a lesson on GPS and the creation of topographic maps. Courtesy Marc Henshaw, Heritage High School, Newport News, Virginia.

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Updated 05/20/2007