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Archaeology Lesson Plans --  California


These lesson plans and activities incorporate archaeological evidence. Those examples created and contributed by Educators are indicated. Share your favorite archaeology lessons with us and others here

Lesson Plans by California K-12 Educators

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).

 

Updated 11/15/07