Archaeological Dig

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Mr. Fifth, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Mr. Fifth

    Mr. Fifth Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2010

    Has anyone ever done one before? How did you do it? I want to use one to begin my social studies class at the beginning of the year as a way to get kids thinking about how we discover the past. ANy help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Here are two links to a great website I use often for ideas.

    http://www.thinkinghistory.co.uk/ActivityBase/DiggingUpAMystery.html


    http://www.thinkinghistory.co.uk/ActivityBase/BitsandPiecesReconstruct.html

    I actually the the second link with my World History high schoolers on the frist and second days of schools. I have used this activity for the first two days of schools for the past four years and it works great.

    I haven't ever tried the first lesson but maybe you can tweak it into a lesson you can use.

    BTW - this is really a great site is you are teaching World History.
     
  4. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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  5. Mr. Fifth

    Mr. Fifth Rookie

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    Thanks

    Thanks to you both. I love all of the activities...it will be difficult to decide which to do with my students. THANKS!
     
  6. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Aug 3, 2010

    One of our first history lessons involves researching Native Californian petroglyphs. After the kids have seen quite a few pictures, we work together to develop some drawings/symbols as a class. The students work in pairs to write a very simple story using only the petroglyphs we have created. When their story is written, they transfer the drawings to a small clay pot. (We used crayons or Sharpies on the terra cotta.) Each finished pot was put in a paper bag and then smashed (lightly!) with a hammer to break it into pieces, about 8 - 10 per pot. The bags were given to the students who had to reassemble the pot and decipher the story. We then checked their versions against the originals.

    I do this lesson each year and it has always been successful.

    I'm going to add the peanut butter and jelly dig this year -- that looks great!
     
  7. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I was lucky enough to have a very large playground/fairgrounds at my old school. When I taught 5th grade we did a dig each year. I had someone come up and plow a small section and I buried "artifacts". (Pottery shards, etc). The kids came up with a way to create a grid and document artifacts. They would work in sections and find the artifacts. After they found all the artifacts (all 3 years we had extra artifacts found, lol) and used them to help decide what type of people lived in the area. It usually lasted around 2 weeks and we had a blast doing it.
     
  8. Mr. Fifth

    Mr. Fifth Rookie

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    Thank you

    Thanks for all of the ideas...I love the flower pot idea and the peanut butter/jelly activity. I will have to check for food allergies before doing that. Keep the ideas coming, I am sure others appreciate it as well. Thanks again!
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Several years ago I took my grade 6 students on a trip to an active dig. Before they went to the site, the had a lesson on artifacts. They were told that they were each going to be given a valuable artifact that would give them lots of information about the civilization that created it. They were taught the correct way to handle it, what to look for, etc. They were each given....a penny. At first they scoffed, but it was explained to them that, in the future, the penny they were holding would be a valuable piece of history that would provide clues to our civilization. They then examined all that the coin revealed about our lives. It was fascinating--as was the dig at a First Nations village.
     
  10. Mr. Fifth

    Mr. Fifth Rookie

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    Thanks

    Thanks for all of the great ideas. On the first day of school, just before each class leaves, I plan to dump a bag of "clean" garbage on the floor and ask them what this bag of garbage has to do with studying history. The second day we will go through the trash as in the posted garbage can idea. I will also show a short united streaming segment dealing with an archaeological dig. On the third day we will do the PBJ lesson that was also posted here. We will be ready to begin tackling Native American topics on day 4.

    Thanks so much for all of your ideas. This will be a great beginning to our study of American history:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  11. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

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    Aug 7, 2010

    Its very different from what others suggested I think. Mine is a lot more simplier. I use hard and soft cookies to show how hard it was for archaeologist to get through different types of areas. Thye use toothpicks to dig out the chocolate chips. Just thought I would share that.
     
  12. Mr. Fifth

    Mr. Fifth Rookie

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    More thanks!

    Cool activity...thanks!
     
  13. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    All that comes to my mind is burying shards, like Christy said. I've done a very scaled back version as well where I had a plastic container and filled it with sand to sift through to locate objects like pottery shards, shells, and small clay beads.
     
  14. Mr. Fifth

    Mr. Fifth Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2010

    Thanks again for all of your suggestions. I ended class on the first day of school by dumping a bag of clean trash on the floor. I gave students an Admit Ticket on which they were supposed to write how the trash could help us study the past. (I had my own trash as well as trash from a colleague who has a very young child.) On the second day we used the trash activity to go through the trash, make inferences, collect clues and tie this all into the study of history. On the third day we did the PBJ Dig. The students did a great job and loved the activity. Day 4 we began the Native American unit. Again, thanks so much for the great activities.
     
  15. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 11, 2010

    I am glad your lessons went great and your students enjoyed the activities :)
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 12, 2010

    Sounds great, Mr. Fifth!
     

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