Archaeology Lesson Plans
For Archaeology: These are original Free Use lesson plans, classroom activities, interactive activities, review activities, and concluding activities and projects written by us and by other teachers for archaeology.
The difference between artifacts and fossils (Donn). In prepartion, I make a set of posterboard paddles with short handles for each student. One paddle says Artifacts. The other says Fossils. I create a list of questions. Is an old buried dog bone found at a dig an artifact or a fossil? Is a carved dog bone found at a dig an artifact or a fossil? Is an ancient dog collar an artifact or a fossil? In class, I pass out a set of paddles to each student. I tell them these are not weapons. They are your ability to vote. I direct the kids to hold the Artifacts paddle in their right hand if they are right handed and in their left hand if they are left handed. (I want the hand they normally raise, sometime, before they speak, holding the artifact paddle.) I ask about 10 quick questions. Then I have the kids write a question of their own. Give them a minute, then ask does anyone want to ask their question? The class answers by raising the appropriate paddle. I know it sounds dumb, but it works. I tried just having them raise their hand. That got boring fast. But raising a paddle - for some reason, that was fun. New Teacher Tip: At the end of this activity, which can be adjusted by the number of questions you ask to fit any time slot, I collect the paddles and save them for another class and another day. Now and then thoughout the year, you're going to find a dead couple of minutes. Have questions ready. It's a smart way to fill in the time and remind your kids that artifacts are the remains of man-made things; fossils are the remains of once living things.
Mixed Up Pots: Decorate five or six old clay flower pots with paint or magic markets. Put all the pots in a brown paper bag, and gently hit the pots with a hammer. Shake the bag. Remove half the pieces. Using glue, try to put together the pieces into something that "seems" to make sense. Submitted by: Barbara D Martin, California, USA
Mystery Object: Place a "mystery" object inside a shoebox. Secure the lid. Have your kids work in small groups. Create as many shoeboxes as you have groups. Have the kids try to figure out what's inside without opening the shoe box, just as archaeologists have to do when they find a new mummy! Submitted by: Barbara D Martin, California, USA
"Motel of Mysteries": This assignment is based on the book "Motel of Mysteries", which is an hilarious look at completely wrong interpretations of things found in a modern hotel by archaeologists in the future. After reading about 5 pages of the book to my kids, I have them all draw an everyday object of their own, then write a wrong interpretation of it. Makes a great bulletin board, and kids get a good idea of how things can be interpreted incorrectly! Submitted by: Barbara D Martin, California, USA
School yard dig: Setting up your own dig
Transparent Shoebox Dig - Instructions
Create your own dig: Instructions
Doing Archaeology in the Classroom: A Sandbox Dig, but first, teach your students what is legal and illegal about "digs"
Free Archaeology Activity Pack from the Museum of London - I especially like the hairbrush activity
A Classroom Activity: Classifying Artifacts in the Classroom
Interactive Online Quiz with Answers for Kids about Archaeology: Archaeology Q&A Quiz Interactive
Online Game Day: Archaeology - Games and Interactive Learning Sites for Kids - I set this activity to work by creating a scavenger hunt sheet of things for kids to find in the sites listed on their exploration sheet. The kids have to site the source for each scavenger find for verification.
Choose Your Own Adventure from over 70 different classroom activities and possible assignments
Teaching Archaeology in the Classroom, complete instructions and handouts for - Cookie Excavation, Archaeology Goes to the Movies, Archaeology Crossword Puzzle Relay, Peanut Butter and Jelly Archaeology, and more - a fabulous resource
Archaeology: History Found in Pieces (grades 5-12)
Mock Shipwreck: Maritime Archaeology - A Mock Shipwreck for the Classroom, instructions, lesson and activity