lesson plans

Archaeology has been proven by educators to be an effective forum within which students can learn about history, science, and mathematics. This web page is intended to help K-12 teachers incorporate archaeology into their curricula through lesson plans adapted from several well-tested sources. For instance, those plans focusing on basic archaeological concepts are based on subjects recommended for study in Intrigue of the Past: A Teacher's Activity Guide for Fourth through Seventh Grades (Smith et al.:1993), a manual used for Project Archaeology teacher workshops. Other lesson plans deal with the process of excavation, laboratory analysis of material culture, and preservation of archaeological resources.

These plans are designed to be implemented as a complete unit on the basics of archaeology. However, each lesson may be used individually as a supplement to an existing curriculum. These lesson plans are designed to help meet criteria of the Alabama Course of Study and the Stanford 9 Objectives for teachers of the Social Sciences and Science at the upper elementary and intermediate grade levels.

The following lessons introduce students to why the past is important and how we can study it objectively. Each of these lessons explains a basic step necessary for the proper excavation of an archaeological site or laboratory analysis. The careful use of scientific methods in this process should be emphasized. There's a lot more to archaeology than just digging!

NEW! - Archaeological Mapping Exercise
by Dr. Philip Carr

How do archaeologists make drawings of what they find?

The Importance of the Past
Why is your past important to you? This lesson encourages interest in cultural heritage and family history.
Clues to the Past
How do archaeologists learn about the lives of a people by studying their trash?
The Importance of Culture
What is culture? This introduction to anthropology helps students compare cultures and understand cultural diversity.
Why Archaeologists Dig Square Holes
Learn about grids, and how archaeologists use them to excavate and analyze a site.
Pottery Analysis
This lesson concentrates on the analysis and reconstruction of one common type of artifact, and how archaeologists use it to learn more about the people who created the site.
Saving the Past for the Future
What should you do if you find an archaeological site or artifact? This lesson focuses on ethics and conservation.

Copyright © 2013 by The University of South Alabama
Last Updated:
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 2:56 PM