Uncategorized Archaeology Lesson Plans, Beyond Artifacts, Community Cassroom Consortium, Florida Archaeology, Florida Department of Education, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Geology, History, Language Arts, Math, Museum of Florida History, Science, Sunshine State Standards, Teachers
Are you a teacher that is looking to enhance your classroom curriculum? Well you are in luck! On August 30th at the Museum of Florida History many of the local outreach and educational programs in our region will be in one spot! The Museum of Florida History is hosting a Welcome Back, Teachers! event from 4 to 6pm. It will feature educational materials, information about onsite and outreach programs, local field trip options and refreshments. Exhibitors will include the Museum of Florida History, State Archives of Florida, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Florida Department of Education and various members of the Community Classroom Consortium. These organizations cater to a variety of subjects, so no matter what you teach there will be something there for you!
Archaeology is generally associated with social studies…but think about this for a second! Archaeologists need to have an understanding of geology, math, science, history, language arts and many other subject areas. We need to be able to communicate our interpretations and observations of a site so that they can be easily understood by not only other archaeologists, but the public as well. We need to be able to understand what resources were available to the people that were living in a specific area at a given time period. We need to be able to successfully and efficiently navigate through various environments (think of all the additional skills needed by Underwater Archaeologists!). We need to have a working knowledge of social constructs among various cultures during various times in history. Archaeologists need to have a very good understanding of the scientific method and many scientific theories in order to accurately record their findings. We also need to be able to read maps, create maps and accurately take measurements. Today archaeologists use many technological instruments to help record sites, and thus need to be pretty tech and computer savvy these days as well. We even need to be good photographers and have the ability to draw legible maps and illustrations. So, as you can see, archaeology can be an appropriate addition to a variety of subjects that are taught in school at any grade level (and I didn’t even list all the various skills needed to be a good archaeologist!). If you visit www.flpublicarchaeology.org/resources teachers can download a free copy of our lesson plan guide, Beyond Artifacts. There are also many other resources, including virtual field trips, that are available on that site. Beyond Artifacts is aligned with the Sunshine State Standards, updated regularly and includes lessons appropriate for all grade levels and subject areas.
I hope that you will be able to join us on August 30th to see what other organizations there are in this area that are available to teachers and educators in this area! FPAN will be there, along with many other organizations to show you all of the different hands on programs and educational opportunities we have available for your students.
Uncategorized Archaeology, Beyond Artifacts, Education, Educational Resources, Florida, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Public Outreach
Shipwreck on a Tarp, from "Beyond Artifacts". Avaliable on FPAN website.
When I first tell people that as part of my job I sometimes meet with school groups, they automatically assume that I simply show slides from excavations that I have worked on. However, what I do is something that I feel is much more meaningful and has a greater impact than just simply showing pictures. Instead of showing children what I do, I use hands-on lessons that allow them to become the archaeologist and learn about the past. Archaeology is a multidisciplinary science and can be used in the classroom to teach a variety of skills. Not only can children learn about the past, but they can learn about the scientific method, classification, geography, observation, inference and evidence, as well as other valuable skills. Most educators do not know about the many resources available to them that t hey can use to incorporate archaeology lessons into the curricula that they already use throughout the school year. You can find some of these avaliable resources on FPAN’s website, http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/resources/. Additionally, FPAN regularly conducts Teacher Workshops in order to help familiarize teachers with these lessons so that they will feel more comfortable using them in their classrooms (check with your local FPAN office for details and scheduled workshops).
Now, once they realize that I do more than just show pictures of sites, they then automatically assume that I do “mock excavations” with the children. However, that is not
Mystery Cemetery, from "Beyond Artifacts". Avaliable on FPAN website.
the case either. The children do not have to get down on their hands and knees in an excavation unit to learn about archaeology. In fact, I have found that children prefer food over dirt any day! And what better way to learn about excavation techniques than excavating a chocolate chip cookie. Or what about learning about stratigraphy and the Law of Superposition with peanut butter and jelly? This also allows the students to expand their horizons and look at every day and familiar objects in a very different way. What about using the contents of the classroom trash can (the clean trash, of course!) to teach them how archaeologists use items to learn about past activities at a site. There are a variety of ways to create a unique archaeological experiment in the classroom without every getting dirty.
Atlatl Antics avaliable on the FPAN website in "Beyond Artifacts".
These lessons can be used throughout the year and are great for summer camps as well! Not only does it expose children to the reality of archaeology, not the Hollywood idea of what an archaeologist does. No offense to Laura Croft and Indian Jones of course. I have fond memories of going to the movie theater to see these action packed movies. However, it is important that children learn the science of archaeology. These lessons not only teach about scientific inquiry, they also have the potential to teach the enduring lesson of stewardship. After all, archaeological sites are the only glimpse we have into our shared past and if these sites are destroyed they are gone forever. In the future it will be up to our children to ensure that these sites are preserved for their children and so on.
So, take a moment and look over the many lessons available on our website! We are always available to answer questions that educators might have regarding incorporating archaeology in the classroom.