Teaching and Archaeology

Archaeology in the Classroom

Thank you for your interest in bringing archaeology into your classroom.  This curriculum was designed to fit within the Michigan standards for 5th grade and includes suggestions for a pre-lesson on archaeology and archaeologists to provide instructors with some of the tools that are available to all to assist in getting started.   Also included is a section for just the student worksheets

Each lesson has an objective, student learning objectives, duration recommended for each lesson, class size, and a list of materials needed for both the student and the teacher.  A list of Michigan standards, which includes Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE) are included for most lessons.  A list of vocabulary words that each lesson covers and background information for the instructors are also provided.  All worksheets that are needed by the students are included and follow each lesson.  Recommended assessments are listed and there is a final series of assessments at the end of the lessons which include fill in the blank and true and false formats.

While it is understandable that not all schools will be able to build simulated archaeology boxes, variations can be made to create a different type of simulated dig.  Possibilities include a small scale excavation in totes or using photos or actual items. Some of the excitement that was felt by the students was the ability to get their hands dirty. Any time you can incorporate a hands-on lesson will reinforce what students have learned and aid in learning retention. 

I hope with the excitement of these lessons, we will be able to teach students at an early age problem solving, analytical reasoning, and critical thinking skills, as well as the importance of our heritage and the value that our past has for our future. The past is in the hands of the future, and I hope that you find the following lessons as helpful in educating your students as I have found.


Sue Reichert
M.A. in Anthropology, WMU