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Preserving archaeology and culture for our future

Classroom Outreach “What is an Archaeologist?”

whatarchWhat is an Archaeologist? This presentation helps people of all ages understand what archaeologists do, including how they interpret discoveries to learn about the homes of people, their food, clothing, fun, games, and ceremonial life.

Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s OPENOUT (Old Pueblo Education Neighborhood Outreach) program offers 45 to 60 minute presentations by a professional archaeologist. The “What is an Archaeologist” presentation is designed to give children an idea of what archaeologists do, how they do it, and how they learn about people through their work. This outreach presentation includes examples of the tools archaeologists work with, real artifacts, artifact replicas, and games to help the kids experience how archaeologists interpret the past. The hands-on materials and fun lesson plans in our “OPEN-OUT” programs bring archaeology and the past alive for your students.

PRESENTATION OUTLINE

  1. What is archaeology, anyway? (25 minutes)
    1. The archaeologist from Old Pueblo will distribute a short pre-test to the students
    2. The class will review the questions and discuss the misconceptions surrounding archaeology, what archaeologists are, and what archaeologists do, using real-world examples, props, and artifacts
    3. The archaeologist will discuss the steps in the archaeological process and the goals of archaeology
  2. What is context? (10 minutes)
    1. The class will discuss observation, context, and inference
  3. Context activity (15 minutes)
    1. Students participate in an activity that requires them to think like archaeologists
    2. Students infer the use of an individual artifact
    3. Students further infer utilization when other artifacts or scenarios are added
    4. The archaeologist asks:
      1. How many students correctly inferred the use of the artifact when it was alone? Did they have evidence to support this inference?
      2. Why was it more difficult to infer the use of the artifact when it was alone?
      3. Is one object taken out of context (like an artifact removed at random) able to give as accurate a picture as are all of the objects in their place of origin?
        This activity demonstrates that removing an artifact from a site removes it from its context, making it very difficult to get a complete understanding of past people.
  4. Questions (10 minutes)
    1. The archaeologist spends the remainder of time answering student questions

RELATED ARIZONA STATE STANDARDS:

Reinforces most of Science Standards Strands 1 and 2 for the 4th-8th grades

4th & 5th GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES

  • Strand 1: American History
    • Concept 1: Research Skills for History
      • PO 4. Describe how archaeological research adds to our understanding of the past.

6th GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES

  • Strand 1: American History
    • Concept 1: Research Skills for History
      • PO 4. Formulate questions that can be answered by historical study and research

5th Grade Science

  • Strand 2: History and Nature of Science
    • Concept 1: History of Science as a Human Endeavor
      Identify individual and cultural contributions to scientific knowledge

      • PO 2. Describe science-related career opportunities
    • Concept 2: Nature of Scientific Knowledge
      Understand how science is a process for generating knowledge

      • PO 1. Explain the role of experimentation in scientific inquiry

6-8th Grade Science

  • Strand 2: History and Nature of Science
    • Concept 2: Nature of Scientific Knowledge
      Understand how science is a process for generating knowledge

      • PO 1. Describe how science is an ongoing process that changes in response to new information and discoveries
      • PO 2. Describe how scientific knowledge is subject to change as new information and/or technology challenges prevailing theories
      • PO 3. Apply the following scientific processes to other problem solving or decision making situations:
        • Observing
        • Questioning
        • Communicating
        • Comparing
        • Inferring
        • Generating hypotheses
        • Identifying variables

For a foldable brochure that provides details about the “What is an Archaeologist?” program please [click here].

To register, call Old Pueblo’s office at (520) 798-1201.


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