Learn All Year Long
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Become a Young Archaeologist
|Grades||1 – 4|
|Activity Time||20 minutes or more|
- Computer and Internet Access
- Art and Drawing Supplies
- Books about archaeology like The Big Dinosaur Dig
- Ask the child if s/he has taken any trips to museums. If yes, ask what they may have seen before at the museum. If no, ask what they might expect to see if they did visit a museum.
- Look at some museum sites online and talk about what is there.
- Ask the child if s/he knows what an archaeologist is and what one does.
- An archaeologist is someone who studies people and what they did in the past from the things they left behind.
- An archaeologist looks for artifacts (objects made by people) that will reveal more about the past. Artifacts can be many different things, like an arrowhead, a coin or a piece of pottery.
- Read some books about archaeology like The Big Dinosaur Dig and talk about what they read and heard in those texts.
- Enter the British Museum Website Great Dig page using a computer with an internet connection.
- Tell the child that s/he will be doing an archaeological dig online.
- Discuss with the child any objects or artifacts that they may see while digging.
- Ask the child how these artifacts may have been found and who found them.
- Ask the child, "Why do people care about these artifacts?"
- Have the child, using the art supplies, sketch any object they are expecting to see or have seen on previous museum trips.
- After reading the instructions for the online dig, become an archaeologist and dig!
- Be sure to help the child read the descriptions about each artifact, noting how old the object is and where it is from. If the child is interested, s/he can take notes about what is found during the dig.
- During the dig, ask the child, "What do you think these objects may have been used for? Are the objects similar to anything we have or use today?"
- After the dig is complete, discuss any items that the child found interesting. Ask some questions for discussion:
- How did s/he know where to dig?
- How do archaeologists locate these objects?
- Ask the child what artifacts would archaeologists find of yours in the future?
- Invite the child to draw pictures of what they found using the art supplies.
- If s/he is interested in any objects s/he found, s/he could write a fictional story about the history of the item using the Stapleless Book or Story Map.
- Have the child create a comic about how the item was used or found using the Comic Creator.
- Visit other online museums and virtual digs such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's virtual dinosaur dig. Additionally, Destination Modern Art is an interactive website created by the Museum of Modern Art that allows users to view objects and exhibits.
Discussion is a natural way for children and teens to express or explain what they already know or what they are learning. When possible, let children and teens lead the direction of a discussion. Ask questions that lead to an extended response (“What do you think about…?” or “Why do you think…?”) rather than questions that might result in a yes or no or a simple answer.
A strategy in which readers use what they already know about a story or the world to think about what will happen next. The goal of prediction is not necessarily to be correct about what happens next but to use all available information to make meaning while reading.
The reason or goal someone has for writing a particular text. Common reasons for writing include to express feelings or ideas, to convince someone to believe something, and to provide someone information or instructions. The purpose will often determine the choices the writer makes about how and what to write.
Researching a topic or question can take many different forms, from year-long studies resulting in publication to a quick search of available resources on the Internet. For these activities, we refer to research in the informal sense, using readily available resources (Internet, magazines, books, interviews, etc.) to answer questions.