Grade Levels: 6 - 8
For this project, students pretend to be archaeologists in the year 3000 A.D.
They identify artifacts from the late twentieth century and build a museum with
various theme rooms to display their findings. Findings come primarily from
catalogs and newspapers.
Length of Project: 10 hours
Level of Independence: Basic
- To introduce students to the study of archaeology.
- To encourage students to think about the importance of "ordinary" things in their lives.
- To place emphasis upon imagination and creativity.
During This Project Students Will:
- Discuss archaeology, artifacts, and how "ordinary" things tell us a lot about how people live.
- Follow an outline to produce poster displays about artifacts from the late twentieth century.
- Search through catalogs and newspapers to identify and collect modern "artifacts."
- Produce signs to go with their artifact displays.
|Listening||Individualized study habits|
|Observing||Taking care of materials|
|Sharing space||Time management|
|Working with others||Sense of quality|
|Selecting topics||Meeting deadlines|
|Controlling behavior||Following project outlines|
|Group planning||Drawing and sketching|
HOUR 1: Introduce students to the study
of archaeology; include a presentation and discussion of a number of artifacts
(or pictures of artifacts). Center the discussion on what we can learn from
things used by people long ago. Ask the question: "What will people 1,000 years
from now be able to tell about us from the things we use every day?" Display, for
discussion, such common items as a record album, a basketball, a piece of
clothing, a tape recorder, an electronic toy, a "slinky," and so
- Bring in three or four actual artifacts (you can get them on loan from a museum) or pictures of artifacts or antiques to help with your discussion. Discuss what these things tell us about the people who used them, or see if students can guess what they were used for.
HOUR 2: Give students the Student Assignment Sheet and explain the
project point-by-point. Conduct a drawing to determine which museum "room" each
student will make a display for. Spend the rest of the hour in small groups
(each group represents a "room" in the museum) discussing exhibits and looking
- Decide upon a way to get a number of catalogs for this project: department store catalogs work well. Ask students to bring them in and ask store managers about getting outdated catalogs. The more you have on hand the better. Ideally, you should have one for each student.
- The easiest way to conduct the drawing for museum rooms is to write areas of emphasis on slips of paper so that there is one slip for each student in your class. Put the slips in a hat and let each student draw one.
- There is a natural overlap in what might be included in each area of emphasis. One museum room may end up containing something that another room also contains. If this occurs it should not be viewed as a problem, but rather as an opportunity to discuss the interrelatedness of things.
HOUR 3: Students cut items from catalogs to use on their posters.
HOUR 4: Each group member chooses at least three artifacts from his or her group's collection. Students then work at their desks writing out the requirements for each artifact, as outlined in the handout.
HOUR 5: Students complete their written material for at
least three artifacts by the end of the hour. This material must be handed in.
Students who complete their written material before the end of the hour begin
work on rough drafts of their three drawings.
- At the end of this hour students hand in rough drafts of written material. At the end of Hour 6 students hand in rough drafts of drawings. These things must be checked and handed back to students at the beginning of Hour 7.
HOUR 6: Students work on rough drafts of their drawings (although these are "rough" drafts, they should still be the students' best work). The drawings are handed in at the end of the hour.
HOUR 7: Written material and preliminary drawings are returned to students. Those who have adequately fulfilled the project requirements are given poster-boards and begin laying out their displays. Those who have not done adequate work are required to spend the hour rewriting or redrawing.
HOUR 8: All students work on their posters.
HOUR 9: Students continue to work on their posters, which must be completed by the end of the hour.
HOUR 10: Students meet in their "museum room" groups to plan and make a sign for their exhibit before posters are put up for display. All posters and signs must be completed and on display by the end of this hour.
Excerpted from Social Studies Projects.
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