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Summer SAVY 2018: Session 6, Day 4 – Archaeology and Ancient Culture (Rising 3rd/4th)

Posted by on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Grade 3, Grade 4, SAVY.

It’s Day 4 already!!!! Today, we started pulling all the big ideas about social, economic, and political systems together! This morning, our students read a really challenging reading about the Maya collapse. There were a lot of challenging words, but our students powered through and understood more of it than I had expected! We discussed how parts of each of these systems started to fail, which may have ultimately led to the demise of all of the systems. Next, we started learning more about the methods archaeologists use to excavate archaeological sites and see these ancient systems. We learned about stratigraphy which is the process in which soil layers accumulate over archaeological sites, causing them to be buried. We modeled the process of stratigraphy by creating our own! We used topsoil, sand, and pebbles to create several layers of stratigraphy. We also added artifacts that we made in class earlier this week. In the afternoon, we took a field trip to the computer labs where each student was assigned a specific Maya site to research. After gathering all their research, we returned to the classroom and made brochures!! So now, every student is a budding expert on a particular Maya site!!

Tomorrow, we will work just like real archaeologists during our mock excavations!! We will excavate the stratigraphy we made today, and I have added a few surprises for our students 🙂

Ms. Rachael and I are really excited to meet parents tomorrow afternoon during our Open House! We will have stations set up so your students can take you around the room and show you some of the archaeological skills and knowledge they have learned. There will also be a few activities you can do with your students.

Here are a few follow-up questions you can discuss with you students:

1. What is the law of superposition?
2. What types of natural processes might occur that change the ground surface over hundreds or thousands of years?
3. Why is it important for archaeologists to excavate carefully, layer by layer?

Thanks very much!

Phyllis Johnson

More Excavation Work