Online Resources for Teaching Archaeology
The Joukowsky Institute is one of the founders of Think Like an Archaeologist, a program for 6th grade students in the Providence Public Schools, developed collaboration with RISD Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. In connection with this program, and reflecting our support for connecting with a wide range of audiences through archaeology, we have gathered a list of online resources. The following links represent just a few of the many, many online resources for teaching archaeology to K-12 students:
AIA Education and Outreach Pages: These pages include a range of resources, from "Archaeology 101" to lesson plans to listings of education and outreach events.
(www.archaeological.org/education and www.archaeological.org/outreach)
National Endowment for the Humanities EdSitement: A collection of very detailed lesson plans, searchable by Topic and Subcategory (e.g. "Mapping the Past" for Grades 6-8, "The Alphabet is Historic" for K-2, and "Hammurabi’s Code: What Does It Tell Us About Old Babylonia?" for 9-12). (edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plans)
The New York Times' Learning Network Lesson Plan Archive: A searchable database of hundreds of lesson plans; a search for keyword "archaeology" and grades 6-8 yields 34 lesson plans, including "Gone, but Not Forgotten: Exploring the Role of the Afterlife in Royal Burial Practices in Ancient World Cultures" and "Can You Dig It? Examining the Significance of Artifacts Found in an Archeological Dig" (in which students participate in a mock archaeological dig).
SAA Resources for Educators: A collection of background information, activities, lesson plans, and other resources as well as examples of how others are using archaeology in the classroom.
Boy Scout Archaeology Merit Badge: Outlines the requirements for a merit badge in archaeology, and includes a worksheet on archaeology.
Smithsonian's "Decoding the Past": Includes an introduction to learning about archaeology and three lesson plans ("Archaeological Thinking", "Layers of the Past", and "Puzzle Pieces"). (www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/decoding_the_past/index.html)
National Geographic Education: Many archived lessons from National Geographic Xpeditions that relate to "How to Apply Geography to Interpret the Past", for K-2 ("Olympic Competition"), 3-5 (e.g., "Building a Greek Subway Museum"), 6-8 (e.g. "Greek and Roman Land Use: What Was the Difference?"), and 9-12 (e.g. "Where Can You Find a Good Mummy?"). Click on the Other button and select ‘include archive’ when searching lessons.
Discovery Channel's Lesson Plan Library: Includes lessons plans in Ancient History for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 (e.g., "Civilizations: The Rise to Power", "Archaeology", and "Reflections of Ancient Greece") -- all of which are designed to accompany videos produced by the Discovery Channel. (school.discoveryeducation.com/lessonplans/?pID=lesson)
Museum Educational Resources: Many museums provide teaching guides around their collections, for example:
- The Getty Museum's Resources for the Classroom (www.getty.edu/education/teachers/classroom_resources/index.html)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art for Educators (www.metmuseum.org/learn/for-educators)
- RISD Museum's posts tagged with ‘Teachers’ (https://risdmuseum.org/manual/tags/teachers?s=0).
The Archaeology Channel's Teacher Resources: An extensive compilation of links to lesson plans, organizations, workshops, and other educational resources.
Resources for the Teacher: About.com's collection of links related to archaeology, including books and websites for young learners. Also includes a link to About.com's collection of archaeology curricula. (archaeology.about.com/od/teachingarchaeology/)
Kansas State Historical Society's Archaeological Resources for Educators: A listing of books and links related to teaching archaeology.
The National Park Service Archaeology Program Teach Resources: Information and links about how to use archaeology as a teaching tool as well as places to see archaeology in action, lesson plans, and online activities.