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Hands-On Archaeology

I found an event, on Facebook, advertising a real archaeology dig for kids. They had me! I couldn't believe what an awesome opportunity to plant knowledge and experience in my kids' hearts. This is the kind of thing that we educators dream of finding!

Berkeley Plantation, the site of America's first ship yard, a plantation, and a home to both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War. 400 years of history in the ground and they decided to share a dig site with KIDS!

Each kid had a square with a dig bucket, shovel, and a brush. They could either dig dirt indiscriminately, put the dirt in the bucket and take it to the sifter, or they could dig slowly and use the brush to reveal the objects slowly.

The site was along an old pathway and many broken things were found: a bridle buckle, the back of a button, broken clay smoking pipes, broken pottery shards, and Civil War era ammo shells.

The site had the right amount of objects to find that it held their interest without being so easy that it was not realistic.

They had a shelter just in case it rained as predicted, but the weather held off just as long as my kids' attention span. The kids were allowed to keep what they found, as long as it wasn't something significant that the museum wanted. This made the kids work for their treasures even harder when they learned that they could keep what they found. One era's junk, another era's hidden treasures!

I was really grateful to Berkeley Plantation for providing this opportunity for learning. We will be studying archaeology this year in school as we work on Creation thru the Greeks with my elementary learners. I'm looking for an opportunity for the teens to have some experience with an archaelogical dig too. The docents allowed Christopher to dig, but he wants to learn more.

What kind of hands-on learning has inspired your children to want to learn? Leave me a comment because I'm always looking for new ideas. Digging through Facebook Events page can sometimes yield a treasure!

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