Monday, June 18, 2012

Digging Up the Past

As we continue with our history studies, I wanted Miss M to have a first hand look at what an archaeologist does, so I set up a mini dig.  First, I bought a small clay pot at the hardware store and then drew a message on it using hieroglyphics**. (I know the colors are not traditional, but I wanted to make each word a different color to help Miss M decipher it later.)

Next, I broke the pot into several large pieces and buried them in our sandbox.  (I just wrapped it in a towel and hit it with a hammer.)  Miss M and I talked about the steps an archaeologist takes on a dig.  She got a permit from me to dig, and then sectioned her area into a grid using string and numbered each section.

Then she began to dig using small shovels.  Once she located a piece, she used small brushes to carefully uncover it.  (I made her wear gloves just in case any of the pot shards were sharp.)

Then she carefully drew each piece onto her paper, making sure to mark where she located it.

Once we had most of the pieces, she sifted to make sure we weren't missing any and then carried them inside to our "laboratory".

Next she used glue to reassemble the pot.

Finally, she looked up the symbols on the chart to discover the message on the pot.  (I had made it a special message for Miss M, rather than a generic history message).

She LOVED this project, and I know it helped her really understand what we are learning about history right now.

**(The hieroglyphics chart and this project idea came from the book Old Testament Days: An Activity Guide.  We will be using this book a lot this coming year, it's full of hands-on projects to go along with our study of Ancient Civilizations.)

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