• View of Square Tower House, seen along the Mesa Top Loop

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Enrichment Package: Activity 7 -- I Spy

Students often enjoy hunting for specific objects in pictures and displays. In this activity, students are asked to read a simple rhyme that encourages them to explore the museum to find various objects. While completing the search, students discover the many unusual tools used by the Ancestral Puebloan people, and become familiar with the skills needed to survive in a somewhat difficult environment. They also learn about the developmental changes that took place while the Ancestral Puebloan people lived in Mesa Verde.

As you read the rhyme below, search for the many objects in the museum exhibit rooms. (Note: Adults may want to accompany younger children to help them with the rhyme and, explain the function of some of the tools and materials.)

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Jump to:

[Room 1] [Room 2] [Room 3] [Room 4] [Room 5]

 
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ROOM ONE


Diorama 1
Find a man throwing a rock
(but you don't have to tattle)
There are four men with spears
and three atlatl.

Diorama 2
Find more than ten baskets with only white and black
Five baskets that have some red
Two deer hides, three dogs, meat on a rack
And also a baby "in bed."

Diorama 3
Find two boys learning bows, one child with a dog,
A turkey who wants a child's treat;
A child in a tree, two fires that are hot
and two men bringing home fresh meat.

Diorama 4
There's a man with a foot that's stuck through the roof,
A woman who finds it so funny;
A lady climbing up with a jar on her head (
but I'm sure it's not full of honey).

Diorama 5
Find four old men who sit in the sun,
An old man who teaches three boys,
A man in a kiva with log too short
And a boy who's laughing--what noise!

 
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ROOM TWO


Archaic Period
They all used tools: chopper and scraper,
and chert point used as a dart.
And they all ate food: rice grass, berries and nuts
(But none of it baked in a tart).

Basketmaker
See a deer hoof that rattles?
Scraper blade from mountain sheep horn?
The items found here are all very old
Used long before we were born.

Basket - Weaving
Find a bundle used for weaving,
Find spun wild flax as a net
Find a large braided snare and for our bed
A yucca, feather & fur blanket.

Beginning of Pottery
Find six pottery forms based on a gourd
These ancestors were very clever!
Could you build two jars with two handles on sides?
I know I couldn't ever!

People of Corn
Corn was quite different and what have we here?
A 20-rowed, 4-rowed and (2) pod corn ears;
Four rings made from husks, some cobs that are burned
So much about old corn we have learned!

 
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ROOM THREE


Step House Cave
There's a fat bone awl, a light gray spoon
And a pipe with an animal head;
A burned pit house is a pitiful sight
So let's hurry on ahead.

Pueblo Architecture
One kind of "house" uses four upright poles;
Adobe and sticks were used, too.
Later came slabs right on the ground
Then stones with mortar all through.

Developmental Pueblo
Pottery I spy a bird-shaped vessel, gray ladles (2)
And a box to hold my trinkets.
That tri-lobed pitcher is quite unique
Who do you suppose would think it?

Cotton
One old fragment of red, brown and white
Was woven on a loom.
Find these words: sennit, batten and heddle
Before you leave this room.

 
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ROOM FOUR


Rock Art
What mineral makes red, and which makes yellow?
When brushed with a yucca plant fiber?
The pictograph art will also reveal
The damage to art by a fire.

Basketry and Matting
A rectangular coil basket--
A most unusual find;
And pottery from a basket mold;
Definitely one of a kind!

Corrugated Pottery
A coil like a lollipop
Helped make the thumb print pot.
A jar rest kept the pots upright
And smoke stains show pots got hot.

Southwest Pottery Traditions
Find one pot without black decor;
Find one light orange pot, too;
And before you go another step
Find one shaped like a shoe.

Black on White
Here we have a ladle
And five human figures on sherds.
I also spy a double mug
But none shaped like a bird.

Pottery Shapes and Uses
Little dishes made for play,
A painting of a bird;
Jar lids came in handy
And here's that shape of a bird.

Tools and Cordage
Find the smallest awl of all
And can you find a skinner?
If you find an ax with handle
You'll be a real winner.

Cultivating Foods-Food Preparation
Can you spot the chewed bread rolls
And recipe to make it?
I spy squash and corn and beans
But can't see how to bake it.

Wild Plant and Animal Food
Where's the smallest animal used for food?
Can you find a snare?
Food to fill the tummy:
Pinion and prickly pear!

House Construction
Find 43 white dots on black
A hand print and a thumb print.
Find a corncob and some roof mud
Without a single hint.

Jewelry
Two thousand nine hundred sixty-nine pieces
All found in a pottery jar;
A stone ring, bird bones and green frog
But nothing shaped like a star.

 
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ROOM FIVE

Dendrochronology
Find a section 340 years old
A core and V cut, too;
A beam cut in Twelve-Oh-Six
And a piece of charcoal, too.

Debt to American Indians
Find chili peppers (big and red)
And cotton in a ball;
Two kinds of potato
And popcorn--best of all!

Common Birds of Mesa Verde
Find a bird with a bald red head;
And the bird that is the smallest.
I see a turkey is the largest,
But is a crow or raven tallest?

Common Trees of the Mesa Verde
Find the biggest cone of all
And find the roughest bark.
Find the bluest berries
And then the smoothest bark.

Thanks!
Thanks for coming here today;
Thanks for playing "I Spy."
Hope you had a lovely time
Till we meet again--"good-bye!"

"I Spy" was developed for Mesa Verde National Park by John and Diane Bruce.

Did You Know?

Kiva courtyard at Spruce Tree House

A subterranean kiva remained 50 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. So for the Ancestral Puebloans, it stayed cool in the summer, and only a small fire was needed to keep it warm in the winter.