Lesson Plan

What's in a Room?

Archeologist at Wupatki Pueblo.
Grade Level:
Third Grade-Fifth Grade
Archaeology, Social Studies
National/State Standards:
AZ State Standards: SS03-S1C1-02, SS03-S1C1-03, SS04-S1C1-04, SC04-S1C4-01, SS05-S1C1-05, SC05-S1C4-01.


In this activity, students will experiment with the spatial orientation and layout of Walnut Canyon and Wupatki National Monuments using the maps and map elements provided. Ideally students should be allowed to experiment with this activity before visiting the sites and after visiting the sites to gain a better understanding of the daily lives of the people who lived in these locations.


Guiding Questions: How did people in the past live? What were different rooms used for? What kinds of objects were found in different rooms?

Lesson Objectives: Students will...

  • Explain how people in the past lived.
  • Describe the objects found in different rooms.
  • Understand the different functions of rooms.





There is no background information associated with this activity.


  • Map Elements Explanation
  • Walnut Canyon Map
  • Wupatki Map
  • Scissors


There are two maps in this activity:

  1. The first map is of two rooms from Walnut Canyon National Monument.
    1. The first map is to provide students with a simple exercise in spatial recognition and to begin to understand how people of the past may have lived.  

2. The second map is of three rooms from Wupatki National Monument, which provides a more challenging exercise for the students.

For each of these maps students will determine where they think each map element, e.g. a hearth, should go in each room in the map.

Download the .pdf of the Map Element Explanation in the materials section for enlarged illustrations that explain what each of the map elements are.

Once students and teachers have gone over the map elements they will find smaller versions, approximate to the scale of the maps, to cut out for the activity along with the maps.


Before and after field trip visits, teachers can evaluate where students place the objects in the rooms to assess learning.



Park Connections

This activity can be used as a pre/post visit lesson before and after field trip visits.




Additional Resources

This lesson plan was developed by Brian Crosby, archaeology graduate student at Northern Arizona University.