Distance Learning

"Excavation and Tools" Midwest Archeological Center Distance Learning Program

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Common Core Standards:
3.L.1, 3.L.3, 4.L.1, 4.L.3, 5.L.1, 5.L.3, 3.RI.7, 4.RI.7, 3.SL.1, 4.SL.1, 5.SL.1

Activity: Archeological Sites
Grade Level: 3rd – 5th
Time Requirement: 30-60 minutes

Essential Questions
What do archeologists do after they have located a site?
What methods and tools do they use to investigate the past?

Lesson Overview
Excavations and excavation tools are designed to answer greater questions about the past. Students will review a working excavation, and see some of the methods that archeologists employ at active dig sites. The discussions are built around the ethics of stewardship and can expand to topics on the environment, sustainability, and responsibility.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will develop a knowledge base of the archeological tool kit.
  • Students will analyze the ethics of invasive excavation.
  • Students will assess tool choices and participate in decision-making in archeology.
  • Students will discuss the development of primary data in archeology, and how it is used for research.

Prior to the program:
Contact the Midwest Archeological Center education staff to schedule lesson time and schedule via videoconferencing. Lesson plan materials can be requested by the teacher as informational material. All pertinent material (activities, videos, handouts) is available through this packet or on the website page, and must be downloaded and prepared prior to the program. We recommend setting up a practice session to coordinate videoconferencing technologies, and to clarify any questions before the actual session.

Contact us:
Phone: (402) 437-5392x 105
Email: Dawn Bringelson <dawn_bringelson@nps.gov>

During the program:
Act as a secondary facilitator while MWAC education staff conduct lesson.


The “tool match-up” worksheet comes from the MWAC Junior Ranger Handbook. It is to be used in conjunction with discussion in this lesson.


Download Excavation and Tools Lesson Overview

Last updated: June 24, 2016