Monday, October 10, 2011

Archaeological Dig

Marvel attends a charter school 2 days a week, which teaches history, science, geography, art, music, and a little bit of all the other subjects {I then teach him math and language arts at home}.  "Technically" we don't have to do any History during his 3 days at home, but I'm really trying to link school at school & school at home together.  Plus they get to teach all of the FUN subjects and I want in on some of the fun too!  So I try incorporate history at least one of the three days Marvel is home.

This year in History the focus is on Ancient History.  We started out by discussing what history is, then talking about Archeology.  Of course both Marvel & Cap popped up and said.

"Indiana Jones is an Archaeologist!"

Then our conversation went something like this:

{Me} Yes, yes, that is true, but what is it that he does as an Archaeologist?

{Boys} Fights bad guys and finds buried treasure!

--Oh boy.--

{Me} Well that is kind of true.  Archaeologists don't usually fight bad guys, but they do look for buried treasure.  What kinds of treasures might they find?

{Boys} Gold...silver...fancy jewelry...crystals...

{Me} Yes, those are all treasures, but an archaeologists job is to find things from the past that tell us about that time period...about the people, their food, how they live, what they believed...

Then we proceeded to talk about the types of things archaeologists look for, how they look for them, where they look for them, and what those things tell us about the past.

I love teaching my kids history and science!  They love it so much, they perk right up and we actually have great discussions!

In my search for fun history activities, I came across this post at Satori Smiles {ironically they call their home school space their "Learning Loft" too....she has some great home school ideas!} and knew my boys would LOVE it!

Each of the boys started the dig off with their own dirt plot.

Then we used popsicle sticks and yarn {I could not for the life of me find any string!} to section each plot off.  We assigned each square a name/number {A1, A2, A3...B1, B2, B3...C1, C2, C3}.

And thus began the digging!

Marvel was the first to make a discovery...ahhh, a skeleton!

Each time a discovery was made, the boys would brush off their artifact with their paint brush...

...then record their findings on their Artifact Sheet.
{GREAT way to get Marvel to write by the way...the kid hates writing, but didn't even think twice about it, yay!}

Marvel found a treasure right away, but Captain took a while.  
He finally discovered a green jewel.

Captain had a good time just watching Marvel.

I love, love, love moments like this!

Cap finally got back to his digging and started discovering all sorts of things.

He was very meticulous.
He made sure every speck of dirt was off of his artifacts before he'd move on.

He even picked out every rock and wood chunk in his box {not purposely put there by the way} and put them aside as artifacts too.  Hmm, we may just have a future archaeologist on our hands.

When the boys had dug all that they could dig, they sifted the remaining sand to make sure they didn't forget anything.  Good thing we did, cause Cap found his last artifact!

Marvel's discoveries:

Captain America's discoveries:

When they were all done, the boys inspected each artifact and explained what they thought it was and what they thought it said about the period of time the artifact came from.

This was my FAVORITE part!

Marvel came to the conclusion that these were ancient people who found importance in their gods, wealth, soldiers, kings, queens, and dung beetles {not of his artifacts was a scarab}.

My favorite artifact explanation from him was about the skeleton.  In his words:

By his condition, he looks old.
I can tell by his skull he has a big dent.
He was probably in a war.
His feet are very thin, so he must have walked a lot.

Very observant Marvel!  At one point while Marvel was talking about his artifacts, Cap said, "Wow, how do you know SO much about Egyptians?"  Marvel's reply was "One day you'll be able to be as smart as me.  I just KNOW these things!"  Still makes me chuckle.

The captain CRACKED me up in his explanations.  Everything was about "Indians," although I'm positive he meant "Egyptians."  And he kept referring to why how the artifacts got in the sand.  Like when he was explaining where the piece of wood came from,

It was on a tree and an Indian {Egyptian} broke it off, then threw it in the sand and dug it in.  Then every Indian {Egyptian} got wood off a tree and threw it in the sand too.

About the King Tut mask he said,

It used to be a statue, but then the head fell off, so it cannot go back on the whole body.

or about the Sphinx:

It used to be in the sand, then it turned small so it could get way in the sand.  Then the Indians {Egyptians} dug and got it and made it big.

I love the mind of a little child!

Ok, last one, last one, I of my favorites was about the skeleton:

A person died, then turned into a skeleton.
Then he came alive again and fought all the good guys.
Cause all skeletons are bad and they fight the good guys.

And what of the whereabouts of Monkey this whole time?
Oh no, a tomb raider!! 
Does Indiana Jones do babysitting too? :-)

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