Skip to main content


Most lessons in this part provide opportunities for students to explore and sometimes wrestle with their values concerning archaeological resources and their protection. Although some of the issues are controversial, many teachers have successfully used these lessons with their students. Here are some testimonials from teachers who have used these lessons in their classrooms:

I was hesitant to do ethical-values-type lessons with my fourth graders. I thought that these types of activities might be too sophisticated for them, but I decided to try it and see what would happen. We had completed a unit on archaeology… I chose to have them do “Artifact ethics” from Part 5. I was amazed and pleased with their enthusiasm for the activity, and with the insights and conclusions they reached. They enjoyed the lesson, and I think they appreciated being asked their opinions about a real issue they care about. (Kathleen Atkinson, fourth-grade teacher)

About the activity “Creating your own rock art” and the act of defacing it:

I like doing things that shock them [the students], rather than dancing around the subject. This is a good opportunity. The only reservation I had was that I wanted them to fully understand why we did what we did before they left for the day. Everything worked just fine. (Deborah K. White, sixth-grade teacher)

We hope you find these lessons equally successful.


Smith, Shelley J., Jeanne M. Moe, Kelly A. Letts, and Danielle M. Paterson. 1993. Intrigue of the Past: A Teacher’s Activity Guide for Fourth through Seventh Grades. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior. [This lesson is adapted from the “Introduction” on p. 88, courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management.]

Ward, H. Trawick, and R. P. Stephen Davis, Jr. 1999. Time Before History: The Archaeology of North Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. [The image in this chapter’s main heading is taken from Figure 5.18.]