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  • Lesson plan
  • Grades 11-12,
  • Grades 9-10

Reconstructing a Culture from Artifacts Left Behind

Lesson Details

OVERVIEW

“Archaeology is the study of past cultures through the material (physical) remains people left behind.” (archaeological.org) Artifacts uncovered by archaeologists inform the narratives of history studied by every student in today’s schools. This lesson invites students to wonder about how scientists travel the path from a random item left behind to conclusions about how people lived or what they believed. Using the film 306 Hollywood as a model, students will be asked to create “catalogs” of “artifacts” representing their own lives or communities.

OBJECTIVES

In this lesson, students will:

  • Explore how archaeologists make inferences about societies from the artifacts left behind
  • Examine what the “artifacts” in our own homes say about our current society
  • Create a representation of self by creating a catalog of personal artifacts

GRADE LEVELS: 10-12

SUBJECT AREAS

Archaeology

Art

History

Research Skills

U.S. History (post-WWII)

English/Language Arts

MATERIALS:

Film clips from 306 Hollywood and a way to screen them

[Optional]: Screen grabs of the catalogs (for use in class only)

ESTIMATED TIME NEEDED:

2 full class periods with homework in between

About the authors

Faith Rogow

Faith Rogow, Ph.D., is the co-author of The Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World (Corwin, 2012) and past president of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. She has written discussion guides and lesson plans for more than 250 independent films.