Back to School Archaeology Lesson Plan With Writing Task

Rated 4.79 out of 5, based on 16 reviews
16 Ratings
The ESL Nexus
Grade Levels
3rd - 8th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
18 pages
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  1. These 3 classroom-tested, beginning of the year resources are a great way to start your school year! Each resource is a lesson plan with detailed directions and includes all the materials you need to easily implement them. While intended as back to school lessons, they can be used at other times of
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Let your students pretend to be archaeologists and conduct a dig in their classroom in this back to school activity, or whenever you want to introduce them to the field of archaeology. Students will analyze artifacts and record their observations, then do a follow-up writing task. This activity will help your students develop their information writing, critical thinking, and vocabulary skills.

✓ Please note:

* This resource is included in a money-saving Back to School Bundle, which you can find HERE.

* It's also available in a money-saving Prehistory & Ancient History Bundle with 4 other resources, which you can find HERE.

Resource at a Glance:

What will students learn/do?

* Students get an idea of what it’s like to be an archaeologist.

* Students develop their analytical and critical thinking skills.

* Student get practice writing a paragraph.

* They learn what the words archaeology and archaeologist mean.

Who is it for?

All students, including English Language Learners.

How does it help teachers?

* The lesson plan tells you exactly how to implement the lesson so you don’t have to take the time to figure out what to do.

* It provides an engaging way to introduce the topic of archaeology and/or prehistory to your students.

* The rubrics let you easily evaluate your students’ writing.

What educators who have used this resource say about it:

♥ "This is a great resource for introducing archaeology, while also reinforcing writing skills!" -- Nicole M.

♥ "I've been looking everywhere for this lesson plan to go with my potsherds and jewellery collection. Thanks so much!" -- Karen E.


What you get in this archaeology product:

★ A table of contents for quick reference (1 page)

★ A Notes to the Teacher section with background information (1 page)

★ A list of the ELA Common Core standards addressed in this product (1 page)

★ Example WIDA Model Performance Indicators (1 page)

★ A 3-page lesson plan with student objectives provided (3 pages)

★ A handout with objectives and instructions for students (1 page)

★ An Artifact Analysis Chart worksheet for students (1 page)

★ A Challenge Handout, in color and black-and-white, with and without lines, for additional writing practice (4 pages)

★ A page with lines on it, for students who need more space to do the writing task (1 page)

★ Rubrics for evaluating students' work--1 each for the chart and handout (2 pages)

More Info:

This resource on how to implement an archaeology dig in your classroom includes a 3-page lesson plan with detailed instructions explaining how you can freely acquire "ancient artifacts" suitable for excavation, how your students can analyze the artifacts to determine what they were made of and what they were possibly used for, and how to record their observations.

The lesson plan also includes a quick vocabulary task and a short writing task that asks students to report on their findings from their archaeology dig. You can use the students' work as a formative assessment and a writing rubric is included for your convenience.

A photograph of an archaeologist at work can be used as a challenge handout for early finishers or you can also use it as a later writing assignment for your entire class. An evaluation rubric for this is also provided.

Used successfully with upper elementary and middle school students, this is a great beginning of the year activity that can be implemented whenever you begin an archaeology or prehistory unit. With just a little advance preparation, you can let your students become junior archaeologists for a period and they will Dig It!


You might also be interested in these resources:

Back to School Lesson Plans:

Lesson Plan: Ancient History Pre-Test

Digital Poster Lesson Plan: Who Am I?

★ Or buy all 3 back-to-school lesson plan resources as a bundle and save 20%!

The Back To School Bundle includes these lesson plans: Ancient History Pre-Test, Archaeology Dig It! and Digital Poster: Who Am I?

Additional prehistory and ancient & world history resources:

Prehistory Zoom Backgrounds

Ancient History Pre-Test & Post-Test Boom Cards™

Dar and the Spear-Thrower Novel Unit

End of Year Persuasive Writing Activity: Ancient and World History (digital version included)


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Thank you and happy teaching!

Common Core Standards © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved. Any claims of correlation or alignment to the CCSS Standards or WIDA ELD standards are solely those of The ESL Nexus and have not been evaluated or endorsed by the NGA. The ESL Nexus is the sole creator of this product and does not claim endorsement or association with the creators of the CCSS or WIDA standards.


Total Pages
18 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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