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Incorporate authentic learning into your classroom by having your students complete this PBL as you teach Social Studies content on American Indians and their interactions with European settlers/explorers. The project is organized around the central question: How can you as an archaeologist create a representation of an archaeological dig showing the interactions between the Native Americans and European settlers/explorers in early America? You can easily adapt this project towards any specific tribe, settlement group, or state that you cover.
Students will create a visual representation of an archaeological dig with artifacts representing the way of life of the European settlers and Native Americans. They will think like archaeologists as they keep track of artifacts in a detailed log and sketch their dig site. Throughout the learning process, their engagement and curiosity will drive your instruction through the unit. You can also easily incorporate technology and research skills. There are also opportunities throughout for teaching social skills and 21st century skills through different types of sharing, giving and receiving feedback, and being flexible with plans.
This project can easily be differentiated for your classroom needs. It can be assigned as an enrichment project for early finishers/advanced learners or as a whole class project.
The project includes:
- Step by step teaching notes and teaching suggestions
- Central Question
- Artifacts Brainstorm
- Location of the Dig Site
- Artifacts Log
- Archaeological Dig Site Sketch
- Visual Representation planning page
- Self-reflection checklist
- Peer feedback checklist
Here is a version of this project specific to Virginia Studies Powhatan Indians and Jamestown Settlement: