To understand what events brought the Stone Age to an end and gave rise to the first civilizations on earth.
1 and 1/2 class periods
You can begin this activity by reading with the class page 1A that provides an overview of the earliest civilizations. This includes a list of characteristics civilized societies developed that set them apart from previous Stone Age cultures.
Next, class members enjoy a fun activity in which they pretend to be an archaeologist living in the year 5000. They have never heard of the United States and must draw conclusions about its people based on an artifact (a U.S. coin).
The lesson concludes with The Archaeology Game! Students will “dig” through the list of characteristics of civilized societies on the first page of the lesson. The class is then divided into two teams. Team 1 chooses any one of the numbers on a crossword puzzle and tries to identify the key word or words (from the page one list) that fit in the spaces. A correct answer earns the team 1 point for each space filled on the puzzle.
The two teams take turns picking numbers and giving answers. The only clues to an answer are the number of spaces that it fills on the puzzle and, in some cases, a letter provided by an intersecting word. There is no penalty for a wrong guess.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.