Mill Road Elementary School|
Red Hook, New York 12571
Mill Road Elementary School / Bard College Collaboration
Archaeological Site Visits and Prehistoric Tool Observations become Pictures and Stories on Their Way to Dioramas and Dramatizations
Each 4th Grade class visited the Grouse Bluff prehistoric site in spring 1998. After viewing the excavations, the children listened to a retelling of two Lenape myths, the first about the origin of stories and the second about a little person named Answer Me, or Echo. The children then closed their eyes and listened to sounds of the forest environment, while imagining Lenape people living at the site.
Next, pairs of children received stone tools and interpreted them by pencil drawings of the artifacts in use on the site. Back at school, each child finished a picture with more drawing and coloring. Finally, the children wrote stories about the pictures.
After visiting the dig, the Bard students returned to the school and worked with each 4th grade class. The playground was the scene of a laboratory exercise where the children used replicas of stone tools to crack walnuts. They also examined flint flake knives with high-power magnifying glasses and drew pictures of the wear on flint knives caused by cleaning fish.
Finally, there was a written evaluation by the children, which included drawings of an archaeologist at work, short answers to a series of questions, and an essay about ethics and stewardship.
The curriculum's plan is to have the children in each class make composite murals or models as dioramas, with the writing about each scene becoming a story for retelling or a dramatization for videotaping. More of the children's writing about archaeology appears in these pages.
Additional Information about the Grouse Bluff Archaeological Site
course Anthropology 111, Field Methods in Anthropology.
Special thanks to ulster.net for providing web services.
Last updated June, 1999