Digging into History: Using a Hands-On Archaeology Study to Learn about Jamestown, Virginia

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The third grade social studies curriculum at the Dalton School includes an archaeology study directed by the classroom teachers and a resident archaeologist. Each classroom has a unique focus. This presentation explains how the use of hands-on learning brings history to life for students. In this particular classroom, the unit of archaeological study is the first permanent English settlement in America in early 1600's named Jamestown, Virginia. Students learn about this historical time period by conducting an archaeological dig and researching the discovered artifacts. By using historical paintings and records, students piece together the past and create a multi-media project reflecting their findings.


Keywords: Archaeology, Social Studies
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Jody Seiffert

3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, First Program (Lower School), The Dalton School
New York City, New York, USA

I have been a classroom teacher for eight years now, going on five years at my current school. I have taught third and fourth grade during my career. Dalton gives its teachers the unique experience of bringing interests and passions into the classroom. My first two years of teaching took place in Virginia. I became familiar with Virginia/American history and upon moving to New York to work in an Independent School, I was asked what social studies curriculum I'd like to explore during archaeology. Jamestown, Virginia seemed the obvious choice. Working with the resident archaeologist and museum educators, the unit of study is rich and powerful in allowing students to feel immersed in learning, therefore not only enjoying the experience but also achieving a deep understanding of the material. I'd love to share this with other educators in the world.

Ref: L09P0622