Artifact Detectives, Day 1-What is an artifact?

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1 Artifact Detectives, Day 1-What is an artifact? understand what artifacts are, why they are important to study, and how they help us understand different cultures. A box of modern day artifacts (an Extra-tuf, lightbulb, hair brush) With students sitting in circle, welcome students to the class. Have them write names in journals. Tell them that this week, they will get to learn all about artifacts and even get to handle some real artifacts from the Museum. But first they have to discuss what they think an artifact is. Let students have turns discussing what they think. Where can you find artifacts, what do they think of when they hear the word artifact. Write ideas on board. After about 5 minutes of discussion, tell students to open their journals to the first page. To learn about artifacts, we ll need to learn some new vocabulary. Tell them that an artifact is an object that people have made or modified. Write on board, and have them fill in vocabulary word. Based on this definition, update what was written on board. Discuss how they help historians and archaeologists find out about the maker s technology and can tell a lot about the values and practices of a culture. Discuss what an archaeologist is, and have them fill in vocabulary for Archaeologist (a person who studies artifacts). Next, have students discuss and fill in the next two vocabulary terms. After discussing, or as students answer, make sure they know that a Culture is a group of people living at the same time in the same place. Discuss what that means, and have them give examples of different cultures. We can start with a culture of first graders, and extend that to a culture of human beings, which unites us all. The Unangan Culture is the group of people who historically lived in Unalaska. If students are getting antsy, use this time to get up and stretch! Go back to the definition of artifacts, call on someone to say what the definition is again. Many students will associate artifact with old things, ancient things, etc. Discuss whether or not there are artifacts around us now. Of course! These are called modern day artifacts. Going back to the definition, ask students to name examples of modern day artifacts. Write these on the board. After students get the opportunity to name their own modern day artifacts, tell them you have brought one from home. Reach in the box and pull out one modern day artifact. Ask students what it is, and what it is used for. Tell students one amazing thing about artifacts is that they help us learn about the cultures they belong to. What does this artifact say about our culture as Unalaskans? Write ideas on board in full sentences. Have students sketch the modern day artifact in their journals, and write one sentence about what we can learn about our modern day culture in Unalaska from this artifact. Students may also draw what we can learn about the artifact. Tell them tomorrow, we will start studying artifacts from the Unangan culture, and that they will receive special tools to handle real artifacts. Review vocabulary again before dismissing students. Assemble bags with student names, journals, pencils, gloves, and magnifying glasses before next class. 1 st grade hints: Have vocabulary written on board ahead of time, fill in the blank style. Make sure students who need more attention and prompting receive it. Students with behavior management issues will be seated next to teacher. Note overall participation and interest levels, and jot down reflections on how the lessons can go better next time right after class! AK GLEs: W[1]1.1.1; History C.3

2 Artifact Detectives, Day 2-Fish Hook Artifacts accurately describe fish hook artifacts and discuss relevance of artifact to the Unangan culture. Fish hook artifacts (TC.A.0009) from Teaching Collection. With students sitting in circle, review vocabulary from previous day. Have students give examples of modern day artifacts, as well as different cultures. Tell students that each day this week, they will look at a different artifact from the museum. You have bags with special tools for them to handle artifacts. Show them how to use gloves, discussing why we need to wear them (we don t want to get oil from our hands on the artifacts; we want to protect them) and magnifying glasses. Tell them when you hand them their bag, they only need to get out their journal and pencil for right now! Have students discuss the next two vocabulary terms. Begin with going back over Unangan Culture, and this leads to History. History is the story or events that happened in the past. Alright, what does Past mean then? Discuss, and tell them the past is anything that has happened before the present moment. 1 st graders will need you to explain past, present and future. You can draw a time line on the board, and have the students give examples of things that happened in the past. This will help them learn about the present, many of the students will think the past is anything before today but I ve eaten breakfast today, and that s in the past hmmm how do we explain that? If students are getting antsy, use this time to get up and stretch! Tell the students that they can get out their gloves and glasses, we ll be looking at our first artifact. Tell them while we re handing around artifacts and looking at them, that NOONE should be talking at all! Students should have the space to think for themselves, so even if you think you know what it is, do not say anything until everyone has had a chance to look at it! Also explain that some of the artifacts this week have points, but do we poke anyone with them? Throw them? Pretend to do any of these things? Absolutely not. When students are silent, pass around the fish hooks. After everyone has had a chance to look, place it in the middle of the circle and tell students we are going to sketch the artifact in our journal. After they ve had a chance to draw the artifact, let them describe the artifact. Not what they think it is, but describing words. Pointy, sharp, smooth, white, made of bone. Write student responses on board and tell students to pick two describing words and to write and label them next to their drawing. Discuss what they think the artifact is. Write all ideas on the board, and after, tell them what it is, or who got it right. Ask students what they think this artifact says about the Unangan culture. Make sure the sentences on the board include the Unangan were fishermen and the Unangan used bone tools. Have the students pick one sentence to write in their journal. Check journals before having students put everything in their bag and turning in their materials. Conclude by reviewing vocabulary again before dismissing. 1 st grade hints: If students are having a hard time seeing the board or jumping from paper to whiteboard, write sentences on a small dry erase board and place in front of individual students. If time allows, discuss the style of sketching. Why would we want to draw realistically when we are being Artifact Detectives? AK GLEs: W[1]1.3.1, [1]1.2.1; History Standards: C.2, C.3

3 Artifact Detectives, Day 3-Basalt Sinker Artifacts accurately describe stone sinker artifacts and discuss relevance of artifact to the Unangan culture. Basalt Sinker artifact (TC.A.0003) from Teaching Collection. Modern sinker to compare, and for additional prompting. With students sitting in circle, review vocabulary from previous days. Review the artifacts they were shown yesterday, and what we could learn about the Unangan culture because of them. Tell students today they will get to see another artifact from the Museum. Pass out bags, and tell them to get out journals and pencils. Have students discuss the next two vocabulary terms. A tool is an object that helps you work. A clue is something that helps you solve a mystery, or something you don t know. Discuss examples of tools. Are artifacts clues? What mystery are we solving? If students are getting antsy, now would be a good time to stretch. Tell the students that they can get out their gloves and glasses, we ll be looking at our next artifact. Review that for the first few minutes, as we pass the artifact around the circle, no one should be speaking, only thinking, about what the artifact is, what it may be used for, what it might say about the Unangan culture. Also review safety, no poking, hitting with artifacts, or misusing them. Remember that the Unangan respected all of nature, including the tools they made out of things they would find in nature, and we must do the same. When students are silent, pass around the sinker. After everyone has had a chance to look, place it in the middle of the circle and tell students to sketch the artifact in their journals. After they ve had a chance to draw the artifact, let them describe the artifact. Not what they think it is, but describing words. Write student responses on board and tell students to pick two describing words and to write and label them next to their drawing. Discuss what they think the artifact is. Write all ideas on the board, and after, tell them what it is, or who got it right. If students haven t gotten it, tell them you have a modern day version of this artifact. Pull out the metal sinker and place next to it. See if this helps students get the right answer. Conclude by telling them it is a sinker, and discuss what that is. Ask students what they think this artifact says about the Unangan culture. Make sure the sentences on the board that you write include the Unangan were fishermen and the Unangan used stone tools. Discuss how you tell the difference between a bone tool and a stone tool. Have the students pick one sentence to write in their journal. Check journals before having students put everything in their bag and turning in their materials. Conclude by reviewing vocabulary again before dismissing. Prepare Artifact Detective certificates before next class. 1 st grade hints: You can discuss why just a rock wouldn t be an artifact, but why this rock is it has been modified. The museum has artifacts such as these that are up to 3,000 years old! The way to tell the difference between a rock and a bone tool: Bones will be lighter, Bones will be warmer to the touch, Bones are porous, and when you lick a bone, it feels scratchy, when you lick a rock, it will usually be smooth! AK GLEs: W[1]1.3.1, [1]1.2.1; History Standards: C.2, C.3

4 Artifact Detectives, Day 4-Folklore as an Artifact listen to a traditional folktale and discuss relevance of artifact to the Unangan culture. Bird Eating Too Much folktale from Aleut Tales and Narratives. Artifact Detective certificates. With students sitting in a circle, review what artifacts are, and why they are important to study. Review the artifacts that they were shown the day before, and what they said about the culture. Tell students today they would get to see another artifact from the Museum. Reach into the treasure chest, and pull out hands enclosed in a circle. Open your hands to reveal nothing. Tell them today you have a special artifact from the museum, but it isn t in the form of an object. It is in the form of a story, or folktale. Discuss the meaning of folktale. They are stories intended to teach the listener something. Why would this be important to learn about? Tell them today they will be listening to a traditional folktale that has been passed down orally for hundreds of years. Read the story of the Bird Eating Too Much. After reading it, discuss the moral of the story. What does this story try to teach the reader or listener? What can we learn about the Unangan culture from reading this story? Make sure answers written on board include The Unangan teach us too much of anything is bad and The Unangan teach us to share. Tell students they may draw either part of the story, or what the story teaches us about the Unangan culture. They will then pick one sentence to write in their journal as well. When students have finished, ask them to give you a thumbs up or to the side as far as how well they liked the class. Ask them to give you describing words about the class. Is there anything they would change about it for next time? Jot down suggestions from students. Conclude by reviewing vocabulary one final time, then telling the students that not only do they get to take their gloves, glasses, and journals home with them, but you have official Artifact Detective certificates that say they have completed the necessary coursework to become an official Detective! Hand out certificates, and collect pencils from students. Finally, discuss where artifacts belong, and what students should do if they ever think they find an artifact. They should have their parents call the Museum, and the archaeologists will get it. Should they take it home and keep it? No. 1 st grade hints: Make sure you don t do a thumbs down. Most students this young don t want to give a thumbs down, and you will get more honest answers if they don t feel as though they are being mean. AK Content Standards: English B.1, B.2, B.3, E.1; History C.2, C.3, C.4

5 Ideas that can be expressed throughout the classes: The Unangan people used their surroundings to help them survive and thrive with their environment. The Unangan people took their time making tools so they would be able to use them for many years. The longer the Unangan people lived in the Aleutians, the more developed their tools became. Why do you think this is so? The Unangan respected all of nature. Why do you think this would be important? Can we use the values of the Unangan in our modern day lives? Why or why not? Do you think there were more or less of the tools they used back then than the tools we use today? Why or why not?

6 References Black, Lydia T. (2003). Aleut Art: Unangam Aguqaadangin. Virginia Beach, VA. Donning Company Publishers. Jochelson, Waldemar. (1990). Aleut Tales and Narratives. Fairbanks, AK. Alaska Native Language Center, UAF. Alaska Native Knowledge Network. How to live as an Unangax. Turner, Lucien. (2010). An Aleutian Ethnography. Fairbanks, AK. University of Alaska Press.

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