Perry Meridian Middle School
Students have a hard time seeing history as a puzzle that’s put together over time. The pieces are the journals, memories, artifacts, and trash left behind on the earth. In the project Digging Deeper, our middle school students work with their social studies and science teachers to learn the process of archeological digging through hands-on experience.
Students will participate in a mock archaeological dig, learning how to carefully excavate material from the ground and analyze pieces they discover. Their analysis will lead them to draw conclusions about the possible culture of the people who left the pieces behind. Finally, students will evaluate their conclusions to determine how difficult it may be to get the truth of our past. This leads them to also learn our sub-objective of social studies career fields such as career aspects of archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, etc.
They will also consider natural earth processes such as the effects of weathering and radioactive decay to determine the age of items left on earth. They will evaluate how the science of the earth could affect an archeologist’s work. Instead of just reading about these events in a textbook, they interpret the results for themselves and gain a much more meaningful understanding of the effects the earth has on what is left behind. A sub-objective of the science learning is for students to learn measurement skills and the metric system since archeologists work in the metric system.
One of the goals of our school is to create real-world learning opportunities where students gather conclusions on their own. The skills that students practice in this project cannot be matched by any other classroom material. This project allows our students to not simply be consumers of information but to create their own new information.