Lesson Plan One

Grade Level: High School

Activity Two

The purpose of this activity is to encourage students to examine the methods, philosophy, and tools that varied disciplines employ to learn about the past. They will research a specific discipline, and then be asked to apply their knowledge to a current-day scenario.

1. Ask the students to brainstorm answers to the following question:
– How do we learn about the past?

 

2. Divide the class into two groups to conduct research. Each group should answer two sets of questions:
Research Questions and Application Questions.

— Group One: Archaeologists —

Research Questions:

– What do archaeologists study?
– What methods do they use?

 

The following list of Web sites may be helpful in answering the Research Questions:

Society for American Archaeology – What is Archaeology?

How does Archaeology Help us Understand History and Culture?

James Madison University – Archaeology

BBC – History – Archaeology

 

Application Question:

First, read the following statement from the Biographical Profiles on this site:

Article: Thomas W. Riordon and His Grist, Carding And Sawmills – by Greg Riordon

  • “The business of clearing lands, raising crops and livestock, building houses and barns was all consuming during those years. Survival dictated their industry.”

 

– What aspect of life in New Brunswick today do you predict that archaeologists will study in the future?

— Group Two: Dendrochronologists —

Research Questions:

– What do dendrochronologists study?
– What methods do they use?

 

The following list of Web sites may be helpful in answering the Research Questions:

Dendrochronology – What Tree Rings Tell Us About the Past and the Present

The Science of Tree Rings

Principles of Dendrochronology

Global Change Project – Tree Rings

 

Application Question:

– What phenomena in current-day New Brunswick do you predict that dendrochronologists will study in the future?