We are learning about the prehistoric period in my Social Studies class and after series of lessons on artifacts, fossils, archaeology, anthropology and the stages of early human development, I decided to plan an activity where kids will show, hands-on, what they have learned. My first thought was to have them dress like cavemen and rummage the school for certain clues, but the kids didn’t want to be naked, barefoot and growling around 🤣 and so I thought that they could be archaeologists instead, digging a certain portion of the school for ‘artifacts’ and ‘fossils’ which are in fact, questions on the unit we’ve studied. I sent them home over the weekend with a picture booklet I curated on Early Humans to help them revise, and a reminder to come to school on Monday, with caps, sunglasses, boots, shorts and tools for what I tagged Early Humans Scavengers’ Hunt.
I spent my weekend creating 34 riddles out of the booklet, writing them on cardboard papers and cutting them into smaller shapes before wrapping them up in scruffy papers and making rough stitches with needle and thread, to give them an ancient look.
Then I got to school today at 7 am and buried these questions in four different positions within same location. I broke the kids into four teams and they worked in pairs to evacuate ‘remains’ (the riddles) which they must ‘examine’ and answer correctly before moving back to their site to dig up more questions/riddles. The group who finishes first is allowed to invade another team’s territory and at the end, the basket filled with most questions wins.
This singular activity helped us achieve many things:
- A more practical understanding of content
- Team work as the students I paired as partners aren’t exactly friends, but it was beautiful to see them work together to achieve a goal
- Agility and smartness, beyond pages of a book
- Ability to think, connect and problem solve
- The joy of learning, and lots more
We all had a great time. And what’s more interesting? Teachers can adapt same activity for any subject or topic! Why not try it out ?