The topic for Kibuye Hope’s Academy’s (KHA) first learning experience day was archaeology. It was a great topic because we knew so little about it, but were interested and wanted to learn more.
First, we were asked the question, “What is archaeology?” and found out that it is a branch of anthropology, which is the study of people. More specifically, archaeology is the study of human history through objects.
Archaeologists must be curious. They often do not have much information about the objects they find. Sometimes they find artifacts (things that you can pick up and move) and sometimes they find features (large structures or things that cannot be moved). Technology helps them to ask good questions and to know where to look. They use satellite pictures of the earth to locate unusual dips or rises on the surface.
Our first activity was what the archaeologists would normally do with the artifacts at the end of their long search. We went down to our local trash pit and talked about how in hundreds of years, archaeologists might find our junk. Archaeologists often look at garbage from the past to learn about the people who lived at that time. We then divided into groups. Each group was given a piece of modern day rubbish (a plastic soda bottle, an empty matchbox, Styrofoam packing panels) and we pretended to be archaeologists. Even though we knew what our objects were, we pretended they were mysterious and asked questions that archaeologists ask when they find an artifact. We asked ourselves, “who, what, where, why, and how.” One group was given a Styrofoam tray and after many observations we decided it could have been used as a make-your-own hat. You could stick feathers or flowers in it and it would sit nicely on a bun.
Between our first and second activity we had recess. It was fun to play and eat the homemade archaeology-themed cookies provided by Aunt Julie B.
Next, we got to become archaeologists ourselves. There were mock dig sites where we could excavate ancient (or two day old) pottery and puzzle pieces. The digging process showed us how patient and precise archaeologists must be. It also called for a lot of teamwork.
When we got back to the classroom we wrote letters to our future selves. We placed these letters and a few extra items in a time capsule. At the end of the school year we will get out our time capsules and read the letters that we wrote.
After lunch, we planted a garden with Uncle Carlan. He did a wonderful job of having us work together to make something beautiful. God was the first and very best gardener. We enjoyed thinking about gardening like that as we divided into classes to some gardening ourselves. Middle school sectioned the garden into plots, 4thgrade got manure and seeds, and 1stand 2ndgrade picked out where we were going to plant everything. Everyone got there and planted the seeds, watered the garden, and had fun. It looked amazing when we finished.
All of the kids walked out of school a little smarter. We got to learn so much about archaeology, but we also got to explore outside our classrooms, and spend time together as the whole school. Archaeology day was a blast!