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Transparent Shoebox Dig

Take this simulated archaeological dig one layer at a time with your young pupils to encourage observation, critical thinking, and careful attention. Using a transparent box full of layers of sand and artifacts, pupils examine the culture, discuss their findings, and as an option, perform an excavation.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Connect this to the time in history you are studying by customizing the artifacts that are buried in the dig site
  • If you have less time and fewer materials, you can create one dig site for the whole class to observe
Classroom Considerations

  • While the instructions are written in complex language, the activity itself is meant for younger kids (but could easily be adapted for older students)
  • See the materials for additional ideas and support for how to create simulated digs in your classroom

  • Provides assessment questions for the end of the activity, some of which have suggested answers
  • Includes detailed lists of materials necessary for creating the dig site and excavating
  • Cross-curricular activity combines social studies and science

  • None
Included Materials

  • Basics of Archaeology for Simulated Dig Users

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Valerie T.
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Valerie T., Student teacher
Belvidere, NJ