Understanding the Past


This resource kit was created for middle school students to explore various ways we understand the past. Students will learn about some disciplinary lenses used by professionals to understand ancient cultures. They will practice using these lenses on artifacts, oral histories and other scientific evidence to create coherent arguments about life in the past.  The activities were designed to be done individually but build on each other. Consider doing them in order.   

1 Evidence in the Unwritten

2 Ask an Artifact

3 Applying Disciplinary Lenses

4 Tree Rings Can Tell Time 

5 Ways of Knowing From Ancestors, Pottery Example

6 Ways of Knowing From Ancestors, Yucca Example