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Archaeological Institute of America

Found In: science, social studies, preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Educational resources for grades K-12 from the Archaeological Institute of America include lesson plans and activities that range from simulated digs to preparing a Roman feast.

Introduction to Archaeology features Archaeology 101 (PDF icon PDF, 337 KB, 4 pgs.), distinguishing culture and material culture, describing the process of archaeology, and identifying its techniques and tools. The introduction also includes bibliographies of general archaeological resource books, children’s books about archaeology, and historical novels; a firsthand view of a career in archaeology; critical commentaries on movies and TV; FAQs about careers in archaeology; and a glossary.

Lesson Plans

Listed under AIA Lesson Plans are mini-lessons and lessons in ancient cultures, techniques and interpretation, and simulated digs. Teachers who wish to submit their own lesson plans or project proposals can do so after consulting the Lesson Plan Guidelines (PDF icon PDF, 57 KB, 1 pg.).

  • One simulated dig for grades K-2 is the Transparent Shoebox Dig (PDF icon PDF, 112 KB, 5 pgs.). Using a transparent plastic box with a lid, students create layers and deposit artifacts representing cultures.
  • For grades 6-12, Cargoes from Three Continents: Ancient Mediterranean Trade in Modern Archaeology is a collection of 21 lessons. Students study Mediterranean trade between 1600 B.C. and A.D. 200 and learn about ship-building, make ancient monetary calculations, create a mock museum exhibit of an archaeological shipwreck, and more.

Archaeology: Combining History and Science (PDF icon PDF, 620 KB, 8 pgs.) is a workshop for teachers.

Teachers and students can follow progress at three archaeological sites: an early Maya settlement on Achill Island in Ireland, an ancient Minoan site at Zominthos, Crete, and a Civil War prison on Johnson's Island, Ohio by visiting Interactive Digs. Links to an archive of sixteen digs run along the page bottom.



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