Tuesday, July 5, 2016

An Archeological Dig (When You Can't Go Outside)

 Here we are, covering all the delightful activities to be done when reading through Story of the World, Volume 1, with your home-schooled child.

Last post, we showed you how to stage an archeological dig:

  But, let's say you're a classroom teacher, or you are in a Home-school Co-op, teaching history to a class of 6 or for whatever reason, you just can't stage an outside dig.

Here's another idea for an archaeological kind of activity to do with your child at this point.  It still takes some advance preparation.  But it was a LOT of fun.

We use the same recipe that we used to create the pot for our potsherds, in the last post:

Then, gather up some do-dads like old jewelry or beads you happen to have lying around somewhere.

Layer a couple of the items on top of a pat of the pottery mixture.  They should press right into it nicely.

Then, add another layer of pottery over this and add a few more:

And continue, until you have buried all your items in this small lump of pottery.

I patted mine into a sort of brick shape and smoothed out all the creases.  Then came the wait.  You know, you have to wait for this to dry.  You could do a bit of the oven method, where you warm your oven up to about 350 and then turn it off and set your pottery in the oven, with the door open.  I did a bit of that, but even with our dry Colorado air, this took about 2 days to harden.  I didn't want to let it be too hard for my son to find the treasures buried inside, so after about two days, I let him have a whack at it.

With the end of the stiff brush (we used this on our last "dig") from a hair dye kit, he began digging into this hard little brick.  I also created another entry log so that he could document the items he found.

He happens to have the personality where taking careful notes makes him feel as if the whole activity is more valid and real.  

So for him, taking notes of what he found was interesting and fun, not another chore.

We kept a small plastic bowl handy so that he could clean off his artifacts as he found them.

This is quite a messy process, of course, but he was having a lot of fun with it, once again.

After our last "Dig", he took his potsherds and carefully glued them together.

 Then, he mod-podged his little pot and had it sitting up on his dresser.
So, now he has a place to store his treasures found in this dig:

 He has decided he'd like to stay and camp on this Archeology introduction to Story of the World for quite awhile and mentions to me regularly that if I'd like to prepare another dig for him, he'd love to go be an archeologist again.  

But we are going to move forward to Chapter 1 in our next post!  There are more exciting activities ahead!  

If you'd like to do this project yourself, we offer a FREEBIE Archeology Tool Kit in our store right here: which includes all the activity sheets seen so far in this post and in our previous one.  

Also, Dover Publications is sponsoring a delightful giveaway for this series that we are doing on "Story of the World, Volume 1", so keep an eye out for that, coming up at the end of July!


  1. This is so fun! I love doing archaeological digs, but have never tried it in a lump of pottery. Will definitely be trying this...Thx.

    1. Right on! That's what it's all about. :) Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love this idea. My kiddos and I will be trying this soon! :) Thanks for sharing.

  3. So much fun! Makes me wish I taught younger kids :)