Archaeology Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities

Reviewed Resources for Students and teachers


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Please note that with regard to lesson plans dealing with anthropology, archaeology, indigenous people, ancient civilizations, history, etc, there may be some cross-over and blurring of lines between the topics.  For example, a lesson plan dealing with archaeology is automatically dealing with an anthropological subject.  A lesson plan dealing with indigenous people is also automatically dealing with anthropology and any of them may, or may not, be dealing with history or ancient civilizations.  While every attempt will be made to keep the topic lines as 'clean' as possible, be aware this may not always be possible.

Appropriate grade or age levels are included with the lesson plans.

The number of lesson plans available online for this topic are many.  The following provides some idea of what is available and will hopefully be a good starting point.


*While many lesson plan sites have a subscription fee or otherwise sell their lesson plans (that is an additional feature of some of the sites found here)  all lesson plans and collections of lesson plans listed here are free.


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AIA Lesson Plans __ A couple of dozen archaeology lesson plans for all grade levels from the Archaeological Institute of America.  Lesson plans are PDF files.  Goals procedure and materials. - From -

Ancient Civilizations __ "This lesson will allow students to research artifacts from ancient civilizations. Students will act as museum curators to gather artifcats to display essential aspects of each ancient civilization."  You will find materials needed, goals and procedure. - From Jefferson Middle School - 

Archaeological Inquiry__ "In this age of information, having to ask the right questions to discover or understand something seems to be a challenge for some students. This activity is designed to stimulate the discovery process through a problem-solving approach."  Objectives, procedure and materials. - From Kirby Giles, Fillmore Middle School -

Archaeology __ Students will understand archaeology is the field that concentrates on recovering and studying physical evidence of earlier human life and culture.  Goals, procedure and materials. - From -  


Archeology Dig __ "The purpose of this activity is to provide students with experience in analyzing artifacts and relics and constructing a hypothetical scenario describing a pre-historic culture."  Objectives, procedure and materials needed. - from Organization for Community Networks -

Archaeology for Teachers - Free Lesson Plans, Games, & Activities __ Good collection of lesson plans and other resources about teaching archaeology. - From -  

Archaeology Lesson Plans __ Here are a half dozen archaeological lesson plans complete with instructions. - From - 

Archeology Dig Lesson Plan __ "As a result of this activity, students will be able to - work in cooperative groups to achieve a goal - identify items "found" at an archaeological dig - discuss findings within the group - report findings to the entire class"  Goals, procedure and materials needed - From Wayne State University -

Archive of Archaeology Lesson Plans - Montgomery College __ "This page was made to provide a resource for educators who want to use archaeology to engage their students in lessons about culture, history, language, art, science and a multitude of other disciplines and topics."  A couple of dozen lesson plans.  Goals, procedure and materials.  Lessons are PDF files - From -  

Building a Greek Subway Museum __ Your students create their own museum of Greek artifacts in this lesson plan.  "This lesson is intended for students who have already studied some of the basics of ancient Greek civilization. Students will investigate ancient Greek artifacts and artworks and will design museum exhibits to be placed in an Athens subway station. Students will create the exhibits either on paper or with a computer multimedia program."  You will find goals, procedures and materials needed. - From National Geographic -


Early Humans __ "Students describe what is known through archaeological studies of the early physical and cultural development of mankind from the Paleolithic Era to the agricultural revolution,..."  You will find goals and procedure. - From Paradise Elementary School - 

EDSITEment - Lesson Plan __ "In this unit, students will "recover" and analyze artifacts from sites in use from the settlement period to the second half of the 19th century. They will look for similarities and differences among the artifacts and the lives they reveal. In conclusion, students will look at today's artifacts of the future and consider how we will be viewed."  You will find goals, procedure and materials needed. - From National Endowment for the Humanities - 

Egyptian Enterprises __ Students will learn to :  "...prepare a cultural exhibit on Egyptian history, culture, sites, monuments, and hieroglyphics using such media as posters, computer presentations, puppet shows, short plays, videotapes, museum exhibit panels, brochures, scale models, and audio tapes." - From NOVA -

Lesson plan: Archaeology - Its Methods and Use __ "This series of lessons is meant to introduce students to the discipline of archaeology as an inexact science which tries to learn about the past from man-made remains and about the present from its refuse."  Goals, procedure and materials - From -

Lesson Plans __ "These plans are designed to be implemented as a complete unit on the basics of archaeology. However, each lesson may be used individually as a supplement to an existing curriculum."  Goals procedure materials - From -    

Lesson Plans--Historic Jamestowne __ "Included here are several lesson plans that we hope will share our project with you and help add a new dimension to your classroom resources. Each lesson plan has been designed for a specific grade or two, but in the hands of a good teacher, any of these lesson plans can be adjusted for other grades to use. Archaeology is a fascinating tool to use with your students,..." - From - 

Lesson Plans - Pirate Archaeology __ "This lesson reviews students' understanding of where where pirates worked and what their motivations were. It asks students to consider where they might look for sunken pirate ships and what they would expect to find on such ships. Students will pretend to be historians seeking funding for expeditions to search for pirate ships and write up their plans." - From National Geographic - 


Lesson Plans - The Scientific Method in Undersea Archaeology __ "Current theory says that during the Ice Age, the Black Sea was an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland that was eventually flooded. This lesson asks students to analyze how the scientific method has been used in studies of the Black Sea. Students will diagram the steps the scientists took to test one of their hypotheses concerning the flooding, and they will outline two other hypotheses and the steps that were taken to test them. They will conclude by writing a research plan for future studies." - From National Geographic - 

Many Good Sources for Archaeology Lesson Plans and Activities __ A collection of archaeology lesson plan resources from the Society For American Archaeology - From -

Methods of Collecting Lesson Plan __ "To have students become aware of anthropology and the methods of collecting information in order to make conclusions about people and culture as an archaeologist does." - goals, methods and materials needed - From Wayne State University -  

Mummies and the Desert __ "This lesson relates the mummification process to climate. Students will begin by finding out what Egypt's climate is like. They will then get a glimpse of how Egyptians mummified their dead and see how mummies could be created naturally in the dry Egyptian climate. They will conclude by writing paragraphs suggesting where they might look for mummies in other parts of the world, based on what they have learned about the role of climate in mummification."  You will find goals, procedure and materials needed. - From National Geographic - 

NC Project Archaeology: Lesson Plans __ "Project Archaeology lesson plans for North Carolina are available in a book called Intrigue of the Past: North Carolina's First Peoples, published by the Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."  If you do not want to get the book, you will find the plans online. - From University of North Carolina - 

NOVA Online | Mysteries of the Nile | Classroom Resource Center __ This website deals with regions other than Egypt as well.  You will find hints on how to construct your own lesson plan, completed lesson plans and materials about a number of ancient civilizations. - From NOVA Online - 

Oaxaca Archaeology Lesson __ Here you will find a lesson plan dealing with Mexican archaeology, specifically, the Oaxaca region.  You will find goals, procedures and materials needed. - From -

Peru Archaeology Lesson __ Here you will find a lesson plan dealing with Peruvian archaeology where students will learn "What is Archaeology? -  Students should understand that archaeology is a field of scientific study of the life and culture of ancient civilizations by excavation and study of cities and artifacts. -  To learn how archaeologists contribute to our knowledge of ancient cultures and peoples. - To discuss how specific ideas and beliefs can have effects on cultures, both ancient and current."  You will find goals, procedures and materials needed. - From - 

Smithsonian Education - Decoding the Past __ "The photographs of Smithsonian archaeologists and activities that follow encourage your students to think about how human-made objects and other indicators of human life can enrich our understanding of peoples both past and present. You can use the lesson plans as part of either a world cultures curriculum or any social studies unit that explores methods of understanding the past." - illustrated - From the Smithsonian -

Study Guides and Lesson Plans, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center __ "The following study guides and lesson plans focus on different aspects of archaeology and Pueblo Indian culture and are designed to introduce your students to basic concepts in math, language arts, the social sciences, and scientific method."  Goals procedure and materials - From -


Teaching Archeology-Lesson Plans __ You will find numerous lesson plans and class activities for the teaching of archaeology.  All are downloadable as PDF files. - From University of Texas at Austin - 

Teaching with Historic Places -- Archeology Lesson Plans __ "To better understand the role of archeology in learning history, Teaching with Historic Places posted on the web the following complete lesson plans. Created by National Park Service interpreters, preservation professionals, and educators, these lessons are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes." - From National Park Service - 

Virtual Museum - Cloth and Clay __ Here is a teacher resource that introduces archaeology with hands-on activities. The main focus is on the ancient Americas. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the menu. - From - 


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