1) Before a ranger's visit, have students to fill out the Prehistoric American K-W-L Chart. The students will fill out the chart by putting what they know about the Prehistoric Americans under K, what they want to learn about the Prehistoric Americans under W, and what they learned about the Prehistoric Americans under L. Have students fill out the L section after writing a one page paper. See K-W-L Attachment.
2) A ranger will visit the classroom to give a presentation on the four prehistoric time periods that are represented at Russell Cave National Monument: Paleo Period, Archaic Period, Woodland Period, and Mississippian Period.(Contact Russell Cave National Monument Ranger)
3) After the Ranger's Program, the teacher will involve the class in a discussion about what present day humans need to survive (ex: food, water, shelter, heat, fossil fuels, communication, and transportation). The teacher will write the students answers on the board.
4) Have each student to copy the class' answers on a piece of paper and write one of the following letters next to each answer:
S: Need the item for survival.
M: Need the item to maintain how we presently live. L: Need the item for luxury purposes.
5) Pick at least ten answers from the board and during the class discussion, have students to classify them as being:1) S 2) M 3) L and have them to explain their reasoning for their classification.
6) Lead a discussion with the class about the origins of these items and what natural resources were used in their creation. Introduce to the class the terms renewable and nonrenewable resources and give examples of each terms.
7) Assign each student a time period that is represented at Russell Cave National Monument. Allow each student time to conduct research at the school's library and on the classroom's computers.
Have them to answer these questions:
- How did these prehistoric people obtain their food?
- What did they hunt?
- What did they wear?
- Were these people farmers?
- Where did they live?
- How did they cook their food?
- What did they make?
- How did they travel?
Prehistoric Researchable Websites
Russell Cave National Monument
Hopewell Culture National Historic Site
Ocmulgee National Monument
Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Site
8) After the research, have students to answer the same questions.
9) Have the students to write a one-page expository paper on the difference between their lifestyles and their assigned prehistoric period.
10) Before the students turn in their papers, lead a discussion on the differences between the prehistoric time periods and the students' lifestyles.