ALEX Lesson Plan


A Father's Life at Russell Cave

You may save this lesson plan to your hard drive as an html file by selecting "File", then "Save As" from your browser's pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.

  This lesson provided by:  
Author:James Holtzclaw
System: Informal Education Partner
School: Informal Education Partner
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 29911


A Father's Life at Russell Cave


In this lesson, students will learn about a father's life at Russell Cave and learn about different writing genres.

This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (4)
10. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. [RI.4.1]
ELA2015 (4)
30. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [W.4.9]
a. Apply Grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions]"). [W.4.9a]
b. Apply Grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., "Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text"). [W.4.9b]
SS2010 (3) Geographic and Historical Studies: People, Places, and Regions
13. Describe prehistoric and historic American Indian cultures, governments, and economics in Alabama. (Alabama)
Examples: prehistoric—Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian
historic—Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek (Alabama)
  • Identifying roles of archaeologists and paleontologists
  • Local/National Standards:

    NCSS: I. Culture, II. Time, Continuity, and Change, III. People, Places, and Environment, VII. Production, Distribution, and Consumption, and VIII.  Science, Technology, and Society 

    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will:

    • Learn about the Archaic Period family life.
    • Learn about the Archaic Period hunting techniques.
    • Learn about the Archaic burial techniques.
    • Learn to tell the differences between fiction and nonfiction stories.
    • Learn about story characters.
    • Learn to compare and contrast the Archaic Story with the students' lives to gain more meaning and comprehension of the differences of cultures.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    61 to 90 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Paper, Pencils, and Copies of Archaic Story

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer, Printer



    1)  Invite a ranger to 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)

    2) After the ranger's program, the teacher will need to  print copies of the Archaic story for the students.  Archaic Story

    3) The teacher will have students to take turns reading paragraphs from the story until the story is completed.

    4) Hand out activity packets to students and have them to answer questions about the story.  See Archaic attachment.

    5) After students finish the activity, break them into cooperative groups.  Assign each group a prehistoric time period that is represented at Russell Cave.  Have each group write a small story about living at Russell Cave during their assigned  time period.  Use Russell Cave's Time Line for a quick reference to help each group out.


    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

     Use a 3-2-1 tool as an assessment tool to evaluate deeper understanding.

    On a piece of paper, students will write:

    3-Things that I learned about the Archaic Indians.

    2- Favorite things that I like about the story.

    1- Question I still have.


    If students finish their activity packet, have them to draw four columns on the board. On top of the first column, have them to write Paelo Period. On top of the second column, have them to write Archaic Period. On top of the third column, have them to write Woodland Period. On top of the fourth column, have them to write Mississippian Period.  In each column, have students to write five things about the four time periods.  This will give the class a tool to help the groups write their narrative.


    Have them partner with their group leader and allow them extra time to conduct research.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.