Fifth Grade students are conducting classroom work in preparation for their April trip to Crow Canyon in the Four Corners area. This weeklong trip to learn about the Ancestral Puebloan people includes Mesa Verde National Park and Hovenweep National Monument in Utah, as well as an exciting week of hands-on learning at the 170-acre living classroom and research center at Crow Canyon. Students learn how to make fire, throw an atl atl, and play games the Ancestral Puebloans played. Each student takes part in a simulated dig, taking notes on findings like real archaeologists.
“Students are expected to have a working knowledge of the distinguishing features of each time period of the Ancestral Puebloan people, including the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Basketmaker, and Pueblo I, II, III eras.”
However, the students’ work begins long before the trip does. Says Fifth Grade teacher Mary Singer, the students spend four weeks in the classroom learning about archaeology, human migration, history, and archaeological ethics. Students learn about the food, shelter, and artifacts of time periods dating from 10,000 BC to 1300 AD. Says Singer, “Students are expected to have a working knowledge of the distinguishing features of each time period of the Ancestral Puebloan people, including the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Basketmaker, and Pueblo I, II, III eras.
Crow Canyon Archeological Center focuses on the Pueblo people who inhabited the Mesa Verde region of southwestern Colorado hundreds of years ago. The center’s work is guided by a respect for, and is conducted in collaboration with, American Indians. Singer says for many students, the week at Crow Canyon is a first time away from parents for an extended time. “They learn to manage their time and take care of themselves. They create new friendships with classmates. Students gain confidence in their own abilities, and return to CA a little older and wiser, and ready to take on Middle School in the fall.”