Putting It All Together
In this lesson, students explore both how tungsten was mined and used at the turn of the 20th century and also how archeologists piece the past together from artifacts and other archeological evidence. The following activities will help them apply what they have learned.
Activity 1: The Archeological Record
Have each student pick one or several objects that they think will be crucial for future archeologists to understand our society. Have the student make a class presentation explaining why they chose what they did. What possible meanings might archeologists attribute to their artifact? Will it be obvious what the objects were used for, or will archeologists have trouble determining their use? What if only part of an object was found, rather than the whole item? If possible, invite a local archeologist and have him/her talk to the class about archeology in the community.
Activity 2: The Mind of the Archeologist/The Mind of the Public
Divide the class into two. The first group, the "archeologists" should lead a debate concerning why it might be important to restrict public access to archeological sites. The other side of the debate, the "public" should argue the importance of allowing public access to archeological sites.
Activity 3: The Puzzle
At most, archeologists can expect to find 10 percent of the material culture (that is the artifacts and structural remains) at typical sites more than 1,000 years old. Bring a 100- piece jigsaw puzzle to class and do not let students see the outside picture on the box. Depending on the size of your class, have each student pick out 10 random pieces and attempt to assemble them in some sort of order. Ask them to suggest what the larger puzzle may be based on the information they have available. If they are lucky they might see something identifiable such as a horse's nose or the face of the person in the picture. It's possible they will choose pieces that are less telling, such as the solid blue of sky. How many more pieces do they need to draw out of the bag/box to form a partial picture of the puzzle? Have a class discussion on how hard it is to get a good idea of what is going on with only 10 percent of the information.
Activity Four: Life During WWI
Have students research events in their community during World War I and how their community supported the war effort. Were there any industries directly related to the war effort? If so, what were they? What impact did they have? What happened to them after the war? Do any buildings or sites remain today from these industries? An alternate activity would be to have students conduct an oral history on the life of a specific person who lived through WWI or WWII. What was their life like back then? Where did they live? What did they eat? What did they wear? Where did they work and play? What did they talk about? Have the students make a class presentation on their findings.