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Ancient Civilizations Kit- Montessori Presentation 1 of 7
- Amber fossil excavation kit (sand block, gems, dowel, mallet, brush)
- Ancient Civilizations book (pages 8 and 9)
- Montessori mat (if desired)
Purpose: Students will learn about the importance of archeology, learn what archeologists do, and participate in a gem digging activity.
Vocabulary: civilization, archeology, archeologist, gem, dowel, mallet, brush, gemologist.
Suggested time: 45 min- 60 min
- Invite your student to join you at a workplace.
- Ask, “How do we know that ancient civilizations existed? Why is it important for us to learn about earlier civilizations?”
- Say, “We will read a book called Ancient Civilizations. The section that we will focus on today deals with the importance of studying the past.”
- Page 8-9 – Direct your student to look at the picture in the middle.
Ask, “What do you see? What are these people doing?” Explain that they are called archeologists and their job is to discover, dig up, and interpret the remains of past societies.
- Direct your student to the bottom of page 8 and look at the tools used by archeologists. Ask, “Which tools do you recognize?”
- Page 9 – Ask, “What is the most interesting fact that you learned about Heinrich Schleimann? If you met him, what questions would you have for him?”
- Before you begin, find a clean area with a hard flat surface to do your work. Cover the area with a protective cover to protect the area from the dust of the sand block.
- Explain that a person who is a specialist in gems is called a gemologist.
- Go over the materials that the kit contains to ensure your student is familiar with all the tools. Place the dowel in front of your student and say “This is a dowel.” Do the same for mallet and the brush. Give your student time to examine each tool.
- Put the sand block on the table and instruct your student to use the mallet and dowel to start scraping away bits and parts from the block. Instruct your student to not bang or hammer away at the sand block as that can be unsafe.
- Say, “When you start to see a gem through the sand, dig around and on the sides of the gem.” Explain, “Once the gem is freed from the block, rinse the remaining sand by placing the gem in a bowl of water.
- After all the gems are discovered, ask your student to reflect on this process.
- If you are having a hard time with digging, wet the block and it will come apart much more easily.
- Make a list of all reasons why studying past societies is important.
- How might the knowledge of the past help us become stronger as a society?
Extension Activity (use previous kits)
Materials needed – America kit
Review the concepts learned in the America Kit.
If America ever became ancient civilization and a group of archeologists came to interpret the remains, what would be discovered? How can our discoveries be useful to future generations?
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