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Archeology of the Future

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Subject: Social Studies and English Language Arts and Reading

Grade: 7th

Author: Tony Castro, TEKS updated by Jason Terry (2023)

Time Duration: One 45-minute class period

Overview: Students will be introduced to the basic vocabulary of archeology and basic artifact analysis procedures.

Objective: Students will use various archeological terms, classify artifacts and make inferences, and make a chart for analyzing artifacts.

TEKS: Social Studies, 7th Grade

  • (20B), analyze information by applying absolute and relative chronology through sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions
  • (20C), organize and interpret information from outlines, reports, databases, and visuals, including graphs, charts, timelines, and maps
  • (22A), use social studies terminology correctly
  • (22C), create written, oral, and visual presentations of social studies information

English Language Arts and Reading, 7th Grade

  • (1A), listen actively to interpret a message and ask clarifying questions that build on others' ideas
  • (1D), engage in meaningful discourse and provide and accept constructive feedback from others
  • (2B), use context such as contrast or cause and effect to clarify the meaning of words
  • (5F), make inferences and use evidence to support understanding


  • “Uncovering an Archeological Site in the Year 3010” student handout
  • “Dating an Archeologist” crossword puzzle fo optional extension (included, with an online version available at:
  • Photos students bring from home or magazine pictures of different rooms in a house or other places.

Activities and Procedures:

Step 1: Have students bring pictures of their homes or places they have visited. Divide students into groups of four. Ask each student to give their picture to another person in the group. Based on the picture only, have students make a list of the different objects in the picture. Students then discuss what they can tell about the place from the evidence of the picture only, and explain which objects give them the most clues as to location and function of the particular place (i.e. kitchen, living room, back yard, park, etc.).

Step 2: Explain that archeologists use artifacts, such as the objects in the pictures, to make inferences about different places and the people who lived there in the past.

Step 3: Give students the handout “Uncovering an Archeological Site in the Year 3010.” Students read it and complete the artifact chart. Students make inferences about the culture based only on the evidence of the artifacts. Some inferences may be different from what we know to be true, but if they can be logically explained based on the evidence, that is OK. The point is to analyze the artifacts (the evidence) and construct inferences based on that information.

Closure: Discuss how the students analyzed the artifacts and the inferences they made. Have students explain their inferences based on the evidence of the artifacts so that everyone can understand the reasoning.

Extension Activities: Students complete the crossword puzzle “Dating an Archeologist” either using the enclosed paper puzzle or online at

Answers to the printable crossword are: 1. Archeological site, 2. Pleistocene, 3. Excavation, 4. Flake, 5. Evidence, 6. Symbol, 7. Context, 8. Midden, 9. Deface, 10. Stratigraphy.

Answer to Annie’s question: rock’n’bones.