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Historium


Found in: social studies; 3-5; 6-8

Historium: Welcome to the Museum, (Candlewick Press, 2015) (112 pgs., and available on Amazon.com or for FREE at your local library) illustrated by Richard Wilkinson and written by Jo Nelson, is a large format picture book, approximately 11x15 inches, for grade 4-8 social studies, though the large, full-color illustrations will appeal to all grades and the text can be read to younger students. The book’s six galleries feature artifacts from ancient civilizations in Africa, America, Asia, Europe, The Middle East, and Oceania. Each gallery contains sub galleries for separate regions or cultures. The Entrance defines archaeology and provides a timeline of the artifacts. An index of museums and collections provides the locations of the physical objects for teachers and students who live within field trip distance.

The Southern Africa section has seven examples of material culture, some of them being the oldest in the book, including Stone Age tools 700,000 to 1,000,000 years old. One of them, the Blombos Ochre Stone about 70,000 years old, bears the oldest known intricate design made by humans. The pattern may have recorded information. The Hopewell culture thrived in the forested Midwest from 100 BCE to 500 CE. The Hopewell section has projectile points and ornamental objects. One is a large hand (twice normal size) fashioned from a sheet of mica. The Viking section includes some of the Lewis Chessman (1150-1200 CE), three pieces carved from walrus ivory or whale teeth. And the Mesopotamia section includes a 20 square board game and playing pieces from Ur (2600-2500 BCE). A tablet was discovered that partially describes how the game was played, though reconstructions of complete rules differ.

Teaching the Concept of the Past ( PDF, 292 KB, 3 pgs) has three activities for grades 4-8 that introduce and develop an understanding of the past. Student worksheets are provided and teacher resources listed.

Relative Dating in Archeology ( PDF, 148 KB, 3 pgs) Activities for students in grades 4-8 that focus on stratigraphy
and seriation, dating techniques used to establish a relative chronology.

Archaeology for the Classroom ( PDF, 322 KB, 6 pgs) In these two activities, grade 6 & 7 students reconstruct broken pots and measure and grid artifacts in an excavation unit.

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