Introduction: Orientation Activity
We welcome your group to Crow Canyon with a brief campus orientation, history of the organization, introduction to local archaeology, and a hands-on activity. A fire drill and review of safety guidelines are included. Required on the first night of all overnight programs.
More than a Spoonful of Dirt!
What can you learn from a spoonful of dirt? Lots! Students use geoarchaeology tests to analyze a sediment sample, and they study microremains that provide clues to how people lived in the past.
Students analyze sediment samples using the same techniques used by archaeologists; program incorporates geology, biology, and the analysis of archaeological microremains.
In an interactive game of chance, students compare the success of different agricultural strategies in a range of environments and under different climatic and social conditions. What they discover serves as the basis for a discussion about the relevance of archaeology in modern life.
The Amazing Atlatl
In this presentation, students explore the archaeology, ethnology, physics, and social implications of the atlatl, or spear thrower (ancient weaponry that predates the bow and arrow).
Stories are used in many cultures to teach, guide, and entertain. In this program, staff storytellers offer a sample from a variety of cultural traditions.
An evening with David Nighteagle, Lakota flute player and storyteller extraordinaire! For more than 10 years, David has combined music, oral tradition, and social studies in this interactive program that’s a favorite with students of all ages.
Students learn how and why archaeologists keep track of artifacts from their excavations—then get their hands wet washing real artifacts from our current excavation project! For students in non-field programs who do not attend lab during the day; limited to groups of 16 or fewer students.
Introduction to Artifacts
Identify and classify different kinds of artifacts found on archaeological sites—flaked stone, ground stone, pottery, and animal bones—in this hands-on lesson. Find out what archaeologists can learn about ancient peoples by studying artifacts. For students in non-field programs who do not attend lab during the day; limited to groups of 20 or fewer students.
Learn how trees grow—and what archaeological secrets are revealed in their wood. Students learn the basic principles of dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, in this hands-on, interactive program. Limited to groups of 24 or fewer students. Included for students in field programs.
In this “paper dig,” students learn about sampling and the scientific method. They generate their own research hypotheses, decide which part of the site is likely to provide the data they need, and analyze evidence from their selected sample of the site.
Explore the use of sign and symbolism in this presentation of images preserved in and on stone. Learn how archaeologists date rock art, and learn how rock art styles changed through time. Students have the opportunity to create their own "rock art."
A member of the Ute Mountain Ute tribe talks about the history and culture of the Ute peoples of the Four Corners area, past and present. Learn from the Native American perspective!
Wildlife Then and Now
Students connect faunal remains found on a site with archaeological interpretation, research, and an understanding of cultural practices of the past.
Students create a book that helps integrate the understanding of culture, chronology, art elements, and principles of design into a balanced composition.
Students learn the importance of human culture, community, heritage preservation, and material culture and discuss why archaeological sites are important to Native Americans, archaeologists, and the public.
Name That Question
Students review what they have learned during their stay at Crow Canyon in an interactive activity based on a popular TV game show.
Students learn about the practical and social challenges that ancestral Pueblo people may have faced when they left the area in the late A.D. 1200s.
This program introduces students to the history and lasting effects of colonization as experienced by the Ute tribes in Colorado. Students learn concepts associated with land reduction, indigenous displacement, and the resulting sociocultural and environmental impacts that led to the eventual formation of the Ute reservations. Participants engage in an activity that challenges them to survive by collecting simulated resources in a diminishing land base.
Dragonflies play several important roles in the mythology of various American Indian tribes. The people of Zuni Pueblo tell a story about a young boy who created the first dragonfly. Students will listen to the story and then construct a dragonfly out of cornhusks.
American Indian names and language are probably the largest single source of modern U.S. place-names. In this program, developed with the assistance of Ute elders, students gain an understanding of the importance of Ute culture and history in Colorado.