September 3, 2010 Students start their excavation
What a great week at Foothills Academy! It's only our second week back after the summer but we already did some field work to tour 45-million years of Colorado history from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and started an archaeology excavation behind the classroom!
On the dig, students are working in field crews of 4 sharing a meter-square unit, which is divided in quadrants (just like I saw the archaeologists do this summer). Today the students measured their square units, drove stakes in the corners, and strung string around the perimeters. When they find an artifact, they'll measure its depth below surface from this string. The students found some interesting artifacts during surface cleaning today, including potshards, a pair of glasses and some old Legos.
In our Writer’s Workshop the young authors “got into character” for our prehistoric people study by “writing” a story in pictures on crumpled paper taped under their desk. We wanted to see what it was like for a prehistoric person telling a story in pictures on some smoky cave wall. I pulled out the musk ox wool and caribour antler I found in Arctic Alaska this summer as props. As te students told their stories, we decided they should create their own names for these animals because we don't know what language people were speaking in Beringia 11,500 years ago. They decided to call the musk ox "oosk."
Wednesday was a lot of fun as we toured 45-million years of Colorado history at the I-70 road cut on Dinosaur Ridge. Each child collected a layered example of Jurassic and Cretaceous period sediments in a clear plastic bottle.
They worked hard to hold their bottles upright so the layers wouldn't mix. We found dark gray carbon layers created by the remains of ancient plants, and other layers that turned orange when the sediment "rusted" or oxidized.
After that we went to visit a bronze statue of the kinds of creatures who were living here in Colorado when these layers were deposited. The Stegosaurous attracted a huge following!