Pieces From the Past
6th Grade Oral Language Resources
Students will:• Learn about studying the past through artifacts, fossils and land formations.
• Access prior knowledge and build background about archaeology and ancient civilizations.
• Explore and apply the concept of identifying the things that help us learn about the past and which kinds of scientists study these things.
Students will:• Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of archaeology, paleontology and geology.
• Orally use words to differentiate between artifacts, fossils and land formations.
• Extend oral vocabulary by speaking about how the study of the past relates to knowledge about the present.
• Use key concept words [artifact, fossil, archaeologist, paleontologist, geologist, dinosaur, museum, prehistoric, diorama].
Explain• Use the slideshow to review the key concept words.
• Explain that students are going to learn about studying the past:
• What makes something an artifact or fossil.
• How land formations relate to history.
• The difference between archaeology, paleontology and geology.
• How studying ancient civilizations helps us understand our own civilization better.
Model• After the host introduces the slideshow, point to the photo on screen. Ask students: What are considered pieces of the past? (artifacts, fossils and land formations)
• Ask students: What are some types of artifacts? (anything used by ancient peoples, such as weapons, household objects, or ancient writings)
• Say: Scientists such as geologists, archaeologists, and paleontologists help us to learn about the past by studying artifacts, remains, and fossils. How do people find these pieces of the past? (excavations, archaeological digs, the discovery of a lost city, analyzing rocks or mountain ranges, etc.)
Guided Practice• Guide students through the next three slides showing them pictures of various pieces of the past. Always have the students identify what the item is and explain why they think it is an artifact, fossil or land formation.
Apply• Play the games that follow. Have them discuss with their partner the different topics that appear during the Talk About It feature.
• After the first game, ask students if they have ever been to a museum of natural history. After the second game, encourage them to share stories about their favorite exhibits and what types of pieces from the past were included in that exhibit.
Close• Ask students: Which items from our civilization would be helpful to scientists in the future who are trying to learn more about us?
• Summarize for students that there are scientists who specialize in looking at artifacts, and remains in order to help us understand the past. Encourage students to pretend they are an archaeologist from the future and have them discuss what "artifacts" from today they would find most interesting.