Merely reciting history is not as effective as making history come alive. As part of the archeology unit in fifth grade, we went on an overnight trip to Kampsville, Illinois. Our trip was filled with opportunities to compare our life today with those who first settled in Calhoun County. The class participated in activities such as digging clay from the side of a creek to make a useful pot, going on an eco-hike, doing flintknapping, and throwing an atlatl.
When the class returned to school, the students reflected on their time at Kampsville.
Ben said that he learned that almost everything in the wild has some kind of use. The use might be minor, or it could be major, or there could be a ton of different uses. He also learned that back then, making a fire was really hard. Chandler said that she learned how people long ago lived, how they managed and survived. She learned what people of that time had to do and how to manage fire sparks and carving rocks into arrowheads. She learned what it took to even be on this planet and survive long ago.
This integrated learning experience involved leaving the walls of Wilson, simulating experiences of Native Americans through art, tool making and games. Absolutely it was fun, but they came away with a better understanding of how hard life must have been for the Native Americans who lived in this area.
Wilson in the News