Today was Co-op day. My station was on the Mound Builder Indians.
It was kinda tough to come up with enough interesting information on them to fill the amount of time I have with each group of kids.
I decided to try and make some mounds for our jr. Archaeologists to excavate. The kids liked that.
I used 2 parts plaster of paris, 2 parts dryish dirt (I found out later that the damp dirt WON'T set up!) and 1 part water or enough to make it "mud pie" consistency.
I used Styrofoam bowls as my moulds.
I put in a little mud, then I placed a "people cracker" dog biscuit in the middle. Put in a little more mud and then placed a few Halloween skull rings in the mix. Then I finished it off with a nice covering of the mix. Work quickly, it sets up fast! Or,, rather... it's supposed to. Some of ours didn't but I think my ratio went way off after sundown.
The dog biscuit was meant to symbolize the Indian chief in the mound and it was almost impossible to excavate him in one piece. I wanted to be able to explain to the kids how careful archaeologists had to be with their work. The skull rings had a 2 fold purpose. 1) skeletons,, duh. and 2) jewelry. One of the girls found a rock in her mound and it had a fossil in it!! We totally didn't do that on purpose! Cool huh?
We also brought a sampling of real ancient pottery shards, arrowheads, drill points, and a hammer or axe head.
In this age of technology, gotta have it right now, and as seen on tv, it's nice to play in the dirt every once in a while! I think they learned something too!
Shhhhh,, don't tell them!