TBH Lesson Plan

Lesson Title : Kincaid Creatures

Subject: Texas history, science, math

Grade level: 7th (Can be modified for 4th grade)

Rationale or Purpose: To illustrate how archeologists use stratigraphy to help determine environmental changes in a specific area since the Pleistocene Era, and to point out that these changes have affected the animals living in that area.


Lesson Duration: One or two 45 min. class periods

Objectives: 7th grade


Part 1

Step 1: Ask students to think of nocturnal and diurnal wild animals they see in their neighborhoods. Students living in rural settings will probably be able to list more than students in urban settings. As students name the animals, write them on an overhead transparency, a flipchart, or the board.

Step 2: Advise students that had they lived in their same neighborhoods during the "Great Ice Age" (Pleistocene Era), some 13,000 years ago, they would have seen a much different variety of animals than they see today.

Step 3: Distribute the “Kincaid Shelter Stratigraphy” handout (page 1) and place a transparency of the stratigraphy diagram on the overhead. Read the handout with students and explain that archeologists record their site findings in several ways, one of which uses stratigraphy. Point out that the zones or layers (also called strata) are numbered.

Step 4: Have students work with a partner or in small groups to answer the questions on page 2 of the “Kincaid Shelter Stratigraphy” worksheet. When done, have students volunteer to share their answers to questions #1,7, & 8 with the class.

Step 5: Explain that during the next class period, students will search a Kincaid Shelter website for animals whose remains were found in different layers of the Kincaid Shelter site. They will then use the animal names to solve a puzzle.

Part 2

Step 1: Remind students that in Part 1 of the lesson, they discussed wild animals found in their neighborhoods and were introduced to the stratigraphy of Kincaid Shelter, where remains of many wild animals were found.

Step 2. Distribute the “Kincaid Creatures Magic Squares” handout. Explain to students that in the grid they will see nine Magic Squares, each containing the name of one of the animals found at Kincaid Shelter. Below the grid they will see descriptions of the animals and will match the number of each description to the corresponding animals’ name in each “magic” square. Explain that students can check their work by adding up the numbers in the rows of squares both horizontally and vertically. Each row should add up to the same “magic” number. If their rows don’t add up to that number, they have an incorrect answer and must check their work. When their numbers add up correctly, they have discovered the “magic” number, which they will record on the worksheet.

Step 3: Have students go to the Texas Beyond History website (http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net) and open the “Kincaid Shelter” exhibit. Explain that in different sections of this exhibit they will find the animals named on their “Kincaid Creatures Magic Squares” handout and use these animals' names to fill in their handout's “Magic Squares."

Modification: (for special learning needs)

Day 1 – On a transparency of the “Kincaid Shelter Stratigraphy” handout, answer questions #2, 3, 4, 5, & 6 as a class and have students fill in their answers from the overhead.

Day 2 – Help student fill in the answers to questions #2 and #9 on the “Kincaid Creatures Magic Squares” handout.

Student Product: Completed “Kincaid Shelter Stratigraphy” and “Kincaid Creatures Magic Squares” handouts.

Closure: Ask students this question: How can archeologists help us better understand the ways humans and animals interacted in the past and how animals might have become extinct over time?

Assessment or evaluation:

Students will correctly complete the “Kincaid Shelter Stratigraphy” handout questions and the “Kincaid Creatures Magic Squares” handout.

Extension: [optional] Have students view the Megafauna website: http://www.kokogiak.com/megafauna/default.asp. Have students play “Meet the Critters” to learn more about the animals of Kincaid Shelter.

Carol Schlenk

University of Texas

Texas Archeological Research Laboratory

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