Students at Fletcher Elementary School really dug into their learning on Sept. 20 as they supported archaeologists from the Northeast Archaeology Research Center at a dig site just miles from the school. The adventure was part of a year-long theme that focuses student learning on Vermont’s past and present.
Third through six grade students from the school learned about the techniques and equipment used to conduct a professional dig, how to catalog their findings, and the many reasons individuals and groups participate in the work. In this instance, the group is helping Green Mountain Power meet its legal requirements as part of a permit renewal process. As the company raises and lowers water levels at their nearby dam, the question remains if important historical objects underground are being lost.
Students reviewed objects found at the site like arrowheads, earthenware and fire-cracked stones from about 1500 years ago before getting their hands dirty by helping to dig and sift the soil and watch for new discoveries.
“Getting to see the old stuff, like the firestone and the arrowhead and part of a tool from a long time ago, was the best,” sixth grader Justus Cota said. “It was great to be learning about history in an all-hands-on way.”
“We actually got to help,” sixth grader Eli Tinker said. “We learned how and why everything was happening and really got to understand it way more than we would from a book or a video.”
“It was just really fascinating,” sixth grader Colin Wolfe said. “It was like history coming to life before our eyes. The soil was telling us a story and I couldn’t wait to hear the next part.”
Christopher Dodge is the Principal of Fletcher Elementary School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow him on Twitter @FletcherFalcon