Wisconsin Historical Society

Classroom Material

Archaeology Activity Boxes

Archaeology Activity Boxes | Wisconsin Historical Society

With our Archaeology Activity Boxes, students will:

  • use the same tools and techniques employed by archaeologists.
  • learn about the basic concepts and procedures guiding archaeological research.

Tools in the educational field kit.

Field Lesson Materials

Examples of artifacts and mapping tools used for the simulated mapping activity in the Wisconsin Archaeology Activity Box.

Wisconsin Archaeology Activity Box

Grade-level: Grades 4-8

Cost: $25 (shipping not included)

Loan period: Up to 4 weeks

Contents: Tools and “artifacts” for lab and field lessons; books; worksheet templates; poster set; activity instructions; and background information for teachers.

This activity box introduces students to general Wisconsin archaeology, early Native American history, and basic archaeological concepts and practices.  Included in the activity box are materials for a field lesson and a lab lesson.

The field lesson uses a present-day campsite to help students understand how careful mapping techniques and interpretation of artifact “assemblages” teach us about the past.

Students will map a simulated excavation unit using the same tools and techniques employed by archaeologists. Students will then examine the artifacts to understand what activities took place at the archaeological site.

For the lab lesson, students will measure and describe Native American artifacts and reproductions to learn how archaeologists interpret the tools they find. Students will also gain a basic understanding of the Wisconsin prehistoric time periods.

Tools in the lab kit.

Lab Lesson Materials

Artifact sets and tools included in the Wisconsin Archaeology Activity Box for use in the lab lesson.

Digging and Discovery.

'Digging and Discovery: Wisconsin Archaeology'

Book included in the Wisconsin Archaeology Activity Box. Learn more about the book.

Items Included in the Wisconsin Archaeology Activity Box

Each Activity Box comes with most of the materials needed to complete the activites in your classroom, including: 

  • A classroom set of the Wisconsin Historical Society publication "Digging and Discovery: Wisconsin Archaeology"

  • A poster set of Wisconsin Early Indian Cultures

  • Teachers' guides and additional reading, including one copy of each of the following:

    • Wisconsin Archaeology Activity Box “Teacher’s Guide” and activity sheet master copies
    • "Digging and Discovery: Wisconsin Archaeology Teacher's Guide and Student Materials"
    • "Dig This! How Archaeologists Uncover Our Past"
    • "Eyewitness Books: Archaeology"
    • "The Young Oxford Book of Archaeology"

Reserve an Activity Box

To reserve the Wisconsin Archaeology Activity Box, contact Denise Wiggins by email at denise.wiggins@wisconsinhistory.org or by phone at 608-261-2464.

There are a limited number of archaeology activity boxes available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Activity boxes on Wisconsin Native American pottery and archaeological faunal (animal bone) analysis are also available. Boxes may be picked-up at the Museum Archaeology Program Office in Madison or shipped. Contact Denise Wiggins for information regarding additional shipping costs if activity boxes will not be picked up.

Learn More

Have Questions?

Contact Denise Wiggins by phone at 608-261-2464 or by email below: