Wonder Wednesday #6: Civilization Exploration and Letterboxing

In celebration of six (I can’t believe it!!) months of Wonder Wednesdays, I am excited to present this super fun lesson plan for letterboxing with your students created by yesterday’s interviewee Samantha Hutchinson, Place-based scholar and teacher extraordinaire. If you missed it, catch-up in a jiff here.

SO let’s get to it! Thanks Sam!!!

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Features of Civilization and Letterboxing Lesson Plan 

Samantha Hutchinson

Day One: Features of Civilization Lecture/Discussion. Here’s a link to a great slideshow: http://www.slideshare.net/gutzy6/8-features-of-a-civilization

Day Two: Explain to the students that they will be creating their own civilization. Facilitate brainstorming session. Accept and write down all suggestions on a large sheet of paper or designate a student to take notes. (Asking the students to select three or five features to focus on makes this project manageable without compromising the integrity of the lesson.)

Day Three: More class-wide brainstorming and then students work in small groups focused on one feature. For example, if the students decide to focus on government, religion, and writing; there will be a group that will focus on government, another group will focus on religion, and then a group for writing.

Day Four: Groups take turns presenting their ideas to the class. Students work in their group to develop their ideas further.

Day Five: Explain letterboxing and geocaching to students. This is when you let them know that they will create letterboxes that present information about their civilization. Students decide how they want to compile the boxes. For example, the boxes could be themed as the government letterbox, the religion letterbox, and writing letterbox; or each box can be a hodge-podge of the different features. (I limit the number of boxes to the number of features that we choose to study)

Day Six: Provide materials for the student work groups to create their letterboxes. (choose water-tight containers!)

Day Seven: Work on letterboxes.

Day Eight: Develop the clues to find the letterboxes.

Day Nine: Plant letterboxes (If it is difficult to take the class off campus, letterboxes could be placed entirely on campus)

Day Ten: Plant letterboxes and share the clues with others. Clues can be posted online at: http://www.letterboxing.org/

Follow-up: This can be a great collaborative project with other classrooms! Other classrooms can discover the letterboxes and attempt to describe the created civilization. This is a great opportunity for several classes to gain an experiential knowledge of how archeologists and historians use ancient material culture to develop a hypothesis.

Resources

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/ghgonline/projects/8FeaturesCivilization.pdf

http://quizlet.com/3023259/8-features-of-a-civilization-flash-cards/

 

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