(Pre)History Comes Alive in the Eighth Grade

Middle School History Teacher Rob Horne Brings Archeology to His Classroom.
Nothing makes history come alive like holding a historical artifact in your hands. Drawing on five years of professional archaeology experience in southern Italy, Middle School History Teacher Rob Horne uses actual prehistoric hunting tools in his eighth grade classroom. 

Students in Horne’s class learn how to think like archaeologists through hands-on examination. After studying a series of stone projectile points and other tools, the boys record relevant details and measurements and discuss theories about their origin, evolution and uses. Students are asked to think about the objects they examine. Why are they built the way they are? What can we learn from the evolution of the design over time? What can we determine about the people who used these tools every day? 

“I’m incorporating elements of archaeology and anthropology into an American history classroom,” said Horne.” It’s a perfect fit, as we’re studying and gathering a further appreciation for Native American cultures at the beginning of our year.” 

Outside, Horne leads students in a demonstration with the atlatl, a prehistoric spear or dart-throwing tool used by the indigenous peoples of North America. Students take turns throwing the dart at a target, illustrating the skill and practice required to be a successful hunter in prehistoric society. Horne hopes that these interactive lessons spark students’ imaginations and make the lessons engaging. “The goal is to connect history in a very real, tangible way.”