Lesson plan – Archaeologists for the day

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu
History is one of those subjects you can really get creative with. So, last night I stayed up and set up a little excavation for us all to dig into the next day. I have to say I was just as excited as the kids.

What you will need:
A pot/container filled with compost
Wooden skewers/toothpicks
Paper-cut into flag shapes

Black marker
Clear ziplock bags

A choice of artefacts -toys/lego/cutlery are all good options
Printable artefact sheets -scroll below to download

So, I first made a quick table in which I could categorise the artefacts the kids would be looking for. Then I did a quick search of the house and got everything ready. I didn’t have a plastic phone or laptop, so I just cut out some cardboard and drew them. I felt this way we could cover different aspects of life, so would lead to some good discussion time with the kids later.

I then dampened some compost we had in our garden and then buried everything in the pots. To make it more realistic I made some flags from wooden sticks, and paper, to number each small site, which I further sectioned off with string. This way, when one of the kids finds anything we could write down which grid it was found in, just like a real archaeologist would.


I also collected some things which we would need to dig up the site, like gloves, paintbrushes to brush off any dirt on the artefacts and some ziplock bags which we could store them until we could analyse them further.
So, once we read our history read aloud, I surprised the kids in the garden with their very own excavation site, I can’t describe how excited they were. I even made a separate small pot for my youngest and hid some of his toys so he could join in too.
And then we got to work.


The kids had so much fun finding all the hidden treasures, of course, anything that involves mud and mess is always a winner.One by one we dug, brushed and collected our items and made a note of where we found them.
Then we bagged everything up, ready for the lab.


Once we got upstairs after our excavation we laid everything out on the table. Then I told my kids to imagine we were archaeologists in the year 3017. and we had just discovered all of these items. What could these items tell us about that society and how its people lived and functioned. Needless to say, we came up with all sorts of answers!

And there you have it, Alhamdulillah another enjoyable experience with my kids which took little time to plan but was so memorable. Since we actually felt like real archaeologists today, instead of doing some textbook English, the older kids wrote a mini report about the day, while my youngest daughter narrated her report to me while I wrote it down.

And tomorrow the fun will continue with some homemade mud pies.
If you would like to use the charts I made, just click below. May Allah reward you and I hope you have a wonderful day!

List of Artefacts table
Artefacts found table pdf

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