South Orangetown Central School District

First-graders at William O. Schaefer Elementary School are digging archaeology! Over the past few weeks, students have been “discovering” artifacts connected to the history of the land on which their school is built.

Throughout the grade-wide unit, which is designed for both in-person and virtual instruction, history is brought to life through small-team activities and lessons. The young archeologists work in the outdoor classroom area to carefully uncover artifacts to study and log their findings. Using their knowledge, they apply vocabulary terms, visualizations and reflections to put what they’ve collected into historical context. Remote learners follow an activity list and view virtual archaeology dig instructional videos.

The unit was designed by Enrichment Teacher Robin Courtwright with support from the first-grade team. “Students are able to get their hands dirty as we bring history to life,” Courtwright said. “Through research and study, they can apply what they’ve learned to the world around them.”

First-graders engaged in archeology dig