Archaeology and Literacy: Students Journey across the American Southwest

Author(s): John Turrietta

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Archaeology Education: Building a Research Base" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Every year my fifth grade students trace a wagon train from Iowa to California across the American Southwest by reading Sallie Fox: The Story of a Pioneer Girl. Drawn from real events and contemporary diaries, Sallie Fox encounters a new landscape through the eyes of a young girl moving to a new life in the West. She records the landmarks, the rivers, and wildlife along her journey. As Sallie travels, my students learn the history of each place she passes. On the Colorado River, American Indian people attack the wagon train; the class discusses the event from multiple points of view. A field trip to El Morro National Monument completes the study and students experience an important historical event. I begin the year with a survey of their perceptions of primary sources and archaeological sites and conclude with the same questions. The goal is to bring an abstract idea of history into the realm of reality and the concrete.

Cite this Record

Archaeology and Literacy: Students Journey across the American Southwest. John Turrietta. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452259)


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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23604