Diaries to the Past
Ø Identify, analyze and interpret primary sources
Ø Make generalizations about early human societies and how they met their needs through hunting, gathering and farming.
Ø Compare and contrast differing ideas, values and beliefs.
Ø Students will be writing a first person diary entry
telling about life in prehistoric times. They can pretend they are a Paleo-Indian for their first entries, then Prehistoric Puebloan (also known
as Anasazi) and
Ø Note: The name "Anasazi," is a Navajo word meaning "ancient enemy." Many anthropologists and historians are using the name Prehistoric or Ancestral Puebloan instead.
Ø Diary entries may vary, depending on the grade level of your class. For example, elementary students may write three to five sentences and draw accompanying illustrations for each section. Third through fifth grade students can write two - three paragraphs per section to describe their prehistoric life.
Ø Using photographs from pueblos, projectile points
and rock art in
Grade Level/Subject Area
Ø 3 – 8
Ø Teacher made sample diary
Ø Construction paper
Ø Lined or white paper
Ø Crayons and markers
Ø Photographs from NAU Special Collections and Archives
younger students, the distinction between the Prehistoric Puebloan and
1. Read the Flagstaff History For Kids! web page with the class, that tells about life here 11,000 year ago
for the Paleo-Indians. Discuss the Prehistoric
Puebloan at 2,500 years ago and the
2. Ask students questions about what life might have
been like in
Ø How did Paleo- Indians get their food?
Ø How did the
Ø What types of food did they eat?
Ø What did their clothes look like?
Ø What kinds of houses did each live in?
Ø Did they move around or stay in one place?
2. Use a chart to write down characteristics of each
civilization. Label one column
"Paleo-Indian" and "Prehistoric Puebloan" and "
3. Vocabulary lists or charts may be helpful for new
terms, especially for younger students. Words may include: Paleo (or
Paleolithic), Prehistoric Puebloan,
Student Project Instructions
1. Construct a 4 page diary with a cover page. Take one white blank piece of paper and one colored piece of paper. Fold both in half to make a booklet.
2. Paleo-Indian diary entry: Describe all parts of "your" daily life as a Paleo-Indian. Write about your house, clothing, daily activities and meals, and environment. Include one of your vocabulary words.
For example: What kind of house would you live in? A cave? A tent? How would you make your clothing? What animals would you hunt for food? What plants would you gather to eat? What might the weather be like?
3. Prehistoric Puebloan diary entry: Describe all parts of "your" daily life as an early puebloan. Write about your house, clothing, daily activities and meals, and environment.
For example: Describe how you might build a pit house. What kind of baskets do you make? What type of plants do you use? Do you use plants to make other objects?
For example: How did you build your adobe brick house? What toys do you have? Can you make them? What games do you play? How do you get your food? What plants do you grow in your garden? Do visitors come to your house?
5. Art: Study the photographs of Petroglyphs. Add your own rock art to your diary. On your
front cover, illustrate a Paleo-Indian scene. On your back cover, draw a scene
Extension: Arrange a field trip one of the many national
parks and monuments in
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
Ø Identify characteristics of Paleo-Indian life 11,000 years ago.
Ø Differentiate between the Prehistoric Puebloans (also known as Anasazi) and Publeo peoples.
Ø Compare and contrast the differences between the people in the three time periods.
Bremer, J. Michael (1989).
Burchett, Tim. (1990) Household organization at Wupatki Pueblo (Master's thesis, Northern Arizona University, December 1990).
Coder, Christopher (2000). An introduction to
Lamb, Susan (1995).
This lesson correlates to the following
FOUNDATIONS (Grades 1-3)
Describe the legacy and cultures of prehistoric American Indians in
BY LEVEL: ESSENTIALS (Grades 4-8) STANDARD 1: HISTORY
analyze the human experience through time, recognize the relationships of
events and people, and interpret significant patterns, themes, ideas, beliefs,
and turning points in
FOUNDATIONS (Grades 4-5)
1SS-E1. Understand and apply the basic tools of historical research, including chronology and how to collect, interpret, and employ information from historical materials.
Note: Historical research skills and analytical skills. These skills are to be learned and applied to the content standards for grades 4-5
1SS-E2. Describe the legacy and
cultures of prehistoric American Indians in