Thursday, August 27, 2009

Today we worked on a lesson for a Fort Mose day in September. We decided to recreate a site with edibles: cookie crumbs and cake mix made soil, rice cereal was shells and peanut butter for clay. What better way to teach kids about site construction?

First, we started small. Sarah had the staff make our own personal stratification. In clear plastic cups, each of us experimented with the assortment of goodies we purchased for the activity. Sarah then tried to flood her site with water in order to have things shift and blend, as soil, artifacts and shells do over time with the help of rain. We decided less is more when it came to the water.

Next it was time for the first official practice site. Sarah choose a site map with a post hole feature. One important outcome we wanted was distinct stratification. We built the site in a clear baking dish so the layers would be visible from the sides. First went in the prehistoric layer: chocolate cake mix soil blended with shells and tiny sprinkle pottery sherds. Then it was a layer of clay: peanut butter patted out with cake mix and laid flat on top. Next the post hole and its packed shell support: a stack of cookies and rice cereal. After that there was a layer of dark soil and construction garbage to fill in the moat: crumbled chocolate cookies, rice cereal and chocolate cake mix. Finally, a sterile layer of top soil and a bit of grass: plain chocolate cake mix and green sprinkles.

The first site did not turn out proportionate. The pan was too long and not deep enough. We tried a second site with a smaller and deeper meat loaf pan and it worked out well. We applied what we'd learned from the first site and made the second look even better.
The experiment was a success....and pretty fun and tasty!

Join us at Fort Mose on September 26th from 10 to 11 am to help us reconstruct a third site!!

-Emily Jane

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