Engage the rich cultural heritage of America’s first peoples
Explore ancient lifeways through our experiential learning sessions
Enhance your students’ science & math learning strategies
The Center for American Archeology’s Past Lifeways Program gives teachers and students the opportunity to immerse themselves in exploratory studies through our hands-on activity sessions. Through our archeology and the natural sciences curriculum, students apply their problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills to uncover important concepts about the prehistoric peoples and cultures of our region. Active student participation is integral to each learning session. Through each student’s discovery of the challenges associated with prehistoric life –and the adaptations made by prehistoric peoples—the student’s awareness of the incredible array of skills and knowledge required for successful living is heightened. By engaging these concepts and ideas through the framework of informal science education, each student gains familiarity and facility with the scientific process at work.
Our program is appropriate for students in grades 2-12. Teachers work with CAA staff to custom-design a field trip that not only complements your instructional goals and curriculum, but is also interesting and fun for your students. Our program is perfect for those teachers who wish to give their students an educational enrichment program that they’ll never forget!
Day Visit: A great way to sample our Past Lifeways activity sessions—pack your brown bag lunches and join us for a fun & educational day!
Select a minimum of two activities and a maximum of four activities for your visit
Session length is adjusted to meet your travel guidelines
Session content is tailored to meet your students’ learning level & interests
TUITION: $10/student (2 activities); $15/student (3 activities); $20/student (4 activities)
GROUP SIZE: minimum 15 students, min. cost $150.00
One Day-One Night Program: Join us for an overnight program—we recommend this program for those teachers who want to ensure that their students gain a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for prehistoric lifeways. Lengthen your ancient technology sessions and participate in activities unavailable to Day Visit participants, including our Night Hike, Fire Making, and Campfire & Storytelling!
Arrive mid-morning on Day 1; depart mid-morning on Day 2
Select your preferred activity sessions
Pack your sleeping bag & tooth brush!
TUITION: $110/student and $60/adult chaperone; fees include room, board, tuition, supplies. You provide transportation to and from Kampsville, and snacks.
GROUP SIZE: minimum 10 students
Multiple Day Residential Program: The ultimate Past Lifeways experience! Longer, in-depth ancient technology sessions, topical explorations (“Food Quest Day”, “Shelter Building Day”, etc.), detailed examination of social and cultural concepts & processes, and field trips to local sites of interest (e.g. ecology trip to Pere Marquette State Park, archeology trip to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site) are all essential components of our longer residential program. Perfect for your school’s Challenge Week, Mini Course, or Interim studies session.
Select length of program (minimum two night stay up to a full week program)
Design your course content with our instructors
Tailored around your travel plans; shuttle service to & from Alton Amtrak station and Lambert St. Louis International airport available for a fee
TUITION: $125/student/day, $65/chaperone/day; includes room, board, local transportation, tuition, supplies. You provide transportation to and from our area and snacks.
GROUP SIZE: minimum 10 students
SAMPLE ACTIVITY SESSIONS
The following provides a brief overview of our activity sessions; please call for a complete listing of our activity options, more information, or to discuss program ideas with our staff!
Basketry & Weaving: Instruction includes a discussion of indigenous basketry materials and dyeing processes, weaving techniques, and an introduction to the materials that weavers used to adorn their products. Students make their own baskets using Native American style weaving techniques.
Ceramics: Our ceramics activity provides a basic introduction to prehistoric pottery production—how methods changed through time, what tools were used, and ceramic form and function. Students make their own Native American style pinch pot using local clay; if time allows, students gather their own clay from a local creek. Depending upon program length, residential students can pit-fire their projects.
Flintknapping: Introduces the basics of stone tool technology—how were stone tools made? from what materials?-- as well as the types of tools discovered at archeological sites. Residential students also explore such topics as use-wear (what can we learn about past human behavior from how tools were used?) and material acquisition strategies. Students will make their own stone tool.
Village Daily Life: The many facets of ancient village life are explored through this session—structure building using replicated ancient tools, gathering of seasonally-available resources, planting & harvesting our Three Sisters garden, ground stone tool manufacture, cattail mat weaving, and much more! Residential students have the opportunity to complete larger projects, and more in-depth discussion of the integral role that family and community played in daily life.
Ecology Hike: Explore the unique geography and rich resources of the lower Illinois River valley with the eyes of a person searching for food, medicine, and other materials needed for daily life. Each hike, which can last from 1-3 hours, introduces students to the concept of “reading” the environment around you. Discussions of modern impacts on the environment, seasonal availability, and conservation are just a few of the topics covered on this interactive hike!
COME JOIN US!!!
If you’re interested in learning more about how the Past Lifeways Program can be integrated into your classroom curriculum, or if you would like to book a field trip, please contact our office:
(618) 653-4316 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm CST)