Past Lifeways Program


Students on the Past Lifeways Ecology Hike

Past Lifeways Programs emerge students experiential, STEM-based curriculum that explores activities of past peoples and the science of archeological investigations. Students engage in concepts of archeology, ecology, biology, and geology, while developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Past Lifeways Programs are for students in grades 2-12. The CAA staff will work with teachers and supervisors to choose activity sessions that complement instructional goals and meet core standards. Past Lifeways programs are an educational experience that will help students contact to science. This is an experience students will never forget!

Program Options

Student perfecting her stone tool

Day Visit: Engage in two to four Past Lifeways Activity Sessions

  • Select the activity sessions that work with your curriculum
  • Tailor session content to meet your student’s learning level and travel guidelines
  • Pack your lunches and join us for an educational day of STEM-concepts!

Tuition rate: $10 per student for 2 activities; $15 per student for 3 activities; $20 per student for 4 activities

Group size: minimum of 15 students; minimum cost of $150

Plan your trip!



One Day-One Night Program: Join us for an overnight program. This program allows students to gain a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for prehistoric lifeways by lengthening the activities!

  • Engage in more involved learning!
  • Participate in activities unavailable to single day visits: Night Hikes, Fire Making, and Campfire & Storytelling.

Tuition rate: $125 per student and $50 per adult chaperone. Tuition includes room, board, and supplies. You provide transportation to and from Kampsville and snacks.

Group size: minimum of 8 students.

Plan your trip!



Multi-Day Program: The ultimate Past Lifeways experience, with in-depth sessions. Multi-day programs can include field trips to local ecological and archeological sites and more in-depth activity sessions.

  • Select length of activities, sessions, and field trips
  • Design content to work with your student’s needs and your curriculum
  • Perfect for your school’s Challenge Week, Mini Course, or Interim studies session
  • Shuttle service to and from area transportation hubs is available for additional cost

Tuition rate: $125 per student per day and $60 per adult chaperone per day. Tuition includes room, board, local transportation, and supplies.

Group size: minimum of 8 students

Plan your trip!


Past Lifeways Activity Sessions


pl_600px_floranorthclaypotteryBasketry & 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 American Indian weaving techniques.

Ceramics: Ceramics activity provides an introduction to prehistoric pottery production—how production changed through time, what tools people used, and ceramic form and function. Students make their own pinch or coil pots using local clay; if time allows, students gather their own clay from a local creek.

Flintknapping: Introduces stone tool technology: How were stone tools made? From what materials? What types of tools are discovered at archeological sites? Multi-Day students also explore such topics as use-wear and material collection. Students make their own stone tool.

Students collecting cattails for weaving

Village Daily Life: The many facets of ancient village life are explored through this session—structure building using replicated ancient tools, gathering seasonally available resources, planting and harvesting, ground stone tool manufacture, cattail mat weaving, and more! Multi-Day students complete larger projects, and have more in-depth discussion of the 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 topics covered on this interactive hike!

Join us! If you’re interested in learning more about the Past Lifeways Program, or if you would like to book a field trip, please contact our office: (618) 653-4316 or


Plan Your Group’s Visit

If you are interested in attending our program, contact the CAA Director of Education, or 618-653-4316. All visiting groups must complete a contract with the CAA before your trip.

The following forms must be completed, signed, and returned before you and your group can participate in our program:

How Do I Get To Kampsville? Check out our location and download helpful instructions on getting to our facilities in Kampsville.

What Should I Wear And Pack? Download the gear list.