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Project Archaeology in Oklahoma

Project Archaeology is a national, joint program of the Bureau of Land Management and Montana State University that produces curricular materials about archaeology for K-12 educators. Created collaboratively by archaeologists and educators, these curricular materials are based on real archaeological sites and aim to teach students four enduring understandings:

  1. Understanding the past is essential for understanding the present and shaping the future.
  2. Learning about cultures, past and present, is essential for living in a pluralistic society and world.
  3. Archaeology is a systematic way to learn about past cultures. 
  4. Stewardship of archaeological sites and artifacts is everyone’s responsibility. 

Of all their current curricula, the most popular is their Project Archaeology: Investigation Shelter (2009). This unit teaches students about other cultures and people in the past by studying the houses they used to live in and the objects they left behind. With a regional modules and supporting lessons, the curriculum is taught in classrooms across the United States from Alaska to Florida!

Logo with two hands and the words Project Archaeology

Although teachers across the nation have been using Project Archaeology: Investigation Shelter (2009) lessons for nearly a decade, there has never been a regionally-specific curriculum for teachers in the Southern Plains. 2020 is the year for Oklahoma! With funding from the Bureau of Land Management and help from archaeologists and teachers, OKPAN is creating lessons and running pilot studies for an Investigating Shelters unit that is specific to Oklahoma panhandle prehistory.

Students will be able to examine primary sources, maps, artifacts, and archaeological features to explore details of prehistoric agriculture at a site in the state of Oklahoma. These lessons will be tied to Oklahoma's content standards and will include formative and summative assessments to check for understanding.

To hear updated information about our upcoming unit, please email If you're interested in using these kinds of lessons in your classroom before the Oklahoma unit is developed, you can purchase units from other geographic regions here

Cover of the Investigating Shelters Unit