Cowley County area elementary school and middle school teachers attended a three-day archaeology education workshop last week at Cowley College.
Kansas public archaeologist Virginia Wulfkuhle, the state coordinator for Project Archaeology, conducted the workshop.
She was assisted by Gail Lundeen, a retired teacher and representative of the Project Archaeology Missouri Archaeological Society.
They presented the teachers with examples of Kansas-specific curricula that could be used in the classroom, including “the archaeology of a Wichita Indian shelter,” “the archaeology of early agriculture in Kansas,” and “the migration of the Pueblo people to El Cuartelejo.”
“We learned a lot to add to what we already have in the curriculum,” said Arkansas City Middle School seventh-grade social studies teacher Clint Lawson, one of 13 educators who attended the class.
Lawson said ACMS already includes lessons related to Kansas archaeology in the curriculum, particularly related to the archaeological site of Etzanoa in eastern Ark City.
Etzanoa was a large settlement occupied by ancestors of the Wichita tribe from about 1425 to the early 1700s, archaeologists say. Wichita State University archaeology professor Don Blakeslee has conducted archaeological surveys of Ark City during the past two summers.
On July 29, during a class exercise on the last day of the workshop, the teachers — in the role of students — considered a real-world application related to a hypothetical archaeological site.
They took the roles of different points of view on a potential housing development planned in the remains of a Native American settlement. The setting was at a city council meeting.
“This is a most agreeable group,” Lundeen said at the end of the exercise.
“They are willing to compromise,” Wulfkuhle said.
Udall Public School District fifth-grade teacher Linda Giddens said the workshop was very informative. “Our curriculum has a Native American component, relating to the Zuni and the Anasazi Indians,” she said.
“This will bring it closer to home.”
This information was provided by Etzanoa Conservancy board member Foss Farrar.