Lowry Pueblo in Canyons of the Ancients Natl Monument
13th century Ancestral Pueblo masonry, Canyons of the Ancients Natl Monument 13th century Ancestral Pueblo masonry, Canyons of the Ancients Natl Monument 13th century Ancestral Pueblo masonry, Canyons of the Ancients Natl Monument 13th century Ancestral Pueblo masonry, Canyons of the Ancients Natl Monument 13th century Ancestral Pueblo masonry, Canyons of the Ancients Natl Monument
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Family scene, Four Corners, 1129 AD

The Escalante Pueblo Curriculum is a free collection of 10 experience-based lesson plans and activities to help teachers and group leaders lead educational visits to the Anasazi Heritage Center or to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

Learn to lead meaningful, in-depth field trips to Ancestral Puebloan sites and archaeology museums.. These interdisciplinary activities address state education standards in science, social studies, art, and language; they also meet requirements for scouting badges and 4-H projects. The activities increase environmental awareness, stewardship values, and multi-cultural appreciation. Students also learn about Native American cultures and values through indoor and outdoor activities with a variety of themes from archaeology to bird watching. The curriculum is designed for 4th through 8th grade students, but it can be adapted for other ages and levels.Educators may conduct learning activities at the museum, or in the classroom before the field trip.

PDF -- 4.58 MB





FAMILY LIFE: Hear a brief story that guides the imagination to Dominguez Pueblo in 1120 A.D. Mentally place yourself in an Ancestral Puebloan family involved in daily activities.

Extension: Color the picture. In a Family Life story picture, color the artifacts seen during the museum visit. To develop vocabulary, label objects with correct terms such as mano and metate. The image can be enhanced by sketching artifacts seen in the museum but not already in the picture.



In 2008 our main exhibit gallery was substantially changed and improved. Gallery activity guide books from before 2007 -including the gallery section in the Escalante Curriculum- are no longer usable, and we have developed a  new gallery activity book.  For latest information, please contact the museum at (970) 882-5600 and ask to speak with an educator. We encourage you to customize your plan by visiting the museum before your class trip.


1. Artifacts past and present: List five of your favorite artifacts seen during the Gallery Walk or an informal tour of the main gallery. Brainstorm modern equivalents and list them next to each favorite gallery artifact. For example, a yucca sandal might be a tennis shoe or a ceramic storage jar could be a metal lunch box.

2. Artifact life history: Choose one favorite artifact from the gallery to research. Find out the object's construction materials, how the artifact was made, how it was used, and how it was discarded by studying exhibits, reading literature in the museum shop or library, or interviewing a museum staff person. This can be compared to the life history of a modern artifact (see above).

ANCIENT NEIGHBORS: Learn about ancient life at the Dominguez and Escalante Pueblos as you walk by and through the sites. Compare the two sites and relate them to your own house in a special notebook. Handle Escalante artifacts and view photos viewed to better imagine a time when the artifacts and sites were used by Ancestral Puebloans.

Extension: Draw a living pueblo. Sketch what Escalante or Dominguez archaeological sites might have looked like in ancient times after taking the Ancient Neighbors tour.

PUEBLO CULTURE- Experiencing the Lifeways of a People

Corn is Life: View the video Hopi: Corn is Life that shows the many ways the Hopi still use corn and its important role in their culture. Make bundles that contain precious heirloom varieties of seeds to take home and plant. Create a planting poem that expresses appreciation for corn.

1. Water and Soil Conservation in Hopi Terraces: Experiment with water and soil conservation using Hopi-style terraces in a sandbox.

2. The Boy Who Made Dragonfly: Hear this Zuni story retold by a museum educator. It is a testament to children's ability to survive in the face of hardship using spiritual guidance, traditional skills, and playful imagination. Create a story reminder or keepsake dragonfly made from cornhusks.

Sense of Place: Observe and sense the landscape. Give directions for travel from home to the Anasazi Heritage Center, first using a map and then using natural landmarks. Compare how people of today think about the landscape versus ancient people's way of thinking. Explore the relationship that the Ancestral Puebloans may have had with their special places and homeland.

1. Singing the Landscape: Create a song about the Escalante landscape that a trader/story teller may have used to expresses appreciation for a homeland and reveal its location.

2. Telling the Ute Mountain story: Memorize the Sleeping Ute legend and tell it to family members or friends. Then illustrate the story on a larger piece of paper.

3. Calculating Travel Time: After your field trip, your students can more accurately calculate the time that an Ancestral Puebloan needed to travel to Escalante from your school's location. An activity worksheet guides calculations.

THE NURTURING ENVIRONMENT - Discovering Relationships between People and Nature

Nature's Harvest: Record information from Escalante Pueblo trail signs about how Ancestral Puebloans used plants. Sketch the plants, then hear a story about an Ancestral Puebloan girl who learns about plant uses for her people.

1. Master plant chart: Make a master chart that displays all of the information all of the plant signs on the nature trail. Compare the information from different groups. For example, were some plants used for the same things? Do some look very similar? What was your favorite plant and why?

2. Plant study display: Make a bulletin board display of all the plant sketches made in your group with the ethnobotany and ecology information placed under each picture.

3.  Dichotomous key (Middle school): While looking at the plants during the field trip, use a dichotomous key to get more information. If used properly, the key will lead you to the related information on Blue Sky's Plant List under the key letter.

Feathered Friends: Learn about birds from a scientific and Puebloan perspective. Study and take notes on birds from books, then identify real birds near Escalante Pueblo. Make a master list of birds sighted using names from both the scientific and Puebloan classification system.

1. Artifacts from birds: Tour the Main Gallery and find artifacts made from bird parts.

2. Puebloan bird stories: Share whole Native American stories about birds. Identify the common story elements that make the story fun, interesting, and educational with the aid of a story review sheet.

3. Make your own bird story: Write and illustrate new stories about different birds incorporating the elements identified in the story review sheet mentioned above.

4. Bird songs: Learn and sing a Chickadee song, and create other bird songs.

ARCHAEOLOGY IN ACTION - Doing and Thinking Archaeology Science

Why Build on the Hill? (site inquiry): As a team, conduct a scientific inquiry about the location of Escalante Pueblo. Utilize simple environmental and site observations to gather data to support a group hypothesis.

Extension: Conservation Art. Learn to make sherd replicas as an alternative way to observe, record, and remember the beautiful artifacts seen on a site and actually have a souvenir to take home. Study a decorated ceramic sherd from the Escalante artifact kit or on display in the gallery. Sketch the sherd and record context information about where it was found and what it was before being broken. Reproduce the exact sherd design on thick leather, clay, or cardboard. Place artifact information on the back of the replica with tape or on a paper frame around it.

Context and Clues: Experience being a research archaeologist at Escalante Pueblo. Analyze the context of a group of artifacts found in a specific room. Handle real artifacts and study the official site map to infer the function of that room in ancient times.

Extension: Pithouse Interpretation. Think like a research archaeologist while in the Main Gallery. Analyze the context of the artifacts displayed in the pithouse to infer what activities occurred there.

Mapping and Measuring: Estimate the population of Escalante Pueblo by measuring the site's area and applying a standard formula to the totals.

Extension: Tree Harvesting. Calculate the amount of trees needed to cover the rooftops of Escalante Pueblo utilizing the sites area and room total. Then discuss the impact to the local environment that building the site may have had.