Archaeology, anthropology, history, paleontology.... Foreign words to many young people? Perhaps, or maybe they are just words that they must add to their vocabulary in order to pass a test or a class. That is not the motivation or interpretation most educators would want for those words. It would be far more desirable if the words could come alive, if the learner could participate or become actively involved with the principles of these areas within a context that has meaning for them. Such an opportunity is available through the use of "Exploring Oregon's Past: A Teacher's Activity Guide for Fourth Through Seventh Grades."

This activity guide provides background information and activities in Oregon prehistory, history, archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology. It provides an opportunity for young people to do some of the things that researchers do while gathering and interpreting data about Oregon's past. It allows students to appreciate some of the challenges earlier Oregonians had to overcome in order to survive and succeed. These skills and experiences can be transferred to new settings with new conditions for the learner. It is a hands-on, integrated, student-oriented resource for teachers.

I would recommend the use of the activity guide for teachers in history, science, language arts, art, and mathematics classes. Sections of the guide can be extracted and used individually or as part of a larger curriculum. I hope the teachers that use the activity guide feel free to use it as it best fits their needs for their students. Have fun, learn, grow, and enjoy!

Helen E. Woods, PhD
Associate Professor
School of Education
Western Oregon State College