Troy Junior High students dig local history


TROY — Troy Junior High School eighth graders wasted no time in digging into the new school year.

This week, eighth grade students studied tables full of historic and ancient artifacts and set out to identify them in Justin Crews’ social studies class.

Working as Ohio archaeologists, students had to identify the objects, their purpose and how important they were to the people who used the items within the four distinct cultures who once lived in Ohio.

“We just showed them how (an archaeological dig) works and then they come in and do the hard part of analyzing what this stuff is and what it’s made of and what story it tells us about these four culture groups,” said Crews, noting the four groups were the Pre-Columbian Native American Adena culture, succeeded by the Hopewell culture, Fort Ancient and the “mystery” European cultures in Ohio.

Crews said the students look forward to the hands-on learning activity to identify nearly 80 items and how it fit in the lives of those who lived in the area centuries ago. Many of the items were from the late educator Dennis Dyke’s personal collection and lives on in the classroom today.

“It gets them up and gets them moving and working together, which they like. For us, some of this stuff is real and thousands of years old and used by these people… but they have a real opportunity here. They are probably never going to find a collection this big and be able to actually hold stuff that’s thousands of years old,” Crews said. “It’s about historical thinking. They may not have the right answers, that’s not the whole object of it. It’s a way to see if they can reason their way through it and give us reasonable answers — they are pretty good at that.”

Christian Block, 13, was trying to figure out what some of the relics were originally made of during the class.

“I like seeing all the stuff, like bones, and how they made stuff out of things they had to make what they needed,” Block said.

Madison Dixon, 13, said,” We are able to learn about artifacts from the past that we may not have known existed.”

Dixon also said she realized being able to handle some of the items was a privilege.

“A lot of kids don’t get the chance to really study and look at this stuff, but we have the opportunity to do this up close,” she said.

Audrey Flannery, 13, said she’s found arrowheads in a creek before and her grandparents have found items on their farm that Native American tribes used to tan leather.

“It’s just fun to work on figuring out how they used this stuff every day in their lives,” Flannery said.

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Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy Junior High School eighth grade students including from left Reyna Bonnett, Cailyn Starnes and Laci Haller have been engaged in assessing native artifacts this week at the school. According to TJHS American History teacher Justin Crews students have been determining a story for each of the exhibits displayed throughout the classroom at the school.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170906aw_TJHS_6925.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy Junior High School eighth grade students including from left Reyna Bonnett, Cailyn Starnes and Laci Haller have been engaged in assessing native artifacts this week at the school. According to TJHS American History teacher Justin Crews students have been determining a story for each of the exhibits displayed throughout the classroom at the school.
Eighth graders use critical thinking skills to identify artifacts

By Melanie Yingst

myingst@troydailynews.com

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews