What Participants Said About Investigating a Shotgun House

Piloting Teachers’ Interview Comments After Completing the Unit

Mimi Becker, Burgin Independent Middle School, Mercer County, Kentucky says

“The students really responded to the human aspect of learning through a study of the household and the neighborhood. The students were crazy about these people.”

Angela Buis, Jones Park Elementary School, Casey County, Kentucky says

“The essays tie really well with the writing standards. The strongest elements are about the privy, working with the historic maps, and working with the census. The investigation aligns with the standards, and it is practical for use in an average classroom.”

“I like the idea of using our local history to teach historic concepts.”

“I have had several parents tell me that their kids love the archaeology unit.”

Lynn Lockard, Barbourville Middle School, Knox County, Kentucky says

“Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter provides a rich experience for students using primary sources. It supports social studies standards related to inquiry-based learning.”

Karla Johnson, Nancy Elementary School, Pulaski County, Kentucky says

“I wanted something that I knew would challenge my students. Participating in Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter allowed me to enrich my students in an area that was beneficial to me, being a social studies teacher, as well as for the students. A lot of the same concepts were content that I also covered in my social studies classes.”

“The students really got into it. They were sympathetic, and amazed that these real live people were still alive. The connection was very strong.”

“I used “Investigating a Shotgun House” to enter into a deep conversation on civil rights. I used DeRoode Street to make that connection, that civic connection.”

Piloting Students’ Interview Comments After Completing the Unit

Nancy Elementary School, Pulaski County, Kentucky 5th graders

“I would recommend this unit because it would be nice for kids to learn about the past. It also teaches a good lesson that you need to be there for everybody. Even if you don’t want to, you need to be there. If they need help, if they are feeling down, you need to cheer them up. All they had was each other.”

“I was nervous at first, but now I’m just having fun. We are sad it is done. I love everything about Project Archaeology. It was a ton of fun.”

“I would recommend this unit. It was a lot of fun. We learned a lot about the past, so I’m sure it would help social studies teachers. It was better than reading the textbook, because you actually get, like, activities and you get to move around.”

Barbourville Middle School, Knox County, Kentucky 6th graders

“It was interesting to study people who were rich and powerful in history, it was equally interesting to study “just normal people like how we are, so we can figure out how they lived and it could help us today.” When asked what normal meant, this student’s interview partner explained that it meant people like themselves who were “not important.” She then clarified: “It’s not that we’re not really important, but we’re not like everybody knows our names.” Both girls agreed that normal people “would not make it into a history book for people to study for decades…That’s what I mean by normal. The people that aren’t queens and kings.”

“It’s a fun activity. It’s some good learning. You got to learn about the people who lived in the 1930s and what people did for fun.”

Burgin Independent Middle School, Mercer County, Kentucky 7th graders

“It was pretty fun. I enjoyed it. I think a lot of people enjoyed it, in the class. It is pretty interesting to hear about the poor people rather than always hearing about the richer people.”

“If you think about it, it is not just learning about Davis Bottom. Davis Bottom is just one of the many neighborhoods that were like this, all around the country, in every state.”

“I would definitely recommend it for other schools, because there is a lot of hands-on. It is not just a teacher up there talking about archaeology, where someone can fall asleep or just not pay attention. The hands-on activities kept you active.”

“Not everybody wants to learn about the past. It’s like, ‘history, please, leave me alone!’ But if you get the stuff that people can be creative in, it makes them want to learn more about it.”