Doing Bodo without Bodo

Bringing Archaeology into Your Classroom

  • Benjamin Keyes MacEwan University
  • Zain Ali, Co-Presenter MacEwan University


The Alberta education system recently started teaching Archaeology and the history of Alberta before European contact to the grade 4 social studies curriculum. As children many of us gained our first experience of archaeology through pop culture icons like Indiana Jones. Such pop culture exposure does not accurately represent what archaeologists do or demonstrate the public value for archaeology. We have engaged children with real-world archaeologists in order to teach them how to approach the human past. Archaeologists teaching young students about archaeology both clarifies ambiguity and reveals exciting career paths that otherwise tend to escape public awareness. Students from MacEwan University, in collaboration with the Bodo Archaeological Society (BAS), have developed a program to take this educational journey to the next step. We will determine if there is value for educators to enlist specialists from the field. Using an Edukit (a collection of artefacts, tools and exercises developed by the BAS), we have developed and conducted a series of in-school field trip scenarios with a number of elementary schools in Edmonton, Alberta in the spring of 2016. Pre and Post test questionnaires and feedback forms were distributed to the children and educators, respectively, in order to test their knowledge before and after our program. With this program we hope to dispel many of the common misconceptions about archaeology and Alberta’s past, while establishing the benefit of having archaeologists participate directly in teaching children about their discipline.

Discipline: Anthropology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Zutter