Below is an excerpt from a note from one of our Docents. She was so impressed with the 6th grade students from Mercy High School who came for a Passport to the Past tour. As she describes, the preparation work they did with “Alex the Archaeologist” was reflected in their tour experience. Please read on to hear about a school tour at MAG from a Docent’s perspective.
We started our tour at the Ancient Middle East Gallery, which consists of cases, filled with ancient artifacts. Normally, this is not the most exciting part of PP tour, but immediately the students were very engaged with the objects, which surprised me a bit. Of course they had studied Nomadic Cultures and early settlement along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and things like cuneiform tablets. But they were really interested in all the objects in the cases, where they came from, how old they were, what were they used for, why did we have a broken bowl, etc. They were very impressed with the idea that the things they were looking at had been used by ancient peoples in their everyday lives.
The students told me that they had been visited by Alex the Archaeologist, how much they enjoyed it and how much they learned. I can only conclude that the students’ interest in and excitement about the objects in the cases and the objects they saw throughout the tour was a direct result of their experience with Alex the. His visit really gave the artifacts meaning beyond what I was telling them and enhanced the whole MAG Passport to the Past Tour.
I hope more students have the “Alex” experience, because I saw first hand how enriching it was and how it complemented and strengthened the MAG tour experience.
SPECIAL NOTE: Our newest eBook, Ancient Greece: Exploring Ancient Artifacts with Alex the Archaeologist has been published and is designed for classroom use by grades 6–12. The book, which meet Common Core standards, is available free from the iTunes Store. Read more about this book and also our first eBook, Ancient Egypt: Exploring Ancient Artifacts with Alex the Archaeologist, here.