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Create a Stratigraphy Diagram

Inspired by Carmen Sandiego Episode™ 2, kids create stratigraphy diagrams based on the years of their lives.

Discover Archaeology!

Kids become young archaeologists, just like the one Carmen meets in Episode 2. Using the law of superposition, kids create “stratigraphy” diagrams of their lives, imagining important events as “eras” that build up over time, just like layers of soil and rock.

Activity Instructions

Kids create stratigraphy diagrams based on the years of their lives.

Estimated Time: 45 minutes
Materials Needed: Examples of archaeological stratigraphy diagrams, writing materials, drawing materials

  1. Explain that archaeologists such as the one Carmen meets in Morocco use stratigraphy and the law of superposition to figure out when past events happened in relation to each other and when different artifacts originated. Stratigraphy is the analysis of layers of soil or rock. The law of superposition says that materials from more recent times are on top of materials from longer ago.
  2. Show your kids examples of archaeological stratigraphy diagrams, and explain how archaeologists find artifacts from different time periods that give clues about the past.
  3. Have kids construct a diagram showing the “stratigraphy” of their lives. They should draw artifacts that give clues about their life in each year or era of their lives. The most recent year should be the top layer of each diagram.
  4. Later, consider having kids use their diagrams to help generate ideas for personal narrative writing.