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Right Here
on This Spot

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Teacher's Corner

Right Here on This Spot
Written By Sharon Hart Addy
Illustrated By John Clapp


The purpose of this area is to act as a resource, and eventually an exchange, where teachers using Right Here on This Spot in their classroom can find lesson plans, ideas, and materials that they can then use or adapt for their students

Over the next couple months, I'm going to be providing more detailed descriptions and printable materials for the items listed below.

If you're a teacher, and you've used our book in your classroom, please email me as I'd love to hear about, and if possible, post your idea on this page!  (Full credit will be given of course) 

Eureka(Math / 2nd-6th)
"Chip's Ahoy!" Archaeology 
(Social Science / 1st-3rd)
"Right Here on Your Spot"
(Language Arts / 3rd-6th)
Crayola Archaeology
(Social Science / 1st-6th)
The Pickle-Jar Test
(Science / 3rd-6th)
Point of View Stories
(Language Arts / 3rd-6th)
"What am I?" 
(Language Arts / 2nd-4th)
The Button Bag
(Math / K-3rd)
A Timeline Chain
(Language Arts / 1st-4th)
The Archaeology Cake 
(Social Science / 2nd and up)
What / When?
(Reading Comprehension / 1st -3rd)
Class Mural
(Art / 1st and up)
Cloze Reading
(Language Arts / 1st and up)
Local Step book
(Language Arts / 1st and up)

Sharon and a friend of hers have also put together a great handout detailing additional activities for classroom use.   Eventually, I'll post them here in a similar format to what's here.  In the meantime, you can view them here:

Class Ideas    (Check out the "Glacier" experiment, it sounds like a fun one)
Theme Ideas for Classroom Use

Eureka!   (Math / 2nd-6th)
A math/coordinates/compass game--for all ages depending on options

A takeoff of the popular game "Battleship!" where two students are given coordinate grids on which they secretly place "artifacts" from the book such as the arrowhead, the button, or larger artifacts (several squares in length) like the mastodon bone.

Students take turns guessing locations using the coordinates of the grid.  On "misses" the other student has to give them a direction such as "left/right/up/down" for younger grades, or "North/South/East/West" for older kids.  Winner is the first to find all the artifacts.

Chip's Ahoy! I'm an Archaeologist!  (Social Science-Science / 1st-3rd)
What's it like to be an archaeologist?   Here's a chance for kids to get an idea of what it's like.

Each student is given a "Chip's Ahoy!" cookie or something similar.   Using a toothpick students must "excavate" the "artifacts" (the chocolate chips) from the "soil" without damaging them.  This assignment is intended to spark a discussion of why it's important for archaeologists to be so careful, how they learn about things by being so careful, etc.  Students might be asked to imagine the chips are "dinosaur bones" or another captivating thing. 

"Right Here on Your Spot"
(Language Arts / 3rd-6th)
What has happened where you are?   A research project for individuals or groups.
This project could take several forms.  Students could be assigned to research a particular period of local history in the library, either in groups, individually, or as an entire class, to discover what kinds of changes have taken place in their own area.   Students could write up their results or make presentations, depending on the time available.  The class could then pool their research, perhaps reporting it chronologically, to give some sense of the history of their "spot".

Crayola Archaeology (Social Science / 1st-6th)
Excavate a drawing...what did you find?

Each student completes a drawing, using crayons, of several objects that archaeologists might find during a dig, either objects from the book or others.   Depending on age level, students could also be instructed to create colored layers of "strata" and draw objects in particular layers.  After the drawings are completed, they could be blacked out with India Ink and exchanged, giving each student the opportunity to conduct a "dig" to find the objects. 

The Pickle-Jar Test (Science / 3rd-6th)
A striking visual experiment demonstrating soil properties and how strata are formed.

Fill a medium to large pickle jar with clear water.  Take a random soil sample from your area and add it to the jar.  The sample should be large, but still be small enough to be fully suspended in the water when the jar is shaken vigorously.  After sealing the lid tightly, shake the jar as mentioned until then entire sample is suspended in the water.  At this point, set the jar on a table or shelf where it will not be disturbed for several days.  Over time the soil will gradually "separate" and settle into strata showing it's distinct components (sand, clay, silt) and their relative proportions.

Point of View Stories
(Language Arts / 3rd-6th)
An exercise in imagination for young writers.

Ask students to select an inanimate object or animal from the story and retell the story from that point of view.  Some examples might use the civil war button, the magnifying glass, the mastodon bone, the arrowheads, the campfire, the moon, the trees and leaves, or even the shovel.

"What am I?" 
(Language Arts / 2nd-4th)
Riddles and clues, an interactive guessing game.

Students take a strip of construction paper and fold one-third over to cover the middle third of the strip.   Inside (the hidden third) they draw a picture of one of the objects from the book.   On the outside part of the strip, they write three "clues" as to what object is hidden.  Then the students have to walk around and try and guess who has which object.

The Button Bag (Math / K-3rd)
A fun, open-ended exercise in gathering and organizing facts, just like a scientist does.
Small groups of students are given bags containing several dozen buttons.  Then using methods analogous to those used by archaeologists to make sense of their findings, the students have to sort the buttons into sets by their similar and contrasting characteristics.  Two holes, or four holes?  Circular, square-ish, or other shape?  Large or small?  Colored?  Plastic or Natural?  etc.   Students could study the buttons as fractions, or as "sets", "subsets" and "unions", and/or if suitable for their age, could also graph their results by group. 

A Timeline Chain
(Language Arts / 1st-4th)
Who, What, When?  Students have to organize a timeline of events.

Students could be given strips of construction paper and directed to write out some of the different events of the book, one to a strip.  Then they could staple the links into chains in the proper sequence order.  Depending on age group and the complexity of the sequence, students could discuss the sequence or help each other in small groups to ensure events are properly ordered.

The Archaeology Cake  (Social Science / 2nd and up)
A fun, and filling, "excavation".  Archaeology on a small, and edible, scale.

Bake a three layer  cake in rectanglar pans. Use three different kinds of cake.  Spice cake, chocolate cake, sponge cake, etc.  Scatter various objects through the different layers to represent "finds" for your team of archaeologists.  Maybe some objects are only found in the middle layer...what could that mean?  The top layer of the cake could be decorated to look like a hilly meadow, farmland with a road passing through it, a river valley, etc.  Colored frosting, brown sugar or cookie crumbs could be used to represent different layers between the strata.

Any object that could survive baking could be used.  Rock candy, gummy bears/dinosaurs, licorice strings, gumdrop shapes (anything that would suggest buried treasure of some kind).  Candy corn could be arrowheads.  Round Certs Mints could represent eggs.  Toasted coconut could represent brown grass or weeds. Tinted green coconut could be used for fresh grass.   Chocolate rocks can be placed on frosting.  Brown sugar can be used as dirt .   Lifesavers could represent old tires and could lead to talks about the conservation and the environment.

Grid off the cake and "assign" each student a section.  Have students sift through the "dirt" with a toothpick the way real archaeologists do to find what is in the layers.  Using the toothpick to separate the items, layer by layer, students could record what was found in their section, in which layer of strata.  By comparing their notes as a class, the class could begin to piece together probable explanations for the history of their "area". 

What / When? (Reading Comprehension / 1st -3rd)
Students cooperate, discuss, and create a timeline.

After reading the book, the class could be asked to list the different things that happened in the book and sequence the events in the right order.  This could be done as a group or the students could be asked to work on it individually depending on grade level. 

Class Mural (Art / 1st and up)
"Timely" classroom decoration.

Students could select a few objects to draw from the book and then have to place them on a mural board according to where (which layer of strata) they think they would belong.  Older objects at the bottom, younger objects at the top.  The strata could be portrayed by the different colors of the paper used as a background.

Cloze Reading (Language Arts / 1st and up)
A language exercise.

Selections of text from the story could be used for Cloze exercises where certain key words are omitted.  The students would have to supply the missing word.

Local Step book (Language Arts / 1st and up)
A book illustrating "stages".
A step book could be created using the events of the book.  The student could write the events or selected lines from the text and make pictures to go along with them, or they could be asked to make a step book of their own, illustrating any kind of process.   How they get ready in the morning, what their day is like, a step book illustrating the members of their family from oldest to youngest, etc.