Lesson Plan Title : Putting It Back Together

Age Range: Grade 3 through Grade 5 (Elementary)

Overview and Purpose: The student will be able to compare putting a puzzle together that has missing pieces to putting broken artifacts back together at an archeological site.

Objective: The student will be able to taste food from different cultures.


Paper bags

Several small puzzles

Teacher-created worksheet


Explain to the students that they are going to try to put some puzzles together. Then dump two or three small puzzles into a paper bag and shake it up. Repeat with as many bags as you need. Divide the groups into pairs and give them each a bag that has two or three small puzzles in it. Tell them they can only dump half the pieces out. Then they have to put the puzzles together and tell their classmates what the picture is.

Have students complete a worksheet as they are completing the project. The worksheet can ask them questions about the problems they are running into, what the most difficult part of the activity is, if they can tell what the puzzle is a picture of and why (or why not).

Come back together and compare the activity to an archeological dig. Talk about the struggles the students faced and help them realize that scientists face similar problems when they are learning about ancient civilizations.

Wrap Up:

To take this lesson step further, you could bring in a small tub or "kiddie" pool, fill it partially with sand, and bury several pieces of household objects (broken jewelry, toy, figurine, utensils, tools, newspaper clipping, etc.) in the sand. Instruct your students to dig up one "artifact" and guess what it is. You can then have them make up a story about who may have left that particular "artifact" behind and how they may have used it.