Before You Go!

Kentucky archaeology, Native American, American Indian, Woodland Indians, Living Archaeology Weekend

Over the past several years, members of the LAW Steering Committee and other volunteers visited classrooms to help prepare students and teachers for the event. Since 2012, dwindling resources have made it impractical for us to visit classrooms prior to LAW. We apologize for this. We know research shows student learning benefits from pre-visits or other similar preparatory activities prior to field trips or visits to outdoor classroom settings.

So we’ve done the next best thing.

This web page highlights selected content, lessons, and online materials from the LAW Teachers Packet we recommend for teachers and students to watch, read, do, or review Before You Go!


Whether you have half an hour or half a day, we encourage teachers and students to take some time to

     WATCH…one or two short videos and the LAW Demonstrators

     Preview Powerpoint

     EXPLORE…one of the lessons

     READ… together one of the articles

     REVIEW…some words in a glossary

This preparation will ensure that students get the most out of their  visit to Gladie Creek and LAW 2015. See you there!



The LAW Steering Committee has developed a Powerpoint for teachers that introduces the event. Several short videos (from under a minute to no longer than 6 minutes) are on Youtube or The Archaeology Channel. They range from brief introductions to what you will see at LAW, to demonstrators describing their skills at bow making, to scenes of various LAW demonstrators that provide the context for understanding central Kentucky’s prehistoric mound-building peoples.



The 2015 LAW Demonstrators Preview Powerpoint illustrates the prehistoric (American Indian) and historic (pioneer) demonstrators and recreators who will be in attendance at this year's event. Click here to download the 2015 LAW Demonstrators Preview. (Because of the large size of the Powerpoint file, we had to convert it to a compressed pdf document, which is 2.3 MB in size.)


Program 1 Living Archaeology Weekend 2010 at Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
Length: 1:42 min.

Kentucky Archaeological Survey archaeologist Eric Schlarb introduces the activities and purpose of Living Archaeology Weekend held at the Gladie Historic Site in the Daniel Boone National Forest on September 24-25, 2010.

Program 2 Living Archaeology Event
Length: 46 sec.

Former Gladie Visitor Center Director Jessica Santangelo describes Living Archaeology Weekend at the Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Program 3 Kentucky Longhunter at Living Archaeology Weekend 2010
Length: 5:02 min.

Eric Schlarb interviews archaeologist and historical recreator Pat Trader who portrays a longhunter from Kentucky's frontier period.

Program 4 Bow Making at Living Archaeology Weekend 2010, Kentucky
Length: 3:48 min.

Matt Weatherholtz demonstrates the manufacture and use of bows at Living Archaeology Weekend held at the Gladie Historic Site in the Daniel Boone National Forest on September 24-25, 2010.

Program 5 Gladie Visitor Center and Gladie Cabin
Length: 2:51 min.
A visit to the educational exhibits at the Gladie Visitor Center and the nearby Gladie Cabin in Powell County in May 2011.


The Adena People: Moundbuilders of Kentucky
Length: 6 min.

Kentucky’s ancient Adena Culture is renowned for its massive burial mounds and exquisite art works.  In this video, Dr. Berle Clay examines the search for rare Adena settlements, which could tell archaeologists much abut the lifeways of American Indians who lived in Kentucky over 2000 years ago. Scenes of various LAW demonstrators provide the context for understanding these prehistoric mound-building peoples.


Go to the Education - Content and Lessons web page or pull out your LAW Teachers Packet notebook or CD. Then explore a lesson. Or select an essay to read and a glossary to review. Here are our suggestions.



Lesson 2 - Chronology: The Time of My Life. In this lesson, students compare and contrast personal timelines with the chronological information contained in a stratified archaeological site. They also consider how vandalism and looting impact archaeological sites and our understanding of the past. Click here to download the Chronology lesson.​

- OR -

Print out the poster, Red River Gorge: A World Hearth of Plant Domestication, which summarizes and illustrates the native plants, like sunflower and goosefoot, domesticated in the Red River Gorge by prehistoric native peoples. Compare these to the plants we grow today. Click here to download the Plant Domestication poster.

Living Archaeology Weekend, Kentucky archaeology, Woodland Indians, archaeology methods


Teachers, read Living in the Red River Gorge: An Archaeological Story, then share with your students three of the most amazing facts you’ve learned. Click here to download the Living in the Red River Gorge content piece, which is written for an audience of teachers. In addition, read A Word About the National Register of Historic Places and the Red River Gorge, then share with your students three of the most amazing facts you've learned about the National Register and the listed places in the Gorge. Click here to download A Word About the NRHP content piece, which is written for an audience of teachers.

Better yet, ask students to take turns reading aloud sections of Stories From Dry Places: The Red River Gorge's Prehistoric Rockshelters. This essay about the region’s unique archaeological sites of the prehsitoric period was prepared especially for fifth-grade readers. Then, discuss what it might have been like to live in a rockshelter. Click here to download the Prehistoric Rockshelters Student Reading Revised 2012 content piece for students.

- OR -

Read the essay, A Word About Longhunters, to your class. Discuss how frontier life was similar and different to our lives today. Click here to download the Longhunters content piece. Review selected vocabulary words from LAW Glossaries so students can ask Pat Trader questions when they see him at Gladie. Click here to download the LAW Glossaries document.

- OR -

At their desks, ask students to read the Cherokee story, The Legend of the Keetoowah Cherokee Cornhusk Doll, and the Shawnee story, Why The Deer Has a Short Tail. Then, as a class, discuss each story’s setting, characters, main problem, solution, and moral. Click here to download the Cornhusk Doll content piece, compliments of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma. Click here to download the Why the Deer Has a Short Tail content piece, reproduced from the Journal of American Folklore.



LAW educational materials may be downloaded and reproduced for educational purposes. Unless otherwise noted, all educational materials are copyrighted
by the Living Archaeology Weekend Steering Committee.​
kentucky before boone poster

Kentucky Before Boone Poster by Jimmy A. Railey (1990).  Detailed black and white line drawings on this poster illustrate all aspects of Kentucky prehistory from the very earliest hunter-gatherers to the most recent native farmers.  It includes time-specific scenes, activity scenes, and technology scenes.  An accompanying fact sheet summarizes Kentucky prehistory. Available from the Kentucky Heritage Council, 300 Washington Street, Frankfort, KY, 40601.  Grade: K-12.  Cost: Free.