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LAW Summer Teacher Workshop

In 2011 the LAW Steering Committee implemented a new training opportunity to enhance LAW’s educational impact. On July 11 we held a free, one-day, pre-event Teacher Workshop at the Hemlock Lodge of Natural Bridge State Park in Slade, Kentucky. The goal was to provide guidance to teachers about how they can best use the event to its greatest educational potential. In particular, the workshop highlighted the educational resources developed by the LAW Steering Committee over the previous several years.

Corn husk dolls
Corn husk dolls created by 2012 Teacher Workshop participants.

Eight teachers from Breathitt, Powell, Pulaski, Rowan, and Wolfe counties participated in the professional development opportunity. Mr. Youngdo Lee, a master teacher from Fayette County’s Glendover Elementary School and long-time veteran of Living Archaeology Weekend, joined several LAW Steering Committee members in facilitating the activities.

Teachers participated in a number of interactive sessions during the workshop: reviewing LAW educational resources, completing a LAW lesson plan, brainstorming how to use LAW as an outdoor classroom, previewing the upcoming event, and trying hands-on LAW activities like spear throwing and moccasin making. Mr. Lee shared helpful tips and insights on how to incorporate Living Archaeology Weekend into the fifth-grade social studies curriculum. The participants found the workshop to be very beneficial, noting in particular that they learned more about the archaeology of Kentucky, better understood the teacher resource packet, and gained valuable insights from group discussions. One teacher wrote, “I cannot wait to bring these lessons and activities back to my school!” Workshop attendees were given priority scheduling for the 2011 event.

Teacher Workshop Participants
Participants and facilitators at the 2012 LAW Teacher Workshop. (Front) Tressa Brown, Wayna Adams. (Back) Stefanie Wood, Tonya Sain, Youngdo Lee, Gwynn Henderson, Daphne Payne, Hoskins Carroll, Elizabeth Cook. (Not Pictured) Darlene Applegate.

Building on the success of the inaugural workshop, the LAW Steering Committee organized the second annual Teacher Workshop at Natural Bridge State Park on July 9, 2012. The focus of the teacher workshop again was on how teachers can make the most of their LAW experience with their students.

Attendees were from Wolfe, Menifee, Scott, Fayette, and Henry counties. Mrs. Tonya Sain served as the master teacher facilitator this year, sharing tips from her own experiences using Living Archaeology Weekend in her curriculum before, during, and after the event. Mrs. Sain's student, Hannah Brooks, won the first-annual LAW Student Essay Contest in 2011. ​

In collaboration with LAW Steering Committee facilitators, the teachers completed an activity called "Why the Past is Important" and a lesson plan on "Chronology: The Time of My Life." Teachers who attended LAW previously provided valuable feedback for improving the event, and we reviewed the LAW Teacher Resource Packet with teachers new to LAW. The teachers especially enjoyed hands-on activities in which their students will participate: using pump drills, throwing spears, making cordage, and making corn husk dolls. We previewed the 2012 event, as well.

Education posters
One of two displays of educational resources at the 2012 Teacher Workshop.

In addition to the LAW Teachers Packet, the workshop participants received a LAW tote bag filled with ​US Forest Service goodies and a copy of Kentuckians Before Boone, a book that describes prehistoric farming lifeways in central and eastern Kentucky from the Kentucky Archaeological Survey. As in 2011, workshop attendees were offered priority scheduling for the 2012 event.

Click here to download the schedule for the 2012 LAW Teacher Workshop.

LAW Teacher Workshops in the Future: We Need Teacher Feedback

The LAW Steering Committee is considering options for changing the Teacher Workshop in the future. Instead of focusing the workshop on how teachers can prepare for attending the event with their students, we would like to focus on how teachers can use LAW to meet classroom educational goals year-round. In this way we can assist teachers, and their students, who are unable to physically attend the event. Further, instead of having the workshop at Natural Bridge State Park in eastern Kentucky, we may hold it in a more central location, we may rotate the location, and/or we may develop ways for teachers to participate remotely, such as a Google Hangout or Skype.

We welcome feedback from teachers on how best to organize and deliver the LAW Teacher Workshop. Please use the Contact Us button below to email us your suggestions and preferences. We would like to develop the most effective workshop possible, and reach as many teachers as possible.

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