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Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: Exploring Geoarchaeology

Laura Guertin, Penn State University Delaware County
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1) How is climate connected to geoarchaeology? Explain.

2) List as many "tools" you can think of that would be useful to a geoarchaeologist and describe why it would be of use.

3) Is geoarchaeological research needed? Based on what you've read, explain your thoughts and opinions. How can this work help us (or does it)?

Student Responses:

See the Just-in-Time Teaching page on assessment for information and ideas on how to evaluate student responses.

Even after reading the suggested articles, students will ask for a definition of geoarchaeology "in layman's terms." Students find this topic interesting and fascinating, but "sometimes it does get a little confusing about what happened when, it seems like everyone has a different opinion about dates and such. It seems like every time I read something it proves someone else's theory wrong?" This can lead to an excellent discussion of scientific methods, field research, accuracy of dating techniques, etc.

References and Notes:

Articles that students may be assigned to read for this set of questions include (but are not limited to):

Geotimes Geoarchaeology Highlights, July 2002 (more info) .

Geotimes Geoarchaeology Highlights, July 2003 (more info) .

Geotimes Geoarchaeology Highlights, July 2004 (more info) .

Geotimes article Geoarchaeology: The Past Comes to Light (more info) , February 2004.

The use of Just-in-Time Teaching is discussed in detail on the JiTT Starting Point page.

Additional information on JiTT is available in the book:


Geoscience:Paleontology, Geology:Historical Geology, Geomorphology

Resource Type

Activities:Classroom Activity:Just in Time Teaching

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Time/Earth History, Surface Processes


Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Geomorphology, Paleontology