Today while researching for a workshop for our upcoming Summer Technology Academy, I stumbled upon a great activity on the Smithsonian website called The Secret in the Cellar. The Secret in the Cellar is an interactive web comic that is based on an actual forensic case of a 17th century body that was recently discovered. Through graphics, photos, and activities, students begin to unravel a mystery of historical and scientific importance. Students can analyze artifacts, and examine the skeleton for clues to determine a cause of death.
The Secret in the Cellar is an amazing way to excite students about the history of Colonial life in America and the science behind archeology. This site takes students on a journey of discovery and critical thinking. Throughout the web comic, students will find links to additional articles about the actual forensic case and the display at the Smithsonian Museum.
There are so many ways to integrate this fabulous resource. You could use it in a computer lab where each student can explore at their own pace or maybe in a classroom center. It would even work as an ongoing activity that the teacher could come back to before or after a daily lesson during the unit on Colonial America like a cliff hanger! How cool would it be to encourage students to keep a record of their inferences about how the boy died as you touch base on the story..
My students have finished up (or at least will in the next two weeks) with our Technology Club. We focused on computer programming using Makey Makeys that were donated through Donors Choose. Below are some of the thank you notes my students did to send to one of our donors. A couple were so cute!
_Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools,
located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to
work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work
with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus,
I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler