We live near the old Erie Canal, so over the years the kids and I have been to lots of Erie Canal museums, visited abandoned locks and been on a bunch of boat trips on the Erie Canal.
So when my homeschool group planned a field trip to Chittenango Landing, an Erie Canal museum, I figured it would be more of the same. But it was a unique and interesting field trip, and quite educational. The site is an old dry dock where they repaired and built boats. In fact it was the largest dry dock on the canal.
But the best part was that the site is an active archeology dig, and they let the kids participate and find artifacts. Each group of children was given a grid, and they got to scrape the ground for artifacts and sift through the dirt for small pieces they missed.
At the end of the day they cleaned and cataloged their finds. This is what my son’s group found in their grid –
The big find was the sugar bowl, but they also found coal, glass, pottery pieces and a few nails. This was a fun field trip, and I think it helped the kids understand how archeology works.