Annual Chaco Canyon Experiential

 

Explore the ancient world of the ancestral peoples of Chaco Canyon: The Anasazi.  Spend three nights under the stars in Chaco Culture National Historical Park located in northwestern New Mexico, the center of the San Juan basin.  This course includes hiking, photography, journaling and exploration of numerous archeological and sacred sites.
 
This page contains the following: Description, Pre-Work, Itinerary, Learning Objectives and Suggested Supply List.

 

"On Learning, At Penasco Blanco"
by Philippe Ernewein, Chaco Culture NHP, New Mexico
 
Great outdoor classroom, waiting here for a thousand years:
to teach with its rocks & shapes,
windows & kivas,
space & place,
context & story.
 
Students now not in seats, but scattered around for mini-lessons with shards.
 
Steph finds a black & white handle to a mug & yells, "Mr. Price, look what I found!"
 
I think chocolate, most likely once in the container that held that handle. A hand held that handle in ceremony at the end of long journey; now Steph holds it in a different kind of ritual. She marks the spot where she found it.
 
To return, to always return.
 
Roger is running around the plaza, orientating, inhabiting the space, mapping the ruin with muscle memory.
 
A lecture is held in a kiva: "We are sitting in a kiva, do you know what that means?"
 
Frank is meditating.
 
Dylan is overwhelmed with all the pottery shards he sees, utters surprise with each one he finds.
 
Mr. Dastin is drawing; Ms. Hall says this is her favorite place in the canyon.
 
I am looking at the alignments and writing this poem.
 
We are all drinking water, journaling, capturing our learning.
We are all now witnesses in this classroom.
We are all responsible for protecting this place.
 
Annual Chaco Canyon Experiential

 

Explore the ancient world of the ancestral peoples of Chaco Canyon: The Anasazi.  Spend three nights under the stars in Chaco Culture National Historical Park located in northwestern New Mexico, the center of the San Juan basin.  This course includes hiking, photography, journaling and exploration of numerous archeological and sacred sites.
 
Each year along with a general overview of both the pre-history and history of Chaco Canyon, a theme such as archaeoastronomy, early settlers & geology has been a focus of our study. This year our focus will be the pottery of the ancestral Puebloan peoples.
 
Chaco Canyon Investigation: pre-work for all participants
 
Please email this completed assignment to the leaders of the trip.
 
Visit one of the following websites to investigate and learn more about Chaco Culture National Historic Park:

 

National Park Service Official Website
Traditions of the Sun
National Park Service Museum Collection
 
Using the thinking skill PMI (positive, minus, interesting), write a page response on
the information you found at the website you visited.
 
Watch these short videos from the Museum of Nature & Science below. List 3 things you learned from watching the videos. Also, write one question that you have after watching these videos.

 

Chaco Canyon Experiential Itinerary

 

Emergency phone number/Visitor Center: (505)786-7014
 
Description of Course:
Explore the ancient world of the ancestral peoples of Chaco Canyon: The Anasazi.  Spend three nights under the stars in Chaco Culture National Historical Park located in northwestern New Mexico, the center of the San Juan basin.  This course includes hiking, photography, journaling and exploration of numerous archeological and sacred sites.
                                                       
Learning Objectives
 
Communication Skills:
 
1.The students will participate in the self-guided tour with a partner in the visitor center and document three new concepts in their journals.
 
2.The students will prepare two questions to ask during the Pueblo Bonito tour.
 
3.Students will compose and share their thoughts on the final day after the sunrise meditation in journals.
 
4.Students will share their journal with partners and add any observations they previously overlooked.
 
Thinking/ Learning Skills:
 
1.Students will journal and draw what life might have been like for the Anasazi      
during the overlook of Pueblo Bonito hike.
 
2.Students will participate in the Evening Sky Program by listening and note-taking during the astronomy lecture, viewing planets and stars through telescopes and processing through journaling.
 
3.Students will write in the journal: first impressions, visualize how life was from 850 AD – 1150 AD and list responsibilities for successful camping.
 
Teamwork Skills:
 
1. The students will be placed in groups and participate in ice-breaking and teamwork activities on a stop to Chaco, at the edge of Navajo Nation, after camps are set-up, after the first day of hiking and on the last evening around the campfire.
 
2. Students will be responsible for working with partner to fulfill the responsibilities related to the following:  breakfast set-up, breakfast clean-up, lunch crew, and clean-up dinner crew.
 
3. Each student will be assigned a partner who they are responsible for at all times; one must always be with the other or, depending on age-level, where the other person is.
 
Leadership Skills:
 
1.Students will have a variety of opportunities to practice and explore leadership skills; including but not limited to the following: food crews, hiking leaders or anchors, evening story-telling sessions, presentation of journal responses.
 
2.Using the Socratic Method, after the tour of Pueblo Bonito the leadership paradigm and possible societal structure will be discussed at the site of Casa Rinconada of the ancestral peoples.
 
3.Students will participate in ice-breaking activities and teamwork activities including but not limited to: blind follow, name sign, trust circle, 3 questions, picnic and 2 truths and a lie.
 
Technological Skills:
 
1. Students will examine a park map with a partner and identify important sites, locate campsite and calculate the parks size with calculators (suggested: TI-83 graphing calculator).
 
2. Students will examine the alignments presented in the Sun Dagger video and during Pueblo Bonito tour with traditional compass and Global Positioning System computer.
 
3. Students will calculate the distance of Tzin Kletzen using compass, topographic map and ruler.
 
Social Skills:
 
1. Students will use RRA in daily family/values circle to resolve issues that arise between individuals.
 
2. Students will share tent with partners following the code of Respect & Responsibilities as stated in Denver Academy’s student handbook; students will a severe deficit in this area must contact instructors prior to departure and make specific accommodations for sleeping alone.
 
3. The students will be placed in groups and participate in ice-breaking and teamwork activities on a stop to Chaco, at the edge of Navajo Nation, after camps is set-up, after the first day of hiking and on the last evening around the campfire.
 
Rationale
 
The goals above will be accomplished by doing the following:
 
Each instructor will have scheduled lead-teacher time; during this time they will be responsible for addressing one of the areas of focus listed above (communication, thinking/learning, teamwork, leadership, technological, social).
 
Each student will capture their learning using the journal by writing, drawing, note-taking, photography and interviewing.
 
Each student will participate in daily value/family sessions when learning will be informally assessed by instructors.
 
The academic connections include the following:
 
Each student will complete reading prior to the experience (to be distributed at the information night).  Active reading techniques of PMI & ACID marks will be used.
 
Each student will document a mathematical concept to their appropriately-leveled math class.
 
Each student will maintain a journal which will include specifically assigned writing, free-writing, drawing and literary and musical connections.
 
The Multiple Intelligences connections include the following:
 
Each student will explore their spatial intelligence by drawing in their journals; specifically documenting petraglypths.
Each student will practice their interpersonal intelligence while working in the aforementioned groups.
 
Each student will explore their intrapersonal intelligence with daily personal journal entries.
 
Each student will practice their body-kinesthetic intelligence through participating in hikes to visit ruins.
 
Each student will use their mathematical-logical intelligence through using the Global Position System, compass and calculator to measure and examine alignments and measurements in park.
 
Each student will practice their linguistic intelligence by using their journals at every given opportunity.
 
Daily Planned Activities
 
Day one: getting there
Meet at Denver Academy at 6:00 am
Drive
Scheduled lunch, dinner, and restroom stops
Arrive early evening
Set-up camp
 
Academic Objectives
 
1. The students will be placed in groups and participate in ice-breaking and teamwork activities.
 
2. In conversations with teachers enroute to Chaco students will identify their dominant multiple intelligence.
 
3. The student will write in the journal: first impressions, visualize how life was from 850-1150 AD, list responsibilities for successful camping, and identify dominant multiple intelligence.
 
4. The student will examine a park map with a partner and identify important sites, locate campsite, and calculate distance we will hike tomorrow.
 
Day two: in the canyon
Wake-up at 7:00 am
Breakfast meeting
Visitor center orientation
Tour Pueblo Bonito
Lunch at trailhead
Penasco Blanco hike
Return to camp/rest
Sunset meditation
Dinner
Relax/sleep
 
Academic Objectives
 
1. The student will participate in the self-guided tour in the visitor center and document learning in their journal.           
 
2. The students will prepare 2 questions to ask during the Pueblo Bonito tour.
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3. The students will sketch 2 petraglyphs found in the visitor center.
 
Day three: in the canyon
Wake-up at 7:00 am
Breakfast
Hike to Tzin Kletzen
Lunch
Hike Pueblo Bonito overlook
Dinner
Archeo-astronomy talk
Campfire chat
 
Academic Objectives
 
1. Students will calculate the distance to Tzin Kletzen using the map.
 
2. Students will examine the alignments presented in the Sun Dagger video.
 
3. Students will journal and draw visualizing what life might have been like for the Anasazi (during the overlook visit)
 
4. Students will participate in the Evening Sky program by listening and note taking during astronomy lecture, viewing planets and stars through the telescope and processing through the journal
 
Day 4: leaving Chaco
Wake-up at 5:00 am
Sunrise meditation
Take down camp/pack van
Depart at 7:00 am
 
Supplies
Be ready to hike; wear comfortable hiking shoes
Be ready for cold, wet weather as well as moderately warm conditions
Daypack & gear bag
Sleeping bag
Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
Toiletries and hand towel
Camera (optional)
Flashlight
Compact camping chair
Pillow (Mr. Price's strong recommendation)
 

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