5th September 2003 at 01:00
* KS23. Ask pupils to imagine they are archaeologists of the 30th century, excavating the ruins of our civilisation, long since destroyed by global warming (refer to visual references in films that portray a devastated New York, such as Planet of the Apes, and AI: Artificial Intelligence). Ask pupils to suggest objects that are representative of contemporary civilisation and their culture. What impression would this collection give of the people they represent and of 21st-century society, to future archaeologists? This activity provides opportunities for drama role play and creative writing. Ask pupils to "distress" their objects, to give the impression of age by scoring and staining with earth colours. Dig a hole in the school grounds and put the objects in - mix plaster of Paris stained with brown powder paint and pour the plaster randomly around the objects leaving them partly exposed as if merged with molten rock. When the plaster has set, "excavate" this 21st-century "relic", exhibiting it alongside some of the writings of the future archaeologists.

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