Crow Canyon

Evening Activities

  • Activities from artifacts to dendrochronology, and more!
    Activities from artifacts to dendrochronology, and more!

When your school group stays on campus for at least two nights, one or more evening programs are included with your program. If you would like to add evening programs for your group, they can be purchased for $6 per student, per program. Please contact our Education Enrollment Manager for more information.

The availability of specific evening programs is dependent on staff availability, but, given enough advance notice, we will do our best to accommodate your requests. All evening programs last about one hour.

Our Campus

View of the Crow Canyon campus and Ute Mountain

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is located on a beautiful 170-acre campus in southwest Colorado, close to Mesa Verde National Park and the town of Cortez. Read more.

Evening Programs

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jk 2013 Curtis spoonful

More than a Spoonful of Dirt!

Grades: 6–12
What can you learn from a spoonful of dirt? Lots! Students use geoarchaeology tests to analyze a sediment sample, and they study microremains that provide clues to how people lived in the past. They also analyze sediment samples using the same techniques used by archaeologists; program incorporates geology, biology, and the analysis of archaeological microremains.

ja 2008 PFPgarden03

Agricultural Strategies

Grades: 9–12
In an interactive game of chance, students compare the success of different agricultural strategies in a range of environments and under different climatic and social conditions. What they discover serves as the basis for a discussion about the relevance of archaeology in modern life.

jk 2013 PleasantView atlatl

The Amazing Atlatl

Grades: 6–12
In this presentation, students explore the archaeology, ethnology, physics, and social implications of the atlatl, or spear thrower (ancient weaponry that predates the bow and arrow).

jk 2010 SouthernUte 016


Grades: 4–6
Stories are used in many cultures to teach, guide, and entertain. In this program, staff storytellers offer a sample from a variety of cultural traditions.

jk 2013 excel washlab 07

Wash Lab

Grades: 4–12
Students learn how and why archaeologists keep track of artifacts from their excavations—then get their hands wet washing real artifacts from our current excavation project! For students in non-field programs who do not attend lab during the day; limited to groups of 16 or fewer students.

ja 2009 YuccaHouse sherd

Introduction to Artifacts

Grades: 5–12
Identify and classify different kinds of artifacts found on archaeological sites—flaked stone, ground stone, pottery, and animal bones—in this hands-on lesson. Find out what archaeologists can learn about ancient peoples by studying artifacts. For students in non-field programs who do not attend lab during the day; limited to groups of 20 or fewer students.

ja 2013 tree rings


Grades: 4–12
Learn how trees grow—and what archaeological secrets are revealed in their wood. Students learn the basic principles of dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, in this hands-on, interactive program. Limited to groups of 24 or fewer students. Included for students in field programs.

jk 2014 cactus ruin

Cactus Ruin

Grades: 6–12
In this “paper dig,” students learn about sampling and the scientific method. They generate their own research hypotheses, decide which part of the site is likely to provide the data they need, and analyze evidence from their selected sample of the site.

jk 2012 Wolfman panel05

Rock Art

Grades: 4–12
Explore the use of sign and symbolism in this presentation of images preserved in and on stone. Learn how archaeologists date rock art, and learn how rock art styles changed through time. Students have the opportunity to create their own "rock art."

ja 2013 museum ground04

Ute History

Grades: 6–12
A member of the Ute Mountain Ute tribe talks about the history and culture of the Ute peoples of the Four Corners area, past and present. Learn from the Native American perspective!

Wildlife evening program

Wildlife Then and Now

Grades: 4–6
Students connect faunal remains found on a site with archaeological interpretation, research, and an understanding of cultural practices of the past.

art timeline evening program

Art Timeline

Grades: 4–8
Students create a book that helps integrate the understanding of culture, chronology, art elements, and principles of design into a balanced composition.

jk 2008 grainery Utah


Grades: 6–12
Students learn the importance of human culture, community, heritage preservation, and material culture and discuss why archaeological sites are important to Native Americans, archaeologists, and the public.

jk 2014 jeopardy

Name That Question

Grades: 4–7
Students review what they have learned during their stay at Crow Canyon in an interactive activity based on a popular TV game show.

map migration


Grades: 7–12
Students learn about the practical and social challenges that ancestral Pueblo people may have faced when they left the area in the late A.D. 1200s.

indigenous displacement

Indigenous Displacement

Grades: 6–12

This program introduces students to the history and lasting effects of colonization as experienced by the Ute tribes in Colorado. Students learn concepts associated with land reduction, indigenous displacement, and the resulting sociocultural and environmental impacts that led to the eventual formation of the Ute reservations. Participants engage in an activity that challenges them to survive by collecting simulated resources in a diminishing land...

Zuni dragonfly

Zuni Dragonflies

Grades: 4–8

Dragonflies play several important roles in the mythology of various American Indian tribes. The people of Zuni Pueblo tell a story about a young boy who created the first dragonfly. Students will listen to the story and then construct a dragonfly out of cornhusks.


Ute Place-Names

Grades: 4–8

American Indian names and language are probably the largest single source of modern U.S. place-names. In this program, developed with the assistance of Ute elders, students gain an understanding of the importance of Ute culture and history in Colorado.