Adena & Hopewell Cultures: Artifact Analysis

Lesson Plan

Created by Nancy Dravenstott

Adena Human Effigy Pipe. The Adena Pipe is carved out of Ohio pipestone into the likeness of an ancient American Indian man, and was discovered by William C. Mills in 1901 during an excavation of the Adena Mound in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Grade Level: 


Estimated Duration of Lesson: 

1-2 days

Standards & Indicators:

  • Study Skills and Methods #3:  Use primary and secondary sources to answer questions about Ohio History.
  • People In Societies #1:  Describe the cultural practice and products of various groups who have settled in Ohio over time: a. the Paleo Indians, Archaic Indians, Woodland Indians (Adena & Hopewell), and Late Prehistoric Indians (Fort Ancient)

Primary Sources Used:

The following artifacts were used for this lesson:  
The pictures can be downloaded from the links above.

Lesson Summary: 

The students will have the opportunity to analyze and interpret these artifacts using an Artifact Analysis Worksheet.

Instructional Steps to Implement the Lesson:

Class Starter:  Review primary sources and the importance of these sources in helping us understand the past.     

Guided Lesson:  

  • Introduce each artifact individually.  
  • Provide each group an artifact to analyze and interpret using an artifact analysis worksheet.  
  • Groups will share their artifact and findings with the entire class.
Closing:  Exit Slip
Students will respond to the question: Which artifact did they find most interesting and why.

Post-Assessment and Scoring Guideline:

The artifact analysis worksheet and the exit slip can be used as a form of post-assessment.  Plus, teacher observations as students are sharing their ideas in small groups.  The scoring guideline would be based on the teacher’s expectations for this particular lesson.

Materials Needed by Teacher:

  •       method for grouping students by 3 or 4’s

Materials Needed by Students: 

  •       1 artifact per group
  •       artifact analysis worksheet       

Extended Learning:

Students could further research the artifact(s) or similar artifacts based on their interest of the particular culture represented by the artifact(s).