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Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and ChildrenCobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children October 2015

COBBLESTONE is the award-winning and respected leader in the study of American history for young people. COBBLESTONE tells America’s story through a unique mix of captivating articles, lively graphics, historical photographs, primary sources, and maps. Each themed-issue examines historical events in detail making them exciting and relevant to today. A must-have for every history classroom and media center. Grades 5-9.

United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
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9 Issues


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editor’s note

Working on this issue about Spiro has been an incredible learning experience. A year ago, I didn’t know a thing about the prehistoric Native American site in Oklahoma. The more I read about it over the course of pulling together this issue, the more I wondered why its story is not more famous. It has so many great elements: mystery, drama, human greed balanced by great human concern. Most of all, it is a story about discovery: of cultures, of remarkable artifacts, and of the ways archaeologists can find clues and re-create the past. This issue supports the idea that rather than being relegated to the past history is all around and waiting for us to make connections to it. Editor…

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spiro at a glance

Oklahoma’s Spiro was an important prehistoric Native American ceremonial and trade center with connections that extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes and from California to the East Coast. Spiro was established as a permanent settlement by A.D. 800, but people were living in the area beginning 8,000 years earlier. Its role as a ceremonial center declined by A.D. 1450. The mounds were built hundreds of years before mechanical vehicles and without horses, mules, or oxen. In other words, the work was all done by people carrying baskets full of earth. Some of the mounds at Spiro appear to have been constructed to form an enormous calendar or observatory to keep track of the seasons. At sunset during the seasonal solstices and equinoxes, the mounds line up. Archaeologists believe that the…

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ancient mounds

Who were the mound builders? When did they live? Why and how did they build such structures? When studying ancient or prehistoric cultures, questions such as those can be difficult to answer with any certainty because there is no written history. But decades of research provide some answers. Excavations help reveal some of the mysteries about the prehistoric people of North America. Over the course of many centuries, several different Native American groups constructed mounds. Generally speaking, these eras are divided into three periods: the Archaic, the Woodland, and the Mississippian. For example, Louisiana’s Watson Brake of 3500 B.C. is believed to be the earliest known example of Archaic period mounds in the present-day United States. Around 1000 B.C., people of the Woodland period constructed conical burial earthworks, such as at…

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cahokia connections

Did you know that the largest prehistoric settlement in the Americas north of Mexico was in the heart of the present-day United States? Its name was Cahokia. Located in Collinsville, Illinois, eight miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, Cahokia dates back to A.D. 700 when it was first settled by people of the late Woodland culture. It was the later Mississippian people of Cahokia, however, who built the many earthen mounds, which looked like flat-top pyramids. Archaeologists believe that Cahokia once had as many as 120 mounds over a six-square-mile area. Today, 80 mounds remain. Some of these mounds are low slopes that gently rise up from the ground. Other mounds are 20 to 40 feet high, and one mound is 100 feet high. At Cahokia’s peak, from A.D. 1050…

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discovery and destruction !

On October 29, 1929, the stock market on Wall Street crashed. It signaled the end of a decade of economic prosperity in the United States. The crash was followed by more than a decade of economic hardship known as the Great Depression. Almost overnight, banks lost all their money, businesses closed, and people were either out of work or worried they would soon be unemployed. During the worst of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, farmers on the Great Plains also endured the Dust Bowl. Severe drought and poor agricultural practices resulted in soil that was unable to produce crops. The dry land was stirred up into enormous dust storms. So how is Spiro—a prehistoric Native American mound site in eastern Oklahoma—tied to the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl? Oklahoma…

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a bittersweet science

Archaeology is a unique science. Every shovelful of soil both saddens and excites an archaeologist because a certain level of destruction is required before a discovery can be made. Sifting through dirt helps scientists find clues to the past from hundreds or thousands of years ago. That’s exciting. But once a site has been dug, it can never be dug again. That’s sad. So archaeologists try to excavate just enough to find answers but not so much as to destroy a historic site. They also study and document the artifacts and the context in which they are found because both aspects reveal information. Studying the past not only offers a better understanding of different cultures and how they thrived or failed, but it also helps people understand the changes that…