Kids Dig Reed

Website review by
Jean Armour Polly, Common Sense Media
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Participate in a virtual archaeological dig.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

One lyric about hitting a cow on the head.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a great example of how a complicated subject can be brought to life. But sensitive kids may not like the "reward" tune and lyrics played at the end of the "Then and Now" game, which goes like this: "Oh, the cow in the meadow goes moo/And the farmer hits him on the head and grinds him up/and that's how we get hamburger!"

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What's it about?

With the help of a talking cow, kids can participate in a "dig" on a mid-1800s West Virginian farm site using the latest virtual archaeological methods. Click buttons to survey the site, use a metal detector, and even screen for artifacts. All together, you'll get a glimpse of 19th-century American life. There are many interesting graphics, maps, and even short QuickTime movies to help you dig deeper.

Is it any good?

Don't miss the games area; although the Talking Cow's gleeful laughter as you enter seems to be a tad deranged. Try to match an old-time artifact with its modern-day equivalent. There are 15 of them to compare. A jarring note is the "reward" sound at the end if you get them all right: it's a little song about grinding a cow up to make hamburger.

The "Ask Us" section is very interesting, and includes information on how to become an archaeologist.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the intersection of science and history. What kinds of things can you discover about a place or an era by looking at artifacts?

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