Students will understand the relationship between a symbol and its
Students will realize why it is so difficult to interpret the petroglyphs.
Students will gain a deeper understanding of
Subjects: Language arts, Social Studies.
Suggested time: 2 class periods.
Copy for students: Signs and Symbols student activity sheet- ctivity
! "!# - $%, Clear Creek Canyon Rock Art Panel student information sheets
"te&t and graphic% "!# - '-(%.
)rom the teacher: old magazines and newspapers, glue stic*s, scissors,
!!+ & !,+ and (.$+ & !!+ construction paper or copy paper, mar*ers.
)or the teacher: Signs and Symbols student activity sheet- ctivity !
teacher answer sheet "!# - -%.
Since the beginning of spo*en language, people have developed signs
and symbols. .etroglyphs and pictographs help us to infer
ideas about the culture and life ways of the people who made
them. /any of the petroglyphs on /esa .rieta may have
symbolic meanings that we do not understand.
0n today1s merican culture we use and understand many signs and
symbols. 0s this an indication of the pervasiveness and effects of our
commercialized life style2 3his might be a good topic for discussion.
Someone coming from another culture will have a difficult time
understanding the meaning of some of our symbols. 3hey may infer a
different meaning to these symbols from what was intended.
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&%'"t(esis ) an educated guess or idea about a set of facts that can be
tested by investigation.
I#*ere#ce ) a conclusion made from observations.
L"g" ) a symbol that is often used by a business5 short for logogram.
Sig# ) a graphic shape or design that may warn or inform about
something that one is approaching.
S%mb" ) a graphic shape, design or ob6ect that represents an idea.

7raw a common symbol on the board, such as the 8ia Sun symbol.
s* students to describe what they see. "a circle with four lines attached in
each direction.% 3his is an observation. 9ow as* what it means or stands for.
"it represents NM on the state flag.% :ow do they *now2 ;hat does it mean
to the people of 8ia .ueblo2 "Answers will be inferences.% s* about four
students at a time to come to the board and draw other symbols or signs.
:ave the rest of the class guess what they stand for. <emind students that no
gang, drugs or war related symbols may be used.
Activit% 1:
!. 7iscuss the difference between actual and symbolic. 4se e&amples
from the drawings on the board or draw an octagon. s* the students
what shape it is. 3hen as* them what it often symbolizes "a stop sign%
3he ob6ect or picture re'rese#ts "r sta#ds *"r an idea or message
2. .ass out the Signs and Symbols student activity sheet, "!#-$%. :ave
the students notice that there are images they recognize. 4nder each
picture, write what it stands for or a meaning that our culture gives it.
D" #"t +rite t(e #ame "* t(e "bject. 7o the first two or three
together. 3hree blan*s are provided to allow students to enter their
own symbols. =ive the students about !# minutes to finish it.
"answers provided on Signs and Symbols student activity sheet
Activity ! teacher answer sheet"#!$%%.
>. 7iscuss why we use symbols and how they might have developed.
good e&ample is the swasti*a. 0t is an ancient design that was used by
many cultures. Since the 9azis began using it, the swasti*a now has
ta*en on a different meaning. Some people ob6ect to this new
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interpretation and have vowed to use it more fre?uently in order to
bring bac* its traditional meanings.
,-te#si"#: 3urn the diagram into a bingo game or concentration game.
Activit% .:
!. @&plain that the class will be ma*ing an art collage of Logos, Signs
and Symbols. s* students to bring popular magazines from home.
2. Cut out different symbols "with no written words% and glue them on
the construction paper. 0f you don1t find enough symbols in the
magazines, the students may draw with mar*er the symbols, signs and
logos that they *now. 3his may also be used as a homewor*
>. :ave students ta*e their finished collages to other classes to see how
many of the symbols the children can recognize.
7iscuss the results of this e&perience with the class. 7iscuss
how someone from another culture or an ncestral .ueblo person might
interpret the collages0 N"+ discuss ("+ +e i#*er mea#i#g t" t(e
'etr"g%'(s but rea% d" #"t !#"+ +(at t(e 'ers"# +as t(i#!i#g ab"ut
"r +is(i#g t" c"mmu#icate0
"dapted from a pro6ect by /alinda .e*arci* of Santa Clara .ueblo.%
Activit% 1: 3o each group of students or to each student, pass out a copy of
Clear Creek Canyon Rock Art Panel student information graphic sheet "!#-
'%. @&plain that this panel was created by the ancient people of 4tah.
!. 4se the following ?uestions to analyze the petroglyph panel:
a. ;hat words would you use to describe the designs on this
page2 "observations%
b. ;hy do you thin* the people created these designs2
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c. 7o you thin* there is a symbolic message in the design
labeled with a, b, c2 0f so, what is the message2 "inference%

2. .ass out the &nterpretation student information sheet "!#-(% and have
the students ta*e turns reading the different paragraphs. 7iscuss the fact that
each person had a different interpretation of the designs depending on their
bac*ground and e&perience.
>. 7iscuss why these petroglyphs might be important.
"ctivity was adapted from &ntrigue of the Past. A 'eacher(s Activity )uide
for *ourth through Seventh )rades, Aureau of Land /anagement, !BB>, p.
:ave the students investigate their homes for symbols and bring bac*
a list or sheet of drawings of at least five different symbols and their
descriptions. "+,amples- poison skull and crossbones" Nike symbol" play"
stop" rewind buttons on a .CR" recycle symbol" symbols of weather from the
newspaper or '. news.%
:ave students imagine that someone from a different country saw the
symbols for the first time. :ave students write a sentence about each symbol
describing what the person might infer that it means.
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U#it 100 Sig#s a#d S%mb"s
/L,A2 /2,,3 /ANYON 4,T2OGLY4& 4AN,L)
INT,42,TATION Stude#t I#*"rmati"# S(eet) Activit% 1
"dapted from &ntrigue of the Past. A 'eacher(s Activity )uide for *ourth through
Seventh )rades, Aureau of Land /anagement, !BB>, p. B(%

Leva# Marti#eau5 hired by the .aiute tribe of 4tah to interpret Clear Cree*
Canyon petroglyphs. /artineau thin*s this is part of a larger story of the
emergence from the underworld.
a. 3he clan sign of the Aadger clan. Aadger was involved in and recorded the
emergence story.
b. 3he river reed which the people of the underworld crawled through to get
to this world.
c. god-li*e figure who is part of the emergence story.
I#dia# 6"e 76"se'( 60 4ic!%avit85 4te 0ndian.
.ic*yavit thin*s that this figure was left by the C.ueblo 0ndiansC whom he said
once lived in Clear Cree* Canyon. :e feels this figure deals with ma*ing rain.
a. <ain cloud ma*ing rain.
b. Lightning bolt ma*ing lightning with the rain storm.
c. /edicine man with good powers in a rain sing "ceremony to bring rain%.
9i Num!e#a5 :opi 0ndian and 7irector, 4tah 7ivision of 0ndian ffairs.
9um*ena thin*s this figure deals with the emergence into the fourth world.
a. Seed sac* that contains the seeds used by the chipmun* to grow a plant for
the people, which they used to climb out of the underworld.
b. 3he spruce or pine tree which they climbed to get out of the third or
c. two-horned priest of the higher order of the priesthood and *eeper of the
oral traditions and the stories of the fourth world.
3e##et( Smit(5 9ava6o 0ndian and early wor*er at )remont 0ndian State .ar*.
Smith thin*s this figure was part of a fertility ceremony.
a. 3his was the sac* of seeds widely planted.
b. 3his was a stal* of corn5 corn was the most important food source for the
c. 3his was some type of god of fertility or germination who helps the crops
and plants to germinate and grow.
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".rovided through the courtesy of =ordon 3opham, )remont 0ndian State .ar*, Clear Cree* Canyon, 4tah.%
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