One of the students discovered the controversy over the disposition of the remains of a skeleton found in the Hood River Valley of Washington State. The students were already sensitized to issues surrounding archaeology and burial remains because construction on the Ojibwe reservation uncovered ancient sites sacred not to the Ojibwe but to their historical enemy the Dakota. The students were very excited by the idea of people arguing over this 9,500-year-old man and as a group decided that he would be the subject of their story. Once the class had selected Kennewick Man, students began to research in earnest, turning to the Internet to acquire evidence about the controversy.
Students also began drawing the Kennewick Man, giving form and personality to the topic of their research.