Cultural Anthropology Teacher Resources
Find Cultural Anthropology educational ideas and activities
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Shadows of North Carolina's Past
Students construct a timeline of four major culture periods in Native American history from studying archaeological evidence cards.
The Land and People Before Columbus
The major pre-Columbian settlements are studied in this excellente social studies lesson. Fifth graders explain how geography and climate influenced the way various nations lived and adjusted to the environment, and focus on eight essential questions which cover migration, cultural, religius, agricultural, and social practices of the settlements.
Ancient Egypt: Stories and Myths
Students examine stories and myths about ancient Egypt through time. They investigate ancient Egyptian culture and belief systems, including the influences of geography on the beliefs and customs of the time.
Intoxication: In the Arms of Morpheus
A comprehensive activity that takes a look at psychoactive plants with this one focusing on the opium poppy. Information about the history, culture, use, source and effects are discussed. There are weblinks to reliable sources about drugs and their effects. There are video clips to watch and then have discussion. There are many questions posed for diswcussion throughout the activity.
Only Skin Deep
Students examine and compare notions of beauty in cultures around the world and explore the connection between what is deemed 'beautiful' and cultural history. They Develop a "Beauty Around the World" collage representing beauty practices from each continent; examine the historical, cultural, and economic contexts in which ideals of beauty are created.
Pre-Columbian Settlements and People
Fourth graders describe the social, political, cultural and economic life and interactions among the people of California from the pre-Columbian societies to the Spanish mission and Mexican rancho periods.
Early History of Our Lane
Second graders study Native American Kalapuya culture. In this American History lesson, 2nd graders discover the early inhabitants of their community. They take a field trip to Dorris Ranch.
The Exchange, Destruction and Reconstruction of Architectural Signs and Symbols in Mexico-Tenochtitlan: A History of Order and Power
Fifth graders use the internet to research the history of cultures throughout the world. In groups, they disucss the meaning of various symbols and view Tenochtitlan as a center of power and wealth. They use everyday materials to create a model of the city and share it with the class. To end the instructional activity, they write an evaluation on their work and answer discussion questions.
The Importance of Music in the Life of the Aztec People
Students comprehend that societies are diverse and have changed over time. They relate music to various historical and cultural traditions. They investigate the various reasons-celebrations, rituals, and cermonies-for which the Aztecs used music.
Lesson: Jeremy Deller: Conversing about Conflict
Bridge cultural awareness, community, government, and art with an introspective and thought-provoking lesson. Upper graders become globally and socially aware as they analyze and explore the art of Jeremy Deller. They consider his images of Iraq, specifically those images portraying community hubs. Kids then create photo journals describing the community hubs in their neighborhoods and compare them to the hubs in Iraq.
Marco Polo Takes A Trip
Students identify Marco Polo and discuss why he took his trip, indicate on map routes Marco Polo took to China and back, describe challenges of traveling along Silk Road, list several interesting aspects of 13th Century Chinese culture, and create large mural/timeline of Marco Polo's life and adventures.
Cultural Discovery and Identity Project Generation Journey
Students create a genealogy book tracing their heritage many generations back. They examine their own ethnicity, attitudes, and self-awareness. They examine new American trends regarding family structure and ethnicity.
Culture, Crisis and Population Explosion: A Deweyan Approach in the Classroom
Students read various arguments posed by John Dewey when it comes to population growth. In groups, they use magazine articles and the internet to find issues related to populations and complete experiments to identify the challenges associated with overpopulations. To end the lesson, they participate in a debate which they discuss the importance or non-importance of controlling the population.
Anthropologists: Puzzlers of Past Peoples
Sixth graders examine the role of anthropologists. In groups, they compare and contrast two different groups of civilizations. Using primary source documents, they discover how various cultures and ideas spread throughout the world. As a class, they also discuss how new research can change history.
Young scholars view a PowerPoint about Tibetan monks to help them explain the culture's world views, myths and religious beliefs. They investigate Navajo sand paintings and compare how they are similar to the Tibetan monks' artwork.
What Death Brings to Life (Teen Living Component)
Students research and discuss many common characteristics of modern cultures and examine ancient cultures for comparison. They study the components of anthropology and ethnocentrism.
Fables and Trickster Tales Around the World
Students analyze fables and trickster tales from various cultural traditions. In this fable analysis activity, students identify the elements of fables and trickster stories. Students read Aesop's fables and Ananse spider stories. Students list human traits associate with animals in the stories and compare and contrast the themes in the tales. Students choose a moral and write an original fable for it.
Folklore in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God
Students define folklore, folk groups, tradition, and oral narrative, identify traditional elements in Their Eyes Were Watching God, and analyze and explain the role of traditional folkways and folk speech in the overall literary impact of the novel.
Sixth graders present a PowerPoint presentation on Greek columns. They realize that Greek culture is centered around religion. Students create a model of one of the columns. Also they find examples of Greek architecture in major Greek cities, and find examples of Greek influence in American artchitecture.
Students examine different artifacts and determine the difference between personal and cultural objects. They collect items from their home of cultural importance as well. They identify all they can from artifacts they are given to analyze.