K-12 and Community Outreach Toolkit for Anthropology Day - Participate & Advocate
Skip to content
Login Communities Publications Calendar About AAA Contact Join Donate Shop Jobs
A room full of people hold up small signs that rea
A room full of people hold up small signs that rea

In This Section

K-12 and Community Outreach Toolkit for Anthropology Day

From Our Sponsors
Ad: Dark green background with cover image for Shaving the Beasts: Wild Horses and Ritual in Spain by John Hartigan Jr. on left. On right, white text reading John Hartigan Jr. vivid first-person study of a notorious equine ritual—from the perspective of the wild horses who are its targets. Underneath that, there is a white bar with dark green text reading Learn More next to the University of Minnesota Press's logo, a vertical maroon rectangle with MINNESOTA stacked vertically.

In This Section

K-12 and Community Outreach Toolkit

Getting Started

The AAA encourages anthropologists and students to celebrate Anthropology Day by visiting local schools or holding events at community centers, public libraries, or other similar locations. Curious about how to arrange a presentation at a local school? Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Take advantage of existing connections. Does your school have a tutoring program at a local K-12 school? Maybe your education department has a student teaching program hosted by a nearby school. Start by exploring those connections to see if they can put you in touch with a social studies or science teacher who might be interested in featuring a guest speaker. 

  2. Contact the school principal. A school does not need to have an existing anthropology curriculum in order for you to give a presentation there. Find the contact information for the principal of a school nearby and send them a message introducing yourself and asking if they would be willing to pass your information along to social studies or science teachers, or if they ever host guest speakers for school or grade-wide assemblies.

  3. Call or visit your local public library and ask about holding educational events.

Presentation Ideas

The AAA staff celebrates Anthropology Day by giving presentations at local schools. Our presentation is largely driven by class participation. We begin by explaining that anthropology is the study of everything human and ask kids to give us examples of the kinds of things that might mean anthropologists study. We've had all kinds of answers to that question, ranging from pizza to video games to families, and the great thing is that we have examples of anthropologists who do work in relation to all of those things. We have a simple slideshow with a collection of images (last year's images included a photo from the Super Bowl, a photo of a self-driving car, an image from the TV show Bones, and a photo from a museum) that we display one at a time and use as a jumping off point to share all of the different kinds of careers that anthropologists can have. 

Including a hands-on element in your presentation is also very effective! Here are some examples of stations that past Anthropology Day participants have done with young children:

Divide activities in rooms or tables:

Talking Points


Anthropology is the study of us.

Our clothes, our homes, our bones

How we talk, how we think,

Our past, present and future …

It’s All Anthropology!

About Anthropology: For Elementary School

About Anthropology: For High School and Above

Additional Resources

Anthropology is Elemental: Teaching Four-Field Anthropology in Tuscaloosa Schools  

In 2011 the Anthropology Department at The University of Alabama joined a larger university lead outreach initiative at Tuscaloosa Magnet School Elementary. A collection of faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates began offering a semester-long course in four-field Anthropology. Through their blog you can review lesson plans and activity suggestions for activities related to anthropological topics including race and evolution.

Archaeology in the Community

Archaeology in the Community is a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Alexandra Jones in 2009. Dr. Jones and her team partner with educational institutions, cultural establishments and community organizations to:

The Archaeology in the Community website provides great resources for sharing archaeology with children and communities.

Anthropology and Race

Race is a great example of an issue where anthropology has a lot to contribute. As part of our Understanding Race initiative, AAA has assembled a lesson plan (designed for older students) for those looking to begin a conversation about race in the classroom. Additional resources can also be found on our Understanding Race page

Anthropology and Climate Change

Climate change is another important topic that one can build an anthropological lesson plan around. AAA has a lengthy list of resources available on our Anthropology and Climate Change landing page, and AAA member Susie Crate has offered to assist schools interested in developing community programming to communicate more effectively about climate change. 


You Might Also Like