K-12 and Community Outreach Toolkit for Anthropology Day - Participate & Advocate
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K-12 and Community Outreach Toolkit for Anthropology Day

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K-12 and Community Outreach Toolkit

Getting Started

Celebrate by hosting a virtual or safe and socially distant event in your community, school, or workplace. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we will not be distributing ‘swag boxes’ for in-person celebrations. We do, however, have a host of resources and ideas to help you get started for your AnthroDay events. 

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.

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

Presentation Ideas

These ideas can be adapted for virtual or in-person AnthroDay celebrations. 

The AAA staff celebrates Anthropology Day by giving presentations at local schools that are driven by class participation. The presentation begins by explaining that anthropology is the study of everything human. Students are asked to provide examples of the kinds of things that anthropologists might study. Responses range from pizza, video games, and families. No matter the response, there's a chance it can be traced back to anthropology! A simple slideshow is presented with various images (a self-driving car, characters from the TV show Bones, a museum) to help jumpstart the conversation on careers in anthropology. 

Including a hands-on element in your presentation is also very effective! Here are some examples of past Anthropology Day activity stations for younger students. 

Divide activities in rooms or tables:

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 page, and AAA member Susie Crate has offered to assist schools interested in developing community programming to communicate more effectively about climate change. 

How do archaeologists know where to dig? 

Anthropologists Gabriel D. Wrobel and Stacey Camp explain how archaeologists determine where to dig to learn more about the past. 



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