In our first class at TMSE, we met our twenty new anthropologists and divided into
clans. Over the course of the year, we will be using Indonesia as a model for our
lessons. In order to explain the clans, we used the model of the Javanese, whom
inhabit the largest island of Indonesia.
Once separated, we started our lesson on culture as well as a general overview of
the four kinds of anthropology. To remember this we used the acronym CLAP,
standing for cultural, linguistics, archaeology and physical. When we covered
cultural, the students had already learned a significant amount about what
constitutes a culture. Their answers ranged from more textbook definitions to more
comprehensive ones such as an acronym they had learned called the “Five F’s”
which included food, faith, family, finances and fashion. They were able to grasp the
concept of clans fairly easily as well and were excited to start the activity.
In our clans, we first came up with our names—the Fire Phoenix, American Cheese, and the
Mighty Animal Dinosaurs (we couldn’t decide if animals or dinosaurs were cooler so
we went with both).
Other items on the worksheet included coming up with a
common ancestor and creating a rite of passage or a handshake. The students used
puffy paint and pom-poms to decorate individual pieces of felt which were
transformed into flags for their clans. Collectively, it was a great first day at TMSE. A
student even shared that she had always wanted to take another class but was super
excited that she ended up in Anthropology. I think we can look forward to a great
semester with our third graders this spring!