Anthropology Showcase – TMSE

By Molly Jaworski and Olivia Davis

Saying goodbye is almost always difficult, but it’s especially hard when there is an entire semester of memories and laughs to make you question why you’re doing it in the first place.

I think that I speak for myself and all of my fellow instructors when I say that there is nothing that  one would trade for the experiences had while teaching the students at TMSE. From the enthusiastic, “I literally can’t sit still because I’m so excited” hand raises during review times to the surprisingly advanced and “anthropological” comments that were made during activities, each of the students brought something special to the classroom and I think the argument could be made that their unique qualities made teaching a holistic understanding of human life much more successful than could have even been anticipated.

For our showcase presentation, Molly and I compiled a list of things that we wanted to use that would show TMSE kids and parents just how fun learning about people can be. So, naturally, sour-cream flavored crickets were put at the top of the list… The next thing we included in our plan was to provide some sort of snack from the geographic region that we’d been focusing on all semester– West Africa— and banana and coconut flavored Puff Puffs were the obvious choice! Rolled, fried, and covered in powdered sugar— convincing people to try these delicacies wasn’t much of a task. (Also, compliments to the chef, Molly Jaworski).

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As for the table set up, we collected the activities and projects from our times in class (I.e. the monsters from our evolution lesson and the exhibits from the museum lesson) and had them displayed across the booth. In order to appeal to the parents and students who hadn’t been there to see thee creation of these masterpieces, there were printed pictures of the students working on them laid around each of the groups’ artwork. If the parents asked, we gave them those pictures to take home.

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Overall, the showcase was a huge success. Having the opportunity to hear the students explain to their parents what they’d been working on all semester long was a reward in itself, but the greatest feeling of all was watching the kids’ faces when they pointed to their work and said, “This is my group’s! Isn’t it awesome?”

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Anthropology In Review – TMSE

By Annakate Faulk

Since last week was the final lesson for the UA Outreach program at Tuscaloosa Magnet Elementary School Rob and I taught a review lesson to our students. This week was an emotional one for myself and my fellow UA student-instructors as we have all gotten close with each of the students. . We did a brief review of each of the semesters lessons starting with the first lesson: Culture and Clans all the way through to the final lesson from the previous week’s body modification lecture from Megan. For each week’s topic I created an individual slide on the PowerPoint and listed facts which I felt were particularly important that the students remember. Things such as what a clan is, what an archaeologist does and does not do, which creatures fall into the category of primates and what adornments are considered body modification?

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Once we had gone over each of our previously taught lessons we moved on to the activity. For the review activity I took a page from my high school history teacher and created a jeopardy trivia game for the students. I used the previously reviewed “high points” from each of the lectures as the questions for the trivia board. Once the students had broken up into their three clans, which also served as their teams, we began the game.

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I chose the first category and the game was underway. It got quite competitive between some of the students, they were definitely very excited about this activity. After each of the questions were addressed the winning team was Ollie, Anna, Johnnie and Armani- they were very impressive with the retention of all of this semester’s lessons.

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At the end of the class Mr. Little gave us an awesome gift from the students; a card with a photo from one of our lectures which each of the students had signed and written an individualized thank you to the UA student-instructors for teaching them throughout the course. Getting this gift was really meaningful and it made me personally feel like the students really had enjoyed the class and that they had learned a lot from the lessons we had taught them.

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Hopefully we have had the opportunity to meet and teach a few future anthropologists over this semester and I look forward to seeing what each of these students go on to accomplish in the future.

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