Rachel Dickinson


January 11, 2024


Picture education as a structure built using blocks. Early on, we start out with very few blocks: numbers, letters, words, etc. The remainder of the structure is built off of the earlier established blocks, the foundation. Algebra would not be understood if not for learning numbers. Literature would not be understood if not for learning letters. Societies and those living in them can not fully be understood without creating a foundation of knowledge in anthropology. With this lesson plan, I hope to convince educators of all levels that incorporating anthropology in early childhood education is both achievable and important in creating a strong foundation of knowledge.

Project Statement

For my unessay project, I wanted to do something I knew I would have fun completing. Originally, I was intimidated by this project. I have never been presented with an assignment where the reins were so loose, and I knew this was weighed pretty heavily as our final. Initially, I thought of going the artistic route, being that I love to paint. I was a little uneasy as my artistic skills are not all that great, so I needed another idea. I have always been aware of my love for learning, but I have recently developed a love for teaching. This led me to choose a lesson plan as my unessay project. Last year, my friends would ask me to lead review sessions for anatomy and physiology. I was amazed at the satisfaction I felt when I was able to help them better understand the course material. This led me to pursue tutoring, and I have loved every second. I knew I would enjoy tailoring my project towards a younger audience, but this also brought it to a different level of difficulty. Had I targeted an audience with previous primate education, I would have been able to get more detailed in my explanations. Teaching a group of young children about 400 level college material meant that I had to simplify the information, but only in a way that it would still remain accurate. I felt as if doing a single lesson plan would not reflect the effort expected for this project so that led me to creating a 5 day lesson plan.

I experienced most of my struggle towards the early stages of the project. I knew what it was I wanted to do, and I had a lot of ideas, I just had no idea where to begin. After a short delay because of this, I sat down and thought about what I would do had this been a normal assignment, which was outlining. I started to write down ideas on how to structure the week. At first I was leaning towards focusing on an aspect of primatology each day. I quickly learned that this was going to be difficult if I did not introduce a primate to the audience. For this reason, I decided to introduce a primate every day of the week. By doing this, I was able to teach about the primate itself, and how that primate conformed to aspects of primatology like habitat, diet, locomotion, and social groups, thus creating primate week. This ultimately gave me more to talk about, and the project felt more complete already. After I figured this out, the creation process was smooth sailing. To confidently present information to a student audience, I needed to educate myself on the materials first. To fulfill this, I did research on each primate’s habitat/environment, diet, locomotion, sexual dimorphism, and social groups. Not only did this help me compile information to talk about each day, but I feel it helped me cover the 400 level component of the project. I consulted with friends of mine that teach elementary school students about some of the activities they do, and my creative juices were flowing. I did not like the idea of creating a powerpoint, as I thought early childhood education should be more interactive. Although I created them using powerpoint software, I assembled short books for each day of the week. In these books, each of the primates is introduced as a character. The primate then teaches the reader all about their habitat, diet, locomotion and social tendencies. Most of the books conclude with a short activity concerning something that was previously introduced in the book. After they read the book, there are several activities for the class to complete each day. On Monday, there is even an activity to be completed before reading the book. This tracing activity is meant to introduce new ideas, words, and definitions concerning primates and animals in general to the student. Activities throughout the week vary, but include crafts, coloring, concepts, etc. Once all of this was completed, I felt such a sense of pride and relief. That was until I tried to figure out how I was going to present everything. I worked very hard tailoring each book and worksheet from scratch, and wanted to be sure that everything was as visible as possible come showcase day. I originally bought one medium sized tri-fold poster board. I very quickly realized that this was not going to be enough. After purchasing 2 large poster boards, I found a way to distribute the materials such that the books were able to be flipped through and read on showcase day, and everyone would be able to see the learning objectives for each day. As far as the activities, I was not able to lay everything out so that each page was visible, but I pinned each worksheet to the board in a way where the title of each worksheet is visible, and the viewer can lift the sheet on top to reveal the one underneath. After finalizing everything and going crazy with the hot glue gun, it was time to decorate. I used leftover construction paper from the crafts to add a little bit of color, and bought leaf accents to add in. I decorated just enough to aesthetically satisfy viewers on showcase day, but not draw away from the information and work that went into creating the materials presented.

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