Teaching SAPIENS

Welcome! SAPIENS brings the world of anthropology to the public. Now we would like to help you bring SAPIENS to your classroom.

Below you will find SAPIENS teaching units for anthropology’s four subfields that are crafted for introductory courses. These units offer an opportunity to use SAPIENS content in the classroom, alongside additional resources, to enrich the teaching and learning experience. Feel free to incorporate those that interest you into your syllabus or teaching schedule.

Each unit is comprised of a brief summary of the subject matter, two SAPIENS articles, a list of keywords, talking points for professors, academic articles, student discussion questions, activities, and finally, additional resources. Hyperlinks lead you to such online resources as the main SAPIENS articles for each unit, keyword searches that can help you find related magazine content, and select activities and additional resources.

This curriculum is a work in progress—so please browse often to discover additional resources and units. We welcome your feedback: Please let us know how we can improve!

We are also crowdsourcing new teaching units. Help by developing your own, using our unit template. To submit or ask questions, please reach out to Marlaina Martin at marlaina{@}sapiens.org.

Finally, encourage your students to subscribe to SAPIENS’ weekly newsletter and the SAPIENS podcast for the magazine’s latest stories.

Biological Anthropology

Unit 1 – Hominins

Unit 2 – Nonhuman Primate Diversity

Unit 3 – Early Homo sapiens

Unit 4 – Human Genetic Variation

Unit 5 – Human Behavior


Unit 1 – Archaeological Methods

Unit 2 – Ethics in Archaeology

Unit 3 – Museums

Unit 4 – Archaeology and Colonialism

Unit 5 – Public Archaeology

Unit 6 – Black Archaeologies

Unit 7 – Indigenous Archaeologies

Linguistic Anthropology

Unit 1 – Language and Identity

Unit 2 – Language and Diversity

Unit 3 – Language and Gender

Unit 4 – Language and Colonialism

Unit 5 – Language and Power

Unit 6 – Language and Race

Cultural Anthropology

Unit 1 – Power and Hierarchies

Unit 2 – Gender and Sex

Unit 3 – Religion

Unit 4 – Food

Unit 5 – Medical Anthropology

Unit 6 – Symbolism

Unit 7 – Policing

Unit 8 – Pandemics

Unit 9 – Professional Anthropology