Table of contents
Table of contents
SAPIENS brings the world of anthropology to the public. We would like to help you bring SAPIENS to your classroom.
One woman with braids sits at a laptop, another woman standing over her shoulders. Both look at the screen.

Below you will find teaching units across anthropology 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, related SAPIENS articles, keywords, talking points for professors, academic articles, student discussion questions, and more. 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.

You can access a piece that details more about the history and goals of Teaching SAPIENS here.


Biological Anthropology

  • The photograph features a large recreated model of a neanderthal.
  • An illustration features a group of various nonhuman primates sitting and hanging in treebeds.
  • Scans compare a Neanderthal fossil (at left) to a modern human skull (right).
  • a computer generate images features a double helix shape in purple and green.
  • An illustration shows silhouettes of people fighting in front of a background of black silhouetted hands holding up their index and middle fingers.


  • A person wearing a gray long-sleeved shirt, dark jeans, and orange gloves uses a brush to clean debris off a rock in front of them.
  • In a cave, three people sit around a large square dirt pit with clear string oriented above it in parallel lines. Various tools including a hammer, metal bucket, and small plastic bags are scattered around them.
  • A wide shot features a collection of artifacts on tables with four additional floors towering overhead. A crowd of people gathers in a line in the background.
  • Two people surrounded a square hole dug into the dirt, one standing and the other crouching.
  • A man holds a paper and points in front of him as a crowd of people look on.
  • A tall stone sits in the middle of a public urban park.
  • More than 100 orange hearts sit on the side of a grassy hill with small lights in front of each one.

Linguistic Anthropology

  • Two hands hold a book whose cover reads, "The Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation; A Chickasaw Dictionary compiled by Jessie Humes and Vinnie May (James) Humes"
  • An older person stands in front of a younger one and points at an informational poster at their side.
  • A group of people walk down a road with a large sign on their right that reads, "future has no gender" in rainbow-colored, capitalized letters.
  • Several uniformed students sit and write at their desks with their heads down.
  • A person in a cowboy hat bumps fists with a person in a khaki pants suit in front of a red and white flag.
  • Two young people sit facing each other with paper on their laps. Behind them are large photos and a large grey storyboard.

Cultural Anthropology

  • In the center of the photo, a statue of a man in a long coat stands on a block embossed with a placard reading “Benjamin Ryan Tillman.” In the foreground, a protest sign reads, “No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police.”
  • A person holds up a phone with a picture of a person up on the screen.
  • A mosaic features four angels in white with wings surrounding a man in a central circle - all against a yellow background.
  • Two men in plaid shirts and bandanas tied around their faces carry large baskets of produce.
  • A seated woman in green medical scrubs holds a cotton ball and sits in front of a masked patient, who faces her with his arm extended.
  • Eight pictures of Queen Elizabeth II at various ages appear on eight monoliths of Stonehenge, set against a dark-blue sky.
  • The photograph features several police officers uniformed in black walking past casually dressed people on a public road lined with shops.
  • People with coats and face masks on walk down a gray sidewalk.

The Problems With Coming of Age

Instructor Guide
  • A dark-haired woman sits cross-legged in a dress and black Mary Jane shoes, leaning against a wall imprinted with leaves and other designs.
  • Portrait of two female friends with arm around outdoors on sunny day. One friend has dark curly hair and lots of jewelry, while the other girl has bangs and short cropped hair.
  • A black and white photograph of a woman wearing an elaborate headdress and necklace, with bare shoulders exposed.
  • In a grainy black-and-white image, women sit in a row, with an older woman to the left holding a staff in one hand and papers in another, speaks with dignity.
  • Three young men stand on a beach, wearing island-style shirts.
  • Two legs in flipflops hang off a cliff, taken from the perspective of the person sitting there. The ocean is soft focused in the distance. The overall effect is topsy-turvy.
  • A gray-haired man stands outside with his hands in the front pockets of his buttoned-up sweater coat.
  • In soft focus, a woman's lips gently kisses the tip of a baby's nose.
  • A cross stands in silhouette against a sunset in purple hues.
  • A sepia-toned image of soldiers and men in uniforms, and Samoan men in formal white coats, and women in front in traditional Samoan clothing.
  • An older white woman poses in a studio. She has short-cropped hair and thick glasses, and has her head leaning gently against one upraised hand.
  • A pair of twins, two men, hold their heads close to one another, wearing winter hats.
  • A series of locks are locked against a chain link fence.
  • A bright multi-colored mural against a large wall depicts an older woman in a headscarf, while a man in business attire walks by.
  • A layered image shows a large crowd of men waving their hands in the air.
  • A small group of children run around under a tree, smiling happily.