Cultural Anthropology Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

Students will become anthropologists for a day and learn about the three branches of cultural anthropology. They will watch a video, participate in discussion questions, complete an activity and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • define cultural anthropology
  • describe the three types of cultural anthropology
  • compare and contrast the three types of cultural anthropology


60 minutes; extension (optional) 30 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).


Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.


Evaluate authors' differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors' claims, reasoning, and evidence.


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.



  • Begin by asking students to describe anthropology.
  • Explain that this lesson explores a subset of anthropology, cultural anthropology.
  • Distribute the What is Cultural Anthropology? lesson.
  • Begin the video, pausing at 2:34 to discuss:
    • Define cultural anthropology.
    • Identify various components of cultural anthropology.
    • List the three branches of cultural anthropology.
  • Resume the video, stop at 4:56, and pose the following discussion points:
    • Describe archaeology.
    • Discuss the challenges faced by archaeologists.
    • Explain anthropological linguistics.
    • What is ethnology?
  • Shoulder pair students and ask them to compare and contrast the three branches of cultural anthropology.
  • Allow them to share their fndings.
  • Afterwards, play the 'Lesson Summary', show the lesson quiz and go over as a class.

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