Help Your Child Learn About
The Wonderful World of Anthropology...
Right in Your Own Backyard!

Prepared by Cathy Suroviak, December, 1995,
as an Anthropology 101 project
for Dr. Brian Donohue-Lynch,
Quinebaug Valley Community Technical College,
Danielson, CT.

A Guide for Parents and Children
To (mostly free!) Resources
In Northeastern Connecticut

Think anthropology sounds like something only a researcher would know about?
Think again! The word literally means "the study of human beings"_we can ALL do that!
The five fields of anthropology, which include physical anthropology, archaeology,
cultural anthropology, linguistics, and applied anthropology, are represented in the world
all around you. Just think of the early American artifacts that might be buried in your yard...

Did you know....

Take some time to visit your local cemetery, draw or take photos of old farmhouses, barns,
schoolhouses, and stone walls, and imagine with your child the families who lived in your
area_what brought them here? From where? What did they do for a living? What language
did they speak? What customs are unique to their culture? Help your child question a
grandparent or elderly neighbor to find out about these things....right in your own backyard!


Connecticut State Museum of Natural History

Wilbur Cross Building, University of Connecticut, Storrs 860/486-4460
Museum Hours:
Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 12:00 noon to 4:00,
Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00.
Admission is Free!
Is your child curious about different cultures of the world, or does he/she wonder
about Native American artifacts? The museum is a wonderful resource, and is only
a short drive away at UConn. It houses a number of permanent displays, including a
Connecticut Indian exhibit with life-sized circle home, hands-on musical instruments,
games and artifacts; fossils; birds of prey; and Videoplace, an artificial reality interactive
computer. Also on exhibit is Disappearing Cultural Diversity: Indigenous People of the World,
a photo display showing people from different cultures around the world.

In addition to its exhibits, the museum offers much more:

Workshops for Children

(seasonal schedule)
Contact the museum for a complete schedule of coming events and workshop fees.
Recent popular workshops have included:

Family Events and Workshops

(seasonal schedule)
Contact the museum for a complete schedule of coming events.
Coming in December, Discovery Days 1995, featuring Discover Life in Africa!
December 27-31, 1995, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $3 per adult, $2 per child. There will be slide talks
from guest speakers each day, videos, displays of art and culture, African music, and hands-on
learning activities and projects for children


Free Lecture Series

(seasonal schedule)
Contact the museum for a complete schedule of coming events. Topics have included:

Migratory Exhibits and Discovery Kits

To enhance science education for people of all ages, the museum makes migratory exhibits
available to schools_have your child's teacher contact the Museum for details on renting these
exhibits or the Museum's Discovery Kits.

Dinosaur State Park

480 West Street, Rocky Hill (Exit 23 off I-91)
Reopening in June, 1996 after extensive renovation. Call before visiting for admission fees
and to confirm that the park has reopened!

A little outside of Northeastern Connecticut, but worth the trip if your child is interested
in dinosaurs or fossils. During a lengthy renovation period during which the park has been
closed park naturalists and geologists have been conducting outreach education programs.
When the park reopens, it will feature new displays of rocks, minerals, and fossils in addition
to existing displays, nature trails, and other services.
Some special services include:

State Archaeologist's Office

Nicholas F. Bellantoni, Ph.D., State Archaeologist
University of Connecticut, Storrs

If your child has a curiosity about arrowheads or other artifacts found in the earth,
this is the place to be! Dr. Bellantoni's job as State Archaeologist includes inspecting highway
construction sites where artifacts have been found and working with the State Police when human
remains are discovered. He is happy to schedule a private tour for you and your child to discuss
archaeology and view his collection of artifacts and educational materials.

Killingly Historical Center

196 Main Street, Killingly (Old Bugbee Library)
Hours: Monday and Friday, 9:00 to Noon; Wednesday and Saturday, 10:00 to 4:00
(may be modified during winter storms; call ahead)
Tours are Free!

Does your child ever wonder what life was really like in the "old days?" Marcella Pasay,
the Research Director at the Center, says that one of her favorite jobs is showing the many
old photographs, paintings, and artifacts to children who visit. She will be happy to show the
pictures and 18th and 19th century artifacts to your child and explain how, and why, they were used.

William Benton Museum of Art

245 Glenbrook Road, University of Connecticut, Storrs
Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 to 4:30; Saturday - Sunday, 1:00 to 4:30
Admission is free!
If your child wants to know more about different cultures of the world, don't miss this museum.
In cooperation with UConn's Center for Latin American Studies, a traveling display will be
available (Fall, 1996) to schools and organizations, consisting of two dozen Puerto Rican folk
figures housed in individual plexiglass cases. The figures depict common daily chores such as
sewing or bread making. An interpretation of the figures and their mythical past is in progress.
Have your child's teacher contact the museum for more information.

Interested in learning more about South American cultures?
The museum has a collection of Chilean arpilleras, tapestry-like cotton patchwork
backed by burlap fabric which depict Chilean's lives during a difficult time. In 1972,
Chilean women, who had no work available and were deprived of their rights by an
oppressive ruler, were encouraged by churches to use their sewing skills to create
the tapestries as a way to make money and express their views of the political situation.
Churches organized these groups to enable information to be passed on, since there was
no free press, and established community soup pots to feed the hungry population.
The arpilleras are visual art depicting the situation in Chile at that time, and their scenes
are described as "happy." They contain no descriptive text, only words that might be
found in the scene they are depicting. One element common to all arpilleras is the Andes
Mountains in the background, intended to remind viewers of the arpilleras' Chilean roots.
The arpilleras were created to meet a need during a 20-year period in history, although
the museum is currently researching conflicting reports that they are still being made.
A selection of these arpilleras, along with curriculum materials, can be sent to schools.
Have your child's teacher contact the museum for more information.

Do you have access to the Internet?

If you're lucky enough to have access to this terrific resource, help your child discover
the exciting diversity of topics by visiting ArchNet on the World Wide Web. Visit natural
history museums around the world, view current archaeological digs, even keep up on
what's happening at UConn's Museum of Natural History!
Access ArchNet at:
Click Here to Jump to ArchNet!


(these books were found at Bracken Memorial Library, Woodstock)

OTHER RECOMMENDED READING (check with your local bookstore)

Note: The following reading selection and and story descriptions are amended from:
Yokota, J. (1993). "Issues in Selecting Multicultural Children's Literature".
Language Arts, 70, 156-167

Help Your Child Learn About the Wonderful World of Anthropology...Right in Your Own Backyard!
was prepared by Cathy Suroviak, December, 1995, as an Anthropology 101 project
for Dr. Brian Donohue-Lynch, Quinebaug Valley Community Technical College, Danielson, CT.

Thank you to

for sharing your time, information, and enthusiasm so generously.


Click Here to Go Back...

These pages are maintained by: Dr. Brian Donohue-Lynch
Direct comments, questions or suggestions to:

Page Last Revised: Jan. 2007