A project of the American Anthropological Association, Race: Are We So Different? looks at human variation and what it means to be a human being. This unique resource helps us celebrate and understand the differences among people.
The resource itself has three main sections that look at History, Human Variation, and Lived Experience. The History section has an interactive timeline, which goes from 1600 to the present. You can click on a timeline item to learn more about that subject.
The Human Variation section has several different interactives and videos to help you learn more about what scientists have learned about human variation. These interactives and videos include: The Human Spectrum, Our Molecular Selves, Race and Human Variation, Only Skin Deep, Health Connections, and a Human Variation Quiz.
Finally, the Lived Experience section takes a look at how we perceive people based on their physical characteristics and at how people may be treated differently based on those same characteristics. The resources in this section help put you in someone else's shoes and explore stereotypes.
- Genes and Geography
- Race and Achievement
- Thinking About Segregation and Integration
- You and Your Skin
This resource can be used at the middle-school and high-school levels to help students explore human variation in historical, scientific, and societal contexts. Students can examine the history of race in the United States by reading brief articles about events and trends during different time periods. Depending on what concepts you are focusing on in your classroom, you can pick and choose topics from the History section to help students learn more about those concepts. For instance, you can have students read the article on Colonial Experience to learn more about how slaves were at first both black and white peoples from Europe and Africa but eventually came to be just black by the 1660s.
You also can use the interactives and videos in the resource to help students gain more insight into what current research suggests about human genetic variation and the variation in human skin color. The Race and Human Variation interactive is a particularly interesting look at whether patterns of genetic variation match races.