As an introduction to their unit on primates, students tried to accomplish fine motor tasks with fake claws attached to their fingers. One of the characteristics that all primates, including humans, have is having nails instead of claws, as well as sensitive tactile tissue at the ends of their digits. This allows primates to manipulate objects precisely.
Some of the tasks were to pick up dimes off a flat surface, tie knots in a string, thread a needle, and write a sentence with a short pencil. The students struggled with the tasks and were able to compared the experience to their usual “non-clawed” hands. Students were timed during the tasks with Devon Musgrave-Johnson as the winner of the “Claw Olympics”.
The students then learned about the rest of the characteristics, such as binocular stereoscopic vision and large brain to body size ratios. They then each picked groupings of primates to research for a class presentation.