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Primate Tales

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Getting kids excited about science through having real scientists engage them about the amazing world of primates and evolution with hands-on in-class programs

Primate Tales  is Toronto and the GTA’s only affordable science program that brings in real scientists to your classroom to fill in the gaps in the science curriculum surrounding evolution.  We use primates as examples as the are instantly relatable and get students engaged in science. All our programs are hands-on, fun and interactive. The workshops support students in gaining a greater interest in science by meeting real scientists and tapping into their curiosity about our origins. Our 1 hour classroom programs   are for students in JK-Grade 12.    We are an official TDSB partner for these programs.

We use primates and ideas around evolution to help explore key areas of each grade’s science or social science curriculum and increase science literacy with a variety hands-on materials, like our monkey, ape and fossil hominin replica skulls, videos, photos and discussions about the topics covered. A recent paper by Bayer and Luberda (2016) shows that inquiry-based hands-on learning with hominin skulls helps students gain a greater understanding of evolution.  This is what we do at Primate Tales, bring our collection of ape and hominin skulls to engage students with biology and human evolution, so they can better understand these topics and see that they too can be scientists.

We have worked hard to incorporate material that is tightly linked to the Ontario science curriculum. Our presentations introduce and reinforce the concepts that students are learning in class taking the burden off you.  We provide worksheets for each program and by the end of the hour you will have an activity to assess the outcomes and expectations covered for the life systems or biology unit, taking the burden off your shoulders.

New Program for 2017-2018 school year: Being a Field Scientist. It is a one hour in-class program showing students the exciting world of field science based on my own experience as a primatologist.  It is easily modified for any grade between 1-12 and can be a great addition to any science class or careers unit. Going through the field work wins and fails, this is a fun program to get students excited about an area of science they might not be aware of.  

Daycares and All Day Kindergarten:   In need of an interesting and engaging program about animals for your students?  This fun and interactive program go over what a primate is ( a vertebrate and a mammal), what makes primates unique using our chimpanzee puppet to point out traits and getting students to point them out too.  They learn about the different types of primates that live on our planet while using our primate skulls, that the students can handle, to bring the presentation to life. We end with a fun craft where they get to make their own skull or primate out of model magic that they can take home.

Auditorium Presentations We also offer assembly science presentations are for up to 200 students from grades 1-12. These give your students a fun and engaging overview of what primates are, why they are important and what your students can do to help protect monkeys, lemurs and great apes.  

Compassion and Empathy Program We have developed a novel approach to teaching students about compassion and empathy with our 1 hour in-class program, the Evolution of Compassion,  to use in conjunction with the guidance department at your elementary or high school.  We are a recommended presenter for the TDCSB for this program.    The presentation is aimed for students in grade 7 and up.  It is different from other anti-bullying programs because it uses biology and science to explain why traits like compassion and empathy have evolved and why these traits were essential to our survival.  Students may not understand how crucial it is to engage is these behaviours and how detrimental it can be to engage it hateful, mean and aggressive ways. The program also involves hands-on and interactive activities that get students thinking about the consequences their actions online have and how detrimental it can be to the students who are bullied. The program is designed to break down the walls that the internet puts up between the bully and the victim to show students that what they say on the internet is just as bad as saying that to someone’s face. Students step into each other’s shoes to create empathy and compassion for each other.

Summer and March Break Camps Are you running a nature, animal or science-themed camp this summer?  Want to add in a little monkey fun?  We have exciting and fun Camp Programs for JK-Grade 8 children.  These programs give children a chance to learn about the amazing world of primates, how to protect them and why studying science is so important.  Programs include a hands-on component engaging with our replica monkey, ape and fossil human skulls and then a fun craft where they can make their own skull out of clay to take home!


Are you looking to book a parent PRO Grant program for your school?  We would be happy to work with you to bring our programs to your school.


progrant, pro grant, biology, science, life systems, safe schools, anti-bullying, empathy, compassion

111 Lawton Blvd Toronto
Toronto, GTA, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Hamilton, Markham, Vaughan, Whitby, Oshawa, Pickering, Ajax, Burlington, Ottawa
Program Type
Travel to You
Classes | Workshops
PRO Grant Option
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“From my perspective the best parts where things that were unique to you and based on experiences that you have beyond the textbook.  Things like your expertise with features of those skulls.  Your experiences in research.  Unusual or interesting details about other hominids that may not generally known. The new discovery at the end of your presentation was great to show that there is lots more to this puzzle to be determined and of course the girl power focus.  A great 'where do we go from here…’”  Brad Kitchen - Grade 11 Biology teacher at CHAT

"I thought the program was excellent. The information presented was highly interesting and engaging. My students really enjoyed the session and learned a lot from it. I especially liked the hands-on component, where students examined the skulls." - Niki Mehta, Biology Teacher, Bayview Glen School

"To learn more about where we came from." "Inspirational about science. When she talked about why she loves to study primates." "I think it was valuable to be given insight on how humans evolved in order to understand ourselves more and what separates us from ?other species." - From the students at the Avenue Rd Academy

Brad Kitchen, the grade 11 Biology teacher at CHAT, said his students "Enjoyed the skull activity!  Awesome that you explained how to figure out from a skull what the creature was like and then they got to do it! Your slide show!  Great visuals and explanations about where different types of hominids were found and how they were different from each other.  General flow of lesson with activity in the middle was great too!".

"Our campers were treated to a wonderful lecture on the topic of how our brain evolved. With the help of the organization Primate Tales, the students learned about the morphology of the skull, different human ancestors and even the theories of how humans have been as successful as we are. Thank you so much for this excellent and informative presentation, and the video summary is below"   -From Bright Lights Neuroscience camp at UTS

 "All of the instructors enjoyed your program, and it was clear (from all the questions), that the campers enjoyed it!" - Robert Porteous, Director of Science camps at Appleby College