Thursday, August 29, 2013

Early Humans

This unit is about the human need to answer the questions: "What does it mean to be human" and "How did we get here?" Throughout the year we focus on creation stories from around the world. This unit relates the creation story that science tells. Concurrent to this exploration the class is arranged into "cave clans." One wall of the room is devoted to this simulation. Each clan is given a part of the wall—its territory—to fill with land forms and plant, animal and mineral resources. As the unit progresses, the class reflects their learning in the world they create on our wall, adding technological and cultural characteristics as they earn them. One day is devoted to trying our hands at cave art, as the room is transformed into a darkened cave, the doorway reduced to a mere crawlspace. Using small flashlights as torches, students find alcoves beneath their desks lined with a simulated rock surface and etch their own designs, reminiscent of those from Lascaux, upon the "rock." Here is a great website for human ancestry. Another good place to look for more information on the story of Hominid Development is Donald Johannson's site. If you're interested in rock art, here is great site to explore paleolithic art from around the world. Of course you should be deeply interested in this topic. It is, after all, the symbolic representation of the world that is a prime differentiator between humans and other members of the aminal kingdom. Enjoy.

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BBC World News

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  • The Netherlands receives the first victims' bodies from crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in a solemn ceremony at Eindhoven air base.
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  • UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says Israel may have committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip, while also condemning Hamas rocket attacks.
  • Scores killed in Taiwan plane crash
  • More than 40 people were killed when a TransAsia Airways passenger plane crashed after making a failed emergency landing in Taiwan, local officials say.
  • Costa Concordia heads for scrapyard
  • The wreck of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia is being towed away for scrap, in one of the biggest maritime salvage operations ever staged.
  • S Leone chief Ebola doctor infected
  • The doctor leading the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone is now being treated for the deadly virus, a statement from the presidency says.
  • Rival to challenge Indonesia result
  • The losing candidate in Indonesia's presidential election, Prabowo Subianto, will challenge the result in court, his spokesman says.