Friday, August 29, 2014

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 US has carried out airstrikes in support of Iraqi troops under attack by Islamic State, the military says, the first under an expanded mission.
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  • About 500 migrants drowned after their ship was rammed by another boat near Malta last week, the International Organization for Migration says.
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  • A Belgian man serving a life sentence for rape and murder will be allowed to have doctors end his life, after a landmark ruling.
  • OECD sees global economy held back
  • A slow recovery among nations using the euro is holding back the global economy, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says.
  • Hurricane Odile stuns Mexico resorts
  • Hurricane Odile causes devastation in the beach resorts of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, triggering looting in some areas.
  • Rio police 'corruption' arrests
  • Police in Rio de Janeiro have arrested twenty-two of their own officers for alleged involvement in a bribery and extortion racket.