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

  • US faces Ebola quarantine test case
  • A nurse who cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone is fighting the US state of Maine over its right to quarantine her against her will.
  • Israel police kill suspected gunman
  • A Palestinian suspected of shooting prominent Jewish activist Yehuda Glick in Jerusalem is killed in a gun-battle with Israeli police.
  • Groups condemn Singapore gay ruling
  • Human rights groups criticise a Singapore court's decision that a law banning gay sex is constitutional, saying it "tramples on basic rights".
  • Mexico head meets students' families
  • Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto meets the families of 43 students who went missing more than a month ago, sparking nationwide protests.
  • Sri Lanka rescue effort intensified
  • Rescue workers in Sri Lanka intensify their search for survivors of a tea plantation landslide which is feared to have buried more than 100 people.
  • Tunisia secularists win elections
  • Tunisia's secularist Nidaa Tounes party wins 81 seats in parliament, pushing the Islamists of Ennahda into second place, official results show.