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

  • Pistorius jailed for five years
  • South African athlete Oscar Pistorius is jailed for five years in Pretoria for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
  • Total boss dies in Moscow air crash
  • Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of French oil company Total since 2007, has died after his plane crashed during take-off in Moscow.
  • Designer Oscar de la Renta dies
  • Dominican-born US fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who dressed former first ladies Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, has died aged 82, US media report.
  • Man guilty of fake-girl webcam sex
  • An Australian man is convicted of performing a sex act in front of a webcam "watched by" a computer-generated child he believed was real.
  • Ebola-hit nations get key supplies
  • Vital supplies to tackle Ebola are beginning to arrive in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - the worst-hit countries, Ghana's president says.
  • Man walks again after transplant
  • A paralysed man becomes the first in the world to walk again following a pioneering therapy which involved transplanting cells from his nose into his severed spinal cord.