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

  • Anger over 'slow' Korea ferry rescue
  • Families of passengers on a sunken South Korean ferry protest angrily over the rescue operation, scuffling with police on Jindo island.
  • Russian outrage at Ukraine killing
  • The Russian foreign ministry expresses outrage at a fatal shooting incident in eastern Ukraine which it blames on Ukrainian nationalists.
  • Hostage reporters 'chained' in Syria
  • Four French journalists who spent 10 months in captivity in Syria were chained to each other and kept in basements without light, one recounts.
  • Pope celebrates Easter Sunday Mass
  • Pope Francis celebrates Easter in front of thousands in St Peter's Square, praying for peace in Syria and Ukraine and "an end to all war".
  • Algeria militants 'kill 11 soldiers'
  • Islamist militants have killed 11 Algerian soldiers in an ambush on a patrol in mountains east of the capital Algiers, security sources say.
  • Brazil cars torched in protest
  • Residents of a poor community near Rio de Janeiro torch vehicles in protest at the deaths of two young men in incidents involving the police.