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 mounts as Gaza toll rises
  • The US and UN condemn the shelling of a UN school housing civilians in Gaza, as Palestinians say Israeli attacks kill more than 100 in the day.
  • Ebola: Liberia shuts all schools
  • Liberia's government announced it is closing down all schools across the country and deploying troops to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
  • House votes to sue President Obama
  • The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution authorising a lawsuit against the president for alleged overreach of his authority.
  • Argentine debt talks end in failure
  • Argentina and the so-called "hold-out" investors fail to reach an agreement at last-ditch talks, pushing the country towards a default.
  • G7 says Russia faces more sanctions
  • The G7 group of economic powers warns President Putin of further sanctions after Russia called new US and EU penalties "destructive and short-sighted".
  • Dozens trapped by Indian landslide
  • At least 20 people are killed after a landslide buries more than 40 houses and leaves up to 200 people trapped in a village in western India.