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Research of Ancient Humans Unit for Junior/ Senior Classes

On a Personal Note: I taught an Ancient Humans research unit in my junior/senior high school classes that I looked forward to every year. Using the site http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species, students chose one of the ancient hominins to research. There is so much information on this site http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence for them to use for an informative presentation to the class. I laminated pictures and names of each hominin and used heavy string and clothespins for display on the back wall of the classroom.
Latin is so important in science so the students had to translate the hominin’s genus/species names and be able to pronounce them properly.
As each presentation was completed, we would discuss what interesting information was learned and record those points in their notes of each ancient human. The students would then decide where the picture would be placed in order from the oldest to the most recent.

When all presentations were done we discussed how these humans had evolved from start to finish. The students would draw their own timeline and put the names in order along with bulleted highlights from their notes on each hominin presented. It was their choice to decorate the final timeline.
The essay was 5 paragraphs with an Intro, 3 paragraphs on different aspects learned from unit & conclusion. The whole process took a couple of weeks so a rubric presentation and an essay using their timeline were test grades The timeline itself was worth 2 daily grades.
Students were given a chance to give feedback on the unit to improve it.
Several students each year would say that they enjoyed learning about their ancient ancestors.

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