Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Making of a Poster

So, we're done with our first unit: Early Hominids - Neolithic Revolution,
and in a few weeks we'll be starting our next unit: The Rise of Civilization

Some of the resources we used:
Discovery Channel, Neanderthal

From our reading and research, here is Lu's summary (based on questions that we worked on together). He typed this up himself straight from his notebook. It's also the information he used to make his poster, so he's worked with the information in many ways: discussing, writing in notebook, typing, editing, printing, cutting, pasting to timeline... He knows these things well now - the order of the appearance of the different hominids and the most important developments. He knows that scientists believe that the Big Bang was 13 billion years ago, that the Earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago, and that the first hominids appeared 4.5 million years ago. These are the only numbers/dates that he's memorized. For the rest, we just focused on understanding the order and relative "distance" from TODAY.

Early Hominids to Neolithic Revolution

Radio carbon dating is a method that scientists use to determine how old fossils or artifacts are. It is believed the first hominids lived 4.4 million years ago on the southern coast of Africa. Anthropologists can tell the different hominids apart by comparing their bones. Humankind began keeping written history about 5,000 years ago.

The Australopithecus were the first hominids. They were 3-5 feet tall, and mostly ate leaves and fruit. They may have used sticks to dig and to defend themselves, but there is no evidence that they made their own tools.

Homo habilis, or person with abilities, lived between 2.4 - 1.4 million years ago.

Homo erectus, or person who walks upright, lived between 1.8 million years ago - 200,000 years ago.

Homo sapiens, or person who can think, appeared around 500,000 years ago and still lives today.

Ice ages made life very difficult for early hominids. They had to adapt or migrate, or they would die. Glaciers formed and the sea levels dropped, creating land bridges over which hominids could travel.

The Stone Age started about 2 million years ago, when Homo habilis made and used the first tools, and ended when written history began.

It is believed that Homo erectus migrated from Africa 1.6 million years ago, arriving in Asia and Europe around 400,000 years ago. Homo erectus spoke the first simple language and discovered fire control in the last 500,000 years.

Tools and fire allowed early humans to hunt, dig, fish, make other tools, make clothing and music, cook, live in deeper caves, keep warm, and gather together. Spoken language affected early humans by allowing them to discuss plans, teach and pass on skills, and communicate ideas.

Neanderthal appeared 500,000 years ago in Asia and Europe. They were 5-6 feet tall. Their bodies were thick and muscular, and their brains were slightly larger than ours. Their tools were much more advanced than those of earlier hominids. Some lived in caves, while others built shelters out of branches and animal skins. They had ceremonial burials for their dead, and cared for the sick and injured. It is possible that Neanderthal used medicines.

Anatomically modern humans, or AMH, appeared somewhere between 24,000 - 50,000 years ago in Africa. Within just a few thousand years, they spread across the entire world. Their technological developments included axes, fishhooks, bows and arrows, spear throwers, canoes, looms, oxen driven plows, and homes built out of logs or stones. Their social life developed quickly. They started living in larger groups and staying in one place, which led to farming and the development of irrigation systems. The Agricultural or Neolithic Revolution started around 10,000 years ago, when people started farming. Their population exploded. They had more time to think, observe, learn new things, invent, and make. They started measuring the passage of time with sundials and star charts. The first rules and laws were developed because people were living together in larger groups.

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