Learn about the fascinating story of human evolution. Create your own family tree and relate it to the family tree of the human species. Find out about how the early humans dispersed around the world. Use storytelling to pass on your learning about human evolution to other children.

Session 1 The human family tree

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

History

  • Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history, and note trends over time.

Teaching and Activities

Children learn about and create their own family tree of human evolution.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To create a family tree showing how early humans and great apes are related.
  • To put images of early humans in chronological order.

Children will:

  • Put dates into the correct chronological order.
  • Reconstruct the family tree of great apes.
  • Explain how some of the species are similar and different to each other.

Provided Resources

  • Introductory pdf
  • Family tree templates
  • Pictures of great apes and early humans

You Will Need

  • Ask children to bring in photos of their family members
  • A4 sheet for each child
  • Large piece of paper, preferably A1 or A0 already prepared with a tree drawn on

Session 2 The human journey

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

Geography

  • Locate the world’s countries, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics.

Teaching and Activities

Make a map showing early human dispersal around the world.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To create a map showing where and when early humans travelled out of Africa.
  • To locate places where early human fossils have been found and identify the surrounding environmental region.

Children will:

  • Explain where, how and when early humans travelled out of Africa.
  • Locate places and countries on a map.
  • Identify features of the physical environment.

You Will Need

  • Large wall map

Session 3 Human fossils

Objectives

Science

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

History

  • Children will understand that what we know is constructed from several different sources (fossils, footprints, genetic clock).

Teaching and Activities

Learn about four key human fossils and put them on a timeline.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To create a timeline with details of early human fossils on it.
  • To write some milestones of human development on the timeline.

Children will:

  • Address research questions.
  • Put some human achievements, milestones and fossils on a timeline.
  • Explain what different types of evidence there are for these.
  • Start to think about how different humans species were adapted for their environments.

You Will Need

  • String across the classroom to pin events onto to make a timeline

Weblinks

Session 4 Meeting Neanderthals

Objectives

History

  • Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British and world history.

English

  • Participate in discussion.

Teaching and Activities

Take part in a philosophical enquiry about Homo sapiens meeting Neanderthals.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To research what happened when modern humans and Neanderthals met.
  • To carry out a philosophical enquiry about what happened when Homo sapiens met Neanderthals.

Children will:

  • Generate and address research questions.
  • Generate and address philosophical questions.
  • Take part in discussion and presentation.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 5 The human story

Objectives

History

  • Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.

English

  • Write for a particular purpose and audience.

Teaching and Activities

Share your learning about human evolution through storytelling.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To organise what they know about human evolution.
  • To write a story book and tell another class the human story.

Children will:

  • Select and organise relevant historical information
  • Plan a story for a particular audience
  • Assess the effectiveness of their writing

You Will Need

  • Various books about evolution and fossils