Early Humans

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The lesson introduces students to the origins, movements, lifestyle, and characteristics of early humans.  Many students may not fathom or understand the history of early humans of the past, and how humans of the past lived much differently than those in the present time.  The characteristics of early humans, the spread of humans across the planet, and other interesting facts are discussed.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to evolution and early civilizations.

Early Humans Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Early Humans
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 5-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson introduces students to the origins, movements, lifestyle, and characteristics of early humans. Relevant vocabulary is included such as homo sapiens, Neanderthals, archaeologists, the Stone Age, and Cro Magnon Man. Illustrations of early tools and early humans are included. The lesson spends some time comparing early humans to humans today so students understand the differences. The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to evolution and early civilizations.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instructions:  

  1. Ask students: What do you think it was like for the first humans on Earth? What problems do you think they faced?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. How long ago do you think the first modern humans like you appeared on Earth?  What would be different or the same about us and them?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Early Humans to the class.
  4. Distribute Early Humans content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Students use colored pencils or paint for the “Cave Paintings”.  Allow sufficient time for completion of the rough drafts.  Encourage students to draw as best as possible, using symbols if necessary.  Though students imagine there is no technology, the drawings should include the technology of today.  Distribute final copy paper for the “Cave Paintings”.
  6. Once completed, the students share their “Cave Paintings” with the rest of the class. Display the paintings in a prominent area of the classroom.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.   Students correct the False statements.
  9. In closing, ask students: What would be the best part about being one of the first humans on Earth? Why?  What would be the worst thing about being one of the first humans on Earth?  Why?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Encourage students to be specific with their responses.

Common Core State Standards:  

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1.c, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4,

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more science resources? Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Science