Ross School third graders study the evolution and development of human society from hunting-gathering bands to the emergence of Ice Age settlements. In this cross-disciplinary unit, students examine the emergence of culture and the significance of the development of dwellings. They explore the natural landscape to locate areas that could serve as temporary shelters then shift focus, looking at what could be used to create a dwelling. Later, they make tools from natural artifacts, which they use to construct models of early human dwellings. Students also learn about Terra Amata, Dolni Vestonice, and Lascaux from the perspective of a paleoanthropologist, studying the art and artifacts of these sites to understand more about the culture of early humans and look at how spaces evolved from shelter to dwellings to ritual spaces. The unit culminates with the creation of a wax museum on early humans—a performance of understanding in which students become experts in their areas and share the beginnings of the story of the evolution of human consciousness.
Ross Institute / Ross School
East Hampton, NY
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