Review student graphic organizers.
Go over all the material from the last two weeks to prepare students for test next day.
Have probing questions in between review.
Students have the whole period to take the test.
“Divide the class into teams of two, and distribute copies of the Laetoli Trackways Diagram diagram and accompanying backgrounder to each team. Ask each team to study and discuss the trackways and record their answers to the following questions:
What creatures probably made the tracks?
How were these creatures moving (walking, running, etc.)?
What interactions, if any, do the tracks suggest?
What is the evidence for your answers?”
Join back together as class and discuss:
Describe the unusual series of circumstances that caused the Laetoli footprints to be preserved. Does this combination of events say anything about why such footprints are rare finds?
Discuss why these footprints are so important to paleoanthropologists.
The existence of an arch in the foot is described as an important advantage for a primate that always walks erect on two legs. Discuss and explain this line of reasoning.
Then have students write down what they think footprints can tell us:
Engage students in a discussion about what footprints can tell us. For example:
Do individuals with longer feet also have longer legs?
Are people with longer legs taller?
Are the number of strides a person takes in a given distance different when he or she is running or walking?
Does the person's stride length change with speed? Would the same hold true for early hominids?
Can patterns of the present give us clues to patterns of the past?
THIS ACTIVITY MAY BE PUSHED TO FRIDAY.
(I may only model how to do it on Thursday and how to answer the questions and have students do exit slips on how to do it)
As a class go through this bio interactive.
Ask students probing questions in between.
Have students use laptops to do this interactive and answer questions.
“There are four dig sites in the Riddle of the Bones activity: Lucy, Hadar Skull, First Family, and Laetoli Footprints. Assign each student to a dig site. (It's OK that there will be more than one student per dig site.)
Tell each team to review the evidence at their site and answer the following questions:
What kind of creature made this fossil?
When did this animal live?
What did it look like alive?
How did it move?
When was it found and by whom?
Have the teams write a summary of their findings, then discuss with the class how the fossils are related to one another.
Discuss as a class the following questions:
What kinds of information about hominid evolution does the fossil evidence provide?
What are the limitations of fossil evidence?
What inferences about early hominids are made from the fossils?”
“Discuss and explore the ways in which paleontologists reconstruct the habits of extinct organisms from looking at particular parts of their fossilized remains, using the "How did they move" section of this feature. What characteristics of the highlighted bones would be useful in determining posture? Range of motion? Dependence on arms in walking?
Discuss the ways which other features of fossils can be used in generating hypothetical reconstructions of how extinct animals looked.
Determining which species a series of bones belong to is no simple matter. Research and discuss the diagnostic features used most heavily by paleoanthropologists to assign hominid fossils to particular species.”
Have students use laptops to open up this article and read it:
And answer the following questions:
What hypotheses do scientists give for the evolution of bipedalism?
What anatomical changes were necessary for bipedalism to evolve?
What cultural changes did bipedalism cause?
How do recent fossil findings support the idea that bipedalism evolved long before large brains?
Then have students watch Walking Tall:
And answer the following questions:
What modifications in the human skeleton allow us to walk upright?
List the similarities and differences between human and chimpanzee skeletons.
What problems do humans experience as a result of their upright stance?
What advantages does it convey?
Why can't the chimpanzee walk on two legs?
If there is time, finish the last of the activities on this page, although these activities should take 3 periods, so if anything it will be moved to next Monday.