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Online Lessons for Teachers: Learning Evolution

LESSON 5: Teacher Page

 How Did Humans Evolve?

In this lesson, students learn about the process of human evolution by interacting with a Web activity and examining possible hominid family trees. With this hands-on approach, students become responsible for their own learning and are better able to see connections between ideas and remember what they learn.

Activity 1: Fossil Finding

 This activity will take two class periods.
Image of a fossil.

Students will study four famous fossil groups and learn how scientists interpret them to explain human evolution.

Learning Goals


Understand how fossil evidence can be used to describe ancient life forms


Learn about different kinds of fossil evidence


Learn how paleontologists compare information from different fossil finds to learn more about ancient life forms

Activity 2: A Tree Full of Ancestors

 This activity will take between one and three class periods.
Image of a human skull.

Students will study three possible hominid family trees and examine why they are different.

Learning Goals


Learn how fossils can be used to create a family tree


Learn how fossil fragments can be used to gain a better picture of an entire organism


Learn how different fossil evidence can be combined to create a more complete picture of an organism

Additional Activities
We want to hear from you! Take part in an interactive poll on the inevitability of intelligent life, and make your opinion count.

View LESSON 5 Student Page

 Scientific Terms






Assessment Rubric
Guidelines for assessing students' mastery of activity.

National Science Standards for LESSON 5

Icon with a clock, representing 45 minutes of class time.Time to Learn!

Each clock icon respresents approximately one
45-minute classroom session (not including homework).

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