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America's Stone Age Explorers

Viewing Ideas

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Before Watching

  1. Have students research the Clovis-first theory. Ask students to share their knowledge about the questions central to the program—Who were the first Americans? Where did they come from? How did they get to America? Use a map to locate some of the places mentioned: the Bering Strait; Clovis, New Mexico; and Monte Verde, Chile.

  2. Organize students into six groups. Have each group take notes on evidence presented in the program related to one of the following areas: the Clovis people; a pre-Clovis population; the Solutrean culture; possible migration routes to the Americas; archeological evidence; and genetic evidence.

After Watching

  1. Have students refer to their notes for a discussion about the evidence presented in the program. Survey the class. How many students feel the evidence for the existence of a pre-Clovis people is strong? Moderately strong? Weak? How many feel the evidence that the Solutreans may have come to the Americas from Europe is strong? Moderately strong? Weak? Have students defend their reasoning. What evidence supports or refutes various migration routes? After watching the program, whom do students think the first Americans were?

  2. Ask students why it is important to find out who the first Americans were. What implications might it have for Native Americans? For Europeans? Have students explore some contemporary Native American views and expressions of their beliefs about their ancestry. Why might Native Americans be sensitive to a claim that prehistoric Europeans were among the earliest colonizers of the continent?

Teacher's Guide
America's Stone Age Explorers
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