Books We Are Using This Year
  • The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    by Jeff West,S. Wise Bauer,Jeff (ILT) West, Susan Wise Bauer
  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    by Bernard J Nebel PhD
  • Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    by Steven P. Demme
  • First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    by -Author-
  • SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    by MODERN CURRICULUM PRESS
  • Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    by Mona Brookes
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Entries in prehistory (7)

Saturday
Mar242012

Human prehistory (resource list)

Human evolution and migration to the beginning of civilization, 160 m.y.a. to 10 k.y.a. (November 2011-February 2012)


Topics of focus:

Civilzation—its appeal, opportunities, and problems
Early human art
Evolution
Human evolution from apes
Human migration out of Africa
Reasons for migration

Book/reading resources:
11,000 Years Lost (Peni R. Griffin)
Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave (Jean-Marie Chauvet)
A Day With Homo Habilis (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Homo Erectus (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Neanderthal Man (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Homo Sapiens (Fiorenzo Faccini)
Archaeologists Dig for Clues (Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science, by Kate Duke)
Evolution: The Human Story (Dr. Alice Roberts)
Evolution: The Story of Life (Douglas Palmer)
The First Dog (Jan Brett)
First Painter (Dawn Sirett and Kathryn Lasky)
Fossils Tell of Long Ago (Aliki)
Hominids: A Look Back at Our Ancestors (Helen Roney Sattler)
How People First Lived (William Jaspersohn)
Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution (Steve Jenkins)
Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From (Catherine Thimmesh)
Mik's Mammoth (Roy Gerrard)
One Small Blue Bead
(Byrd Baylor)

Websites
Beringia land bridge graphic (PALE via Wikipedia)
The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc (Republique Francaise)
Human Evolution phylogeny (umich.edu class notes)
Human Evolution by the Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program (humanorigins.si.edu)
The Journey of Mankind from Stephen Oppenheimer(bradshawfoundation.com)
Lascaux, a Visit to the Cave (Republique Francaise)

Videos online
Human Prehistory 101: Prologue (23andMe via YouTube)
Human Prehistory 101 Part 1: Out of (Eastern) Africa (23andMe via YouTube)
Human Prehistory 101 Part 2: Weathering the Storm (23andMe via YouTube)
Solutreans: The First Americans (from one of the big documentary makers, but I only found it via YouTube)

Videos (via disc or streaming)
Ape to Man (The History Channel via Netflix Streaming)
Becoming Human (Nova via Netflix streaming)
The Human Family Tree (National Geographic via Netflix streaming)
The Incredible Human Journey (Alice Roberts with BBC, on DVD)
Walking With Cavemen (BBC via Netflix streaming)

Activities/crafts
Exploring the use of prehistoric tools
Making a family tree
Making cave paintings
Mapping human migration
Making a timeline of human evolution
Reading, creating, listening, and watching

Tuesday
Mar132012

Prehistoric mammals (and birds) and the Cenozoic era (resource list)

The rise of prehistoric mammals in the Cenozoic era (November-December 2011)

Topics of focus:
Prehistoric animals
Environmental changes
Habitat changes
Extinction and evolution of mammals over time
Intro to evolution of humans

Books:
A Day With Homo Habilis (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Homo Erectus (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Neanderthal Man (Fiorenzo Faccini)
A Day With Homo Sapiens (Fiorenzo Faccini)
The Coming of Mammals: A New World (Melvin Berger)
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Mega-Beasts (Robert Sabuda)
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks (Robert Sabuda)
Extinct! Creatures of the Past (Mary Batten)
Evolution: The Story of Life (Douglas Palmer)
Fossils Tell of Long Ago (Aliki)
From Lava to Life (Jennifer Morgan)
Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution (Steve Jenkins)
Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From (Catherine Thimmesh)

Videos:
Becoming Human (Nova)
Walking With Cavemen (BBC)
Walking With Prehistoric Beasts (BBC)

Websites/computer resources:
La Brea Tar Pits site (Page Museum)

Other fun things:
Prehistoric Mammals coloring book (Dover)

Activity list:
Reading, reading, reading
Drawing, coloring, writing, creating
Making a new timeline—zooming in on the Cenozoic
Researching specific animals and creating them in felt
Playing with the felt timeline, of course
Making up our own prehistoric creatures

Tuesday
Nov222011

Journal entry—human evolution and migration

Saturday
Nov192011

Weeky book shelf 11/19

 Reading to himself:

Fiorenzo Faccini is the author of four great non-fiction books about four early hominid species:  A Day With Homo Habilis, A Day With Homo Erectus, A Day With Neanderthal Man, A Day With Homo Sapiens. The books offer a lot of factual information about the highlighted species along with a realistic fiction story and beautiful, vivid illustrations. The books are dated, and they are a little thick as far as information goes. I have seen some parents complain about the books being too detailed or not interesting enough for young children, but I think that depends entirely on the child. Calvin loves them.

Mega Beasts is a pop-up book that belongs to the Encyclopedia Prehistorica trilogy by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart. We own all three of the books because we were lucky enough to stumble upon them (in excellent shape even) at library used book sales. Sabuda's books are always beautifully made and lots of fun, and the art of these three in particular is fantastic. Great fun facts, lots of little things to try out and see. Calvin can't get enough of any of these.

Although not really a book, I thought I'd mention the Highlights magazine here because it does have a number of enjoyable stories in it, and because Calvin enjoys reading them. He does still prefer a book, but getting mail just for himself is fun, and the magazine provides a number of small challenges, like learning some words in Spanish, and some other activities as well, a favorite of which is the finding hidden pictures game. I love that he gets mail, and that this magazine is still completely without ads, which cannot be said of many kids' magazines out there anymore.

Also not a book, but Dover's History Coloring Books are a fun way to read about historical, or prehistorical, subjects. Each page exhibits a large image to color as well as a paragraph of information about the subject of the image.

This is a pretty short list this week, not because we haven't been reading, but because I'm having trouble keeping my chin above water. With so many things going on this time of year sometimes it's hard to keep track of them all. There has been plenty of Magic Tree House reading an play around here, and Calvin and Jon are still reading The Arabian Nights together every night.

Thursday
Nov172011

Prehistoric Creature Creation

A couple of weeks ago (or maybe a month?) I typed up an eight page chart of some of the most common roots used in dinosaur names, their meanings, and their origins. I even printed it, then after all that work we didn't actually use the chart all that much; other than glancing at it from time to time it has spent most of its life tucked away in our history binder, and I hate wasting paper and resources.

Then today I had a flash of creativity and happened upon an idea for finally putting the chart to good use. Since many of the same roots were used in naming early Cenozoic animals we played a "creature creation" game where one of use would use the chart to make up an animal name while the other had to then draw the imagined animal and provide a short description.

I can be a craft person, but my imagination is sorely lacking at times. So are my drawing skills. Nonetheless, this was a really fun activity.