Interactive Assessment for The Origin of Humans
A number of questions are embedded within the short film Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans. The film explores the major fossil finds from Africa that provide insights into the evolution of modern humans from a common ancestor we share with other primates.
Like any species, humans have an evolutionary history involving divergence from other animal groups. Paleontologists try to reconstruct this evolutionary history using the fossil record. This film discusses some of the most important hominid fossils and how they illuminate key phases of human evolution, focusing on three traits: larger brains, use of tools, and bipedality.
This version of the film with embedded questions contains automatic pause points, during which students answer questions about the film to assess their understanding of the concepts presented. After answering all the questions, students can view and print their answers.
Student Learning Targets
- Explain what the fossils discussed in the film reveal about early evolution in the human lineage.
Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, bipedalism, fossil, hominin, Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Laetoli, Lucy, primate, Zinjanthropus
White, Tim D., Berhane Asfaw, Yonas Beyene, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, C. Owen Lovejoy, Gen Suwa, and Giday WoldeGabriel. “Ardipithecus ramidus and the paleobiology of early hominids.” Science 326, 5949 (2009): 75–86. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1175802.
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HS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-4; SEP6
EVO-1.N, EVO-3.G; SP1