Discuss specific fossil hominids and what they show about human evolution.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms -

A. The scientific theory of evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.

B. The scientific theory of evolution is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence.

C. Organisms are classified based on their evolutionary history.

D. Natural selection is a primary mechanism leading to evolutionary change.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2000330: Biology 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000410: Zoology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

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Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Walk This Way:

This lesson explores the topic of hominid evolution using pictures of fossils, short guided notes with a PowerPoint Presentation, an engaging video, website exploration, and a graphing exercise. While this topic can be difficult to teach, this lesson presents the topic in a straight-forward, non-controversial manner, focusing on conclusions scientists have made based on fossil evidence.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hominid Cranium Comparison (The Skulls Lab):

Students describe, measure and compare cranial casts from contemporary apes (chimpanzees and gorillas, typically), modern humans and fossil "hominins" (erect and bipedal forms evolutionarily separated from apes). ("Hominid" is the new collective term for African apes and humans.) The purpose of the activity is for students to discover some of the similarities and differences that exist between these forms, and to see the pattern of the gradual accumulation of traits over time, leading to modern humans.

Type: Lesson Plan

Text Resources

Long-held Theory on Human Gestation Refuted:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a fine synopsis of a previously reported (and highly technical) study that shows the thought process behind challenging an existing theory. The subject is human evolution and the biology of childbirth. It encompasses basic anthropology concepts such as walking upright, as well as the biology of energy needs in pregnancy. Long-held views (that narrow birth canals are required for bipedalism) are debunked by careful analysis of how women with varying hip widths actually walk—and the authors found no difference.

Type: Text Resource

400,000-Year-Old Human DNA Adds New Tangle to our Origin Story :

This informational text describes how modern DNA extraction methods have shed light on two extinct human cousin species. Scientists are finding new ways to study fossil mitochondrial DNA which have led to rethinking how groups of early humans should be divided evolutionarily.

Type: Text Resource

Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the discovery of "Skull 5" and the traits that have led scientists to the conclusion that early Homo was a more diverse genus than realized before.

Type: Text Resource

Student Resources

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