People are all unique. In fact, they are all very different. People live in diverse cultures and different climates. They develop different languages, music, poetry, and stories. Living in different places sometimes means that they lead very different lives. Some may fish in the ocean; others may work in a factory, on a farm, in an office, school or hospital. Currently, the oldest human remains found to date are from Ethiopia from 2.8 million years ago. The Hominidae is the family of chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and humans (and their extinct ancestors). Current thought is that human anatomy and genetic makeup are most closely related to chimpanzees!
Activity 1 – Indigenous People
Indigenous people are the people who settled in a region. In the beginning, people moved about searching for water, food, and shelter. As migratory group size increased, groups discovered fire which increased their safety and enabled them to cook their food. When humans started the collection of seeds and replanting and domestication of animals, agricultural sites became settlements. Indigenous people developed languages and crafts of construction we now call vernacular architecture. This map shows current indigenous populations and where they still exist. Choose one group and learn about their foods, customs, beliefs and daily life.
Activity 2 – Migratory Populations
Migratory populations throughout human history have come into contact with other mobile groups. Some combined forces whereas others succumbed to the more dominant peoples. People moved to secure access to water, ability to find and eventually raise food sources, and safety. In addition, many indigenous cultures, removed from their lands by explorers, depleted population due to new diseases or higher technologies and moved on for survival. Research and make a map of the migratory routes of the earliest humans. Where did your ancestor move from? Where would you migrate to find greater opportunity?
Activity 3 – Babies
People have offspring. Females carry developing fetuses for nine months. Babies are helpless and cared for by their mothers. When they are newborn, they need to be warm, clean and fed. Milk from the mother is the most natural food source and delivers immunities to the baby. After one to three months, newborns are called infants. They become more focused, and look at you and smile, and begin to gurgle or coo. Babies’ heads must be supported when carried as they cannot yet handle the weight of their heads. Babies need to feel secure, comfortable and nourished. Mothers and newborns need a lot of sleep and rest in the first few months after delivery. Eventually, most babies get into a routine of eating, changing, and sleeping. They become more alert and their times of being awake and focused increase. Mothers often sleep at the same time as their babies do to build their up their strength. Visit a family with a new baby.
Activity 4 – Infants
Infants turn into toddlers as they learn to sit up, pull up, crawl and walk. Toddlers are amazingly active learning every minute they are awake. In the meantime, their ability to talk emerges, and they begin to express many emotions and attitudes. Keeping toddlers safe and yet stimulated during these exploratory years keeps parents and caregivers busy. Children spend more time on the floor or ground than any other time in their life. The association to dirt and pets is now thought to build immunities to allergies later in life. The experience of the out of doors is critical during these formative years as it opens key associations with nature and the living world. Children’s first contact with material occurs during this time as well. They are always touching things and putting them into their mouth. Children explore new textures, shapes, sounds, colors, tastes. Using all of their senses, they develop new abilities to climb, jump, reach and run. Toddlers like to be read to and to point at pictures on books. They begin to mimic sounds and learn animal names. Diagram a safe yet stimulating environment for a toddler.
Activity 5 – Toddlers
Activity 6 – Children
Activity 7 – Adolescents
Activity 8 – Young Adults
Activity 9 – Adults
Activity 10 – Parents
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