Teaching Resources - Early Human Evolution and Culture

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Oldowan stone copper. Smithsonian image, Chip Clark.

This stone tool found in East Africa was likely used by early humans to chop meat and bone marrow from animal kills. Smithsonian photo by Chip Clark.

STEM Subject: Early Human Evolution and Culture

National Middle School Science Standards Life Science

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies 

Key Terms: paleoanthropology, fossil, archaeology, human evolution, extinction, taxonomy, phylogeny

Key Concepts:  

  • What it means to be human
  • Diet and culture of early humans 
  • Interpreting the family tree of humans
  • Factors shaping human evolution 
  • Technology used by paleoanthropologists 

Resource Types:


Webcast (video) and Podcast (audio) Shows

Printable Lessons 

Online Activities

Science Literacy Resources Reading selections to boost science literacy

Middle School Level

High School Level 

Gifted Readers

Posters and Worksheets




The Early Human Evolution teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations:

MS-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

  • MS-LS1-1 Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.
  • MS-LS1-4 Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.

MS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • MS-LS4-1. Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
  • MS-LS4-2. Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. 


The Human Evolution Webcast Package supports students in meeting the Social Studies listed below by offering a set of resources that integrate anthropology concepts with anthropology skills. 

People, Places, and Environments

  • The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world.  
  • During their studies, learners develop an understanding of spatial perspectives, and examine changes in the relationship between peoples, places and environments.