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Teaching Resources

Early Human Evolution and Culture

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:

Associated Experts


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.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.




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

Life Science


From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
    MS-LS1-1Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells, either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.MS-LS1-4Use 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.


Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
    MS-LS4-1Analyze 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-LS4-2Apply 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.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards


Briana Pobiner, Research Scientist
Briana Pobiner
Prehistoric Archaeologist and Museum Educator
Dr. Rick Potts standing in a desert landscape of the Kenya Rift Valley.  There is also a small hill behind him.
Rick Potts
Director, Human Origins Program, Peter Buck Chair in Human Origins
Medium shot of museum specialist Jennifer Clark wearing a green shirt. Indistinct items in the background.
Jennifer Clark
Museum Specialist, Human Origins Program
Paleobiologist Dr. Kay Behrensmeyer in jeans, shirt, and hat, standing at a field slope with rocks and  writing in a notebook
Anna K. Behrensmeyer
Paleobiologist and Curator of Fossil Vertebrates

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