Becoming Human — Interactive Science & Anthropology

28 Dec

Becoming Human

Today I have a pair of interactive links in one site, both a timeline and a documentary.  The Institute of Human Origins has created both an interactive documentary and a timeline of human lineage on their site, Becoming Human.

Becoming Human is a history of the evolution of mankind beginning with the earliest known remains from about 6-7 million years ago through modern Homo Sapiens.  The interactive documentary is an online exhibit that is divided into five chapters: a prologue, evidence, anatomy, lineages, and culture.  Once loaded, the viewer can select any chapter to start, each has links to interactive exhibits and articles that can help explain each concept in more detail.  If you click on a exhibit, once you return to the video portion you will resume right where you left off, which is a fabulous feature!  In addition to streaming via a web browser on the Becoming Human site, there are download options for the video and links for both PC and Mac.   You will need Internet connectivity for the links, but your bandwidth will thank you for the download!

In Becoming Human’s timeline of human lineage, students are able to see artistic representations of the remains found in their respective locations in time.  Clicking on each image in the timeline will take the students to a separate page that provides information on the discovery of the remains and a secondary link will explain in depth the history of the species and genus represented in the fossil record.  This is a great starting point for students learning about the evolution of mankind or studying anthropology in a social studies setting.


  • There is also a Quicktime video about Early Craftmanship and the creation of the first stone and bone tools and weapons, their discovery, and how early man used them.  If you let the video load in its entirety before playing, there is an option for chapter selection.  Unfortunately, there is no download option for this feature.
  • Building Bodies is an interactive lab where students can build both a chimpanzee and human skeleton to compare points of anatomy.  Lesson plans and materials for conducting this activity offline are also available.
  • Chromosome Connection brings the points of comparison between primates to the genetic level where students manipulate common chromosomes to show the similarities between four primates.  Offline plans and materials are also available for this activity.
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Websites


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