Human Story - Stage 6 Teacher Notes

The Human Story educator-led session enables students to investigate a variety of hominids. Activities focus on structural features and different interpretations of the fossil evidence. Students examine and conduct investigations using full size casts of skulls, jaws and femurs.

‘Lucy’ Australopithecus afarensis skull

‘Lucy’ Australopithecus afarensis skull
Photographer: Stuart Humphreys © Australian Museum

Before your visit

Syllabus links

This program is designed to complement the NSW Board of Studies Stage 6 Biology Syllabus Option 9.8 - The Human Story. Detailed syllabus links.

Pre-visit activities

To make the most of your visit to the exhibition we recommend that you prepare your students beforehand by:

  • providing a context for the excursion to the Museum including the reasons for visiting the Museum, the tasks to be completed and the expected outcomes.

Please photocopy the following materials for each student:

The following materials should be photocopied for each supervising adult:

At the Australian Museum

There are six hands-on investigative activities. The activities are:

  • 1. Comparing hominid skulls - ancient and modern
  • 2. Different interpretations in the search for the missing link
  • 3. Comparing hominid teeth - ancient and modern
  • 4. Alternative views of Homo erectus and Homo ergaster
  • 5. Was Lucy a biped?
  • 6. The search for our most recent ancestor - Homo neanderthalensis versus H. heidelbergensis
Organisational tips
  • A Museum educator will meet your group, introduce the activities and facilitate as students conduct their investigations.
  • A standard session lasts for about one hour and 15 minutes. Longer sessions can be booked.
  • Teachers may select one of the following options:

1. Two activities per student - each student works in a small group and is allocated two activities to complete. This option maximises the students' hands-on experiences.

2. One activity and a presentation by the Museum educator -- each student group is allocated one activity to complete then the Museum educator uses hominid skulls to build on the students' investigations during an interactive discussion/presentation. This option is valuable for students who have not yet studied the topic in any depth.

  • Note that students do not have time to each complete all six activities but they can obtain a shared perspective back at school during a reporting session with the rest of the class.

Ms Helen Wheeler , Learning Services Operations Manager
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