Early Genus Homo – trends, variation, and geographic distribution

For this unit, I wanted to focus on trends, variation, and geographic distribution of mainly Homo erectus, but I also discuss what we know about H. habilis. I will start the class with the map, and walk them through the who, where, when, and what they look like for H. habilis and H. erectus. I will then go through what we currently think about when H. erectus moved out of Africa and how it distributed to other parts of the world. After the map is done, I will hand out the table that focuses on trends: first from Australopiths to H. habilis and then from H. habilis to H. erectus. I will have students work on the table in groups first and then we come back together as a whole class to go over it. My hope is that this will help students focus on the trends rather than get lost in the weeds of particular sites, dates, and peculiar morphology that pops up.  I made these on 11×17 paper to give students lots of room to work. There are two files associated with this: the blank one to hand out to students and the filled in one with the information I plan on covering. I also bolded and underlined hunting because I plan to have a more detailed conversation with my class about what would have needed to happen culturally for hunting to be successful (better technology & social coordination – relating to intelligence) and how the access to animal protein would have been beneficial. Good luck!

Early Homo Map & Trends FILLED IN

Early Homo Map & Trends


This can be done much the same way online as in person. Here is a link to the powerpoint fossil guide. You can either have students work through it collaboratively in groups through Google Slides or have them follow along with you as you fill it in.