For the exit point to our Out of Africa unit we held an early Homo Sapiens Feast. Having researched at school what early man might have eaten and how this differs from our diet today. Students were asked to bring in a dish of food that they thought that might have been eaten at that time. The only stipulation being it had to be finger food as early man did not have knives and forks and meat had to be cooked. Every student then showed their dish of food to the class and gave a short presentation as to why they thought that this dish was appropriate to the lives of early man and detailed some of the benefits this dish would have had.
We then as a class discussed how we thought that fruits might have altered in the intervening period, coming up with the ideas that that fruit was now bigger, sweeter and that fruit trees have higher yields. Children then thought about how this happened and linked this to the overarching concepts this unit is based around, evolution, adaptation and diversity. Children were able to think how it is now people who are leading the evolution of plants by selecting which plants they breed in order to develop fruits which are larger, sweeter. We then linked this idea to diversity noticing that as you selectively breed plants the genetic diversity decreases as certain types are chosen and others become extinct. This was then linked to problems of disease. Finally we looked at with climate change how scientists are now breeding more drought resistant and fast growing crops. We looked at the examples of maize and bananas from her in Uganda both of which are crucial staple crops for the country.
The children then had their feast and enjoyed the different types of food.
Finally the children assessed their understanding of the unit using 3 different thinking routines.
- Colour / Symbol / Image children choose a colour symbol and image for this unit and justify their choices
- The 3 Y’s children say why the learning in this unit is important to them, their community and the whole world.
- I used to think….. now I know….
Children completed one of these routines in a high level of detail and one in some detail giving them the opportunity to pick and choose how they assessed their own work.