Unit 1: Early Humans/Earth's Ecology/Perseverance

Stage 1 - Desired Results

Establish Goals:

California History and Social Science Standards:
Ancient Civilizations
6.1 Students describe what is known through archaeological studies of the early physical and cultural development of humankind from the Paleolithic era to the agricultural revolution.
1.Describe the hunter-gatherer societies, including the development of tools and the use of fire.
2. Identify the locations of human communities that populated the major regions of the world and describe how humans adapted to a variety of environments.
3.Discuss the climatic changes and human modifications of the physical environment that gave rise to the domestication of plants and animals and new sources of clothing and shelter.
California Science Standards:
Ecology (Life Sciences)
5. Organisms in ecosystems exchange energy and nutrients among themselves and with the environment. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis and then from organism to organism through food webs.
b. Students know matter is transferred over time from one organism to others in the food web and between organisms and the physical environment.
c. Students know populations of organisms can be categorized by the functions they serve in an ecosystem.
d. Students know different kinds of organisms may play similar ecological roles in similar biomes.
e. Students know the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and on abiotic factors, such as quantities of light and water, a range of temperatures, and soil composition.
Common Core ELA Standards
Reading Literature/Informational Text
1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting (working towards this skill).
Speaking or Listening
1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
4. Present claims and findings (e.g., argument, narrative, informative, response to literature presentations), sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details and nonverbal elements to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.
4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.


Students will understand that .
Early Humans: Humans have developed through evolution and the development of technology
Ecology: The inter-connectedness of living beings, and the systems they live in
Perseverance: You can get smarter, and improve in your ability to do things.
Early Humans: We all started in Africa, and changes in primate/human biology and technology have allowed us to grow from the societies to civilizations.
Ecology: We all depend on each other. Organisms exchange energy and nutrients both symbiotic/parasitic and as predator/prey
Perseverance: Success comes from perseverance, persistence, patience, and practice.
Early Humans: Folks back then were just primitive.
Ecology: Biological relations are always exploitative (i.e.; predator/prey)
Perseverance: Success comes from perseverance, persistence, patience, and practice.

Essential Questions:

Early Humans: How did cities and communities start? What's there before we had recorded history? Where do humans come from?
Ecology: What do living things need to survive?
Perseverance: Are smart folks, just smart? What can someone do to improve themselves? What is success?

Essential Background:

Early Humans: Physical map of Africa and Middle East
Ecology: Living systems and essentials for life
Perseverance: Meaning of perseverance, persistence

Students will know and do. . .

• Write jot-dot and summary notes
• Answer short response questions and edit work based on teacher input
• Be able to give a short oral response
• Create food webs and food chains

Students will be able to know . . .

• Write science lab report
• How to observe nature
• Begin to interact around a learning topic online with fellow classmates
• Short-form persuasion

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Performance Tasks:

• Weekly written assessments
By what criteria will performances of understanding be judged?
• Rubric

Other Evidence:

• Story summaries
• Science/Social Study notes
• Primary Sources/Reading Comp/Social Studies Connection
How will students reflect upon and self-assess their learning?
• Discussions, survey at unit end.

Stage 3 - Learning Plan


Science Links
Early Humans

Learning Activities:

Ancient Civilization: Early Humans
Earth Science: Ecology
Reading/ Literature:
Perseverance/ Hatchet
Oral Language
Week Two
Unit 1 Chapter 1 Lesson 1
The Cradle of Humankind pp 56-60
Why is Olduvai Gorge so important in the study of human origins?
Atlas, Great Rift Valley ~18:00
Finish up BoY Assessment and Lessons
Open Court Unit 5 opener Rachel Carson
Hatchet Chap 1-4
• Introduction to class discussion
• "No-excuses" words
Week Three
Unit 1 Chapter 1 Lesson 2 Hadar pp64-6
What do scientists believe was the first human feature to appear in our ancestors?
The Human Family Tree
Unit 1 Earth's Ecology
Chapter 1 Earth's Ecosystems
Lesson 1 Intro to Earth's Ecosystems pp24-39
The number and types of
organisms in an ecosystem
depend on the resources
DO: Observation of living things on school grounds
Unit 1 Earth's Ecology
Chapter 1 Earth's Ecosystems
Lesson 2 Photosynthesis pp40-53
Energy enters ecosystems as sunlight, which is used by plants to make food.
DO: Leaf Mixture Chromotography
Open Court Unit 5 Lesson 2 The Most Beautiful Roof in the World
Hatchet Chap 5-8
• Notice and Notes Contrasts and Contradictions
• CORE Ready Reading Lesson 1-2 Character change
• Introduction to note taking
• Introduction to weekly assessment
• Introduction to story summaries from CORE Ready Lesson 1-1
Week Four
Unit 1 Chapter 1 Lesson 3
Other Ancestors pp70-5
Why is the ability to use tools considered an important step for our human ancestors?
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
READ: Otzi leveled Biography
Unit 1 Earth's Ecology
Chapter 1 Earth's Ecosystems
Lesson 3 Microscopic Organisms on Earth pp 54-65
Energy and matter are transferred from one
organism to another at the microscopic level.
DO: Microscope Lab
Open Court Unit 1 Perseverance Lesson 3
On Top of the World
Hatchet Chap 9-12
• Notice and Notes Aha Moment
• CORE Ready Reading Lesson 1-3 Central Idea
• Introduction to revising and teacher feedback
• CUPs vs. other edits
• Introduction to unit packets
• Introduction to online activities
• Do a binder check for notes, etc.
• Sentences/Fragments
• Introduction to literary discussions
- Discussing Book
- Having and recording group discussions
- Thinking about weekly assessment
Week Five
Unit 1 Chapter 2 Lesson 1
The Old Stone Age pp 80-4
What accomplishments did early humans make in technology, art, and language?
Unit 1 Chapter 2 Lesson 2
Humans on the Move pp86-91
How have Scientists learned about the culture of early humans?
DO: Cave Drawings and Handprints
Unit 1 Earth's Ecology
Chapter 1 Earth's Ecosystems
Lesson 4 Earth's Food Chains,
Webs, and Pyramids pp 66-79
Energy and matter are transferred from one organism to another in food chains and
food webs
DO: Create a food web mobile
WATCH: Magic School Bus: Rain Forest
Open Court Unit 5 Lesson 5 Saving the Peregrine Falcon
Hatchet Chap 13-16
• Notice and Notes Words of the Wiser
• CORE Ready Reading
Lesson 1-4 Multiple Central Ideas and Lesson 1-5 Central ideas across a text
• Subjects/Predicates
Week Six
Unit 1 Chapter 2 Lesson 3
A Changing World pp94-7
What led to the Development of farming as a source of food?
Unit 1 Chapter 3 Lesson 1
New Ways of Life pp102-7
How did agriculture develop thousands of years ago?
DO: Readers Theater "A Family Fest" pp110-113
Unit 1 Earth's Ecology
Chapter 1 Earth's Ecosystems
Lesson 5 Earth's Cycles of Life pp 80-91
Earth recycles water and other substances, such as carbon and nitrogen.
DO: Water recycling activity
Open Court Unit 1 Perseverance Lesson 4
St. George and the Dragon
Hatchet Chap 17-Epilogue

Week Seven

Unit 1 Earth's EcologyChapter 2 Earth's Land and Water
Lesson 1 Earth's Land Biomes
Unit 1 Earth's Ecology
Chapter 2 Earth's Land and Water
Lesson 2 Earth's Water Ecosystems
Unit 1 Earth's Ecology
Chapter 2 Earth's Land
and Water
Lesson 3 Ecosystems in California
Open Court Unit 5 Lesson 4 A Natural Force
• Introduction narrative non-fiction writing or realistic fiction CORE Ready Writing Lesson 1-1
Week Eight
Unit 1 Chapter 3 Lesson 2 Beginning of Settlements pp 114-8
Think/Ideas:What role did farming play the development of communities?
Unit 1 Chapter 3 Lesson 3 Catal Huyuk pp 120-5
Think/Ideas:What was life like in the city of Catal Huyuk?
WATCH:Out of Egypt Chap One
Catch up on ELA
Open Court Unit 1 Perseverance
Lesson 5 Jesse Owens
• Notice and Notes Again and Again
• CORE Ready Reading Lesson 1-7 Comparing viewing and reading the same story.
• Notice and Notes Tough Questions
• CORE Ready Reading Lesson 1-6 Change in a character's POV
• Notice and Notes Memory Moment
• CORE Ready Reading Lesson 1-8 Looking at a central idea across multiple texts.
• Planning for narrative non-fiction writing or realistic fiction CORE Ready Writing Lesson 1-2 and Lesson 1-3
• Work on narrative non-fiction writing or realistic fiction CORE Ready Writing Lesson 1-4 and Lesson 1-5