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Activity: Human Migration Patterns

Purpose

In this activity, you will use a variety of skills to complete the tasks, including close reading and comprehension abilities, researching, and mapping. The reading part of this activity requires you to read for both information (clues) and for understanding, in order to complete the mapping section. Creating the map will give you a visual representation of when and where early humans moved after leaving Africa.

Process

First, read the Smithsonian article, “The Great Human Migration.” As you read, note or highlight every piece of information or clue given about human migration out of Africa. Then, begin mapping the migration patterns of early humans, using the Human Migrations Patterns Map. Begin by labeling the following parts of the map: Africa, Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, the Middle East, Israel, Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, Croatia, India, Asia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, North America, South America, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
Using the symbols provided in the map legend, draw the course of human migration as told in the article. You should draw migration routes, water crossings, mountains, and evidence of human habitation including Homo sapiens and Neanderthal areas of settlement. Lastly, in order to put all of this into a chronological time frame, label the migration routes with the approximate date ranges for when humans moved into these areas.
Once you have completed this, check the answer key to see how well you did.

For Further Discussion

The Smithsonian article ends with a quote from Morris who says, “We are all Africans.” What does he mean by this? Post your answer in the Questions Area below. Then, comment on whether you agree or disagree with someone else’s comment, and why you agree or disagree.

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