When Wilma Met Fred
A Human Evolution Case
Winona State University
This "clicker case" follows a professor and his students in a study abroad course in Tanzania who are searching for human fossils in an effort to better understand where humans come from. The case story, presented as a PowerPoint presentation, is complemented by a classroom game that mimics modern TV shows where people look for an ideal "soul mate." Students are challenged to identify in the audience mates of the same species through clues disclosed by the instructor. The case and game facilitate learning about human evolution and the physical/cultural characteristics of a few, selected species of early hominins. Developed for a non-majors' introductory biology course, the case is also suitable for courses in evolution, natural history, biological anthropology, and general biology for majors with modifications. Although designed as a clicker case using PowerPoint slides (1.3 MB) with embedded questions that students answer in class, the case can be adapted for use without these technologies.
- Understand the environment - both physical and social - in which early humans and their recent ancestors evolved and how this has led to what we think of as uniquely human characteristics.
- Learn the physical and cultural differences among early hominins of the genus Homo.
KeywordsHuman evolution; hominin; Homo erectus; Homo habilis; Homo neanderthalensis; Neanderthal; Neandertal; Homo sapiens; Pleistocene; Tanzania
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsClicker, Interrupted, Role-Play
Subject HeadingsEvolutionary Biology | Anthropology | Biology (General) |