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List of Benchmarks for World History

Standard 1.Understands the biological and cultural processes that shaped the earliest human communities
  Level II (Grade 5-6)
   1. Understands scientific evidence regarding early hominid evolution in Africa (e.g., daily life of individuals and communities in early hunter-gatherer populations; major anthropological discoveries, their locations, and their discoverers)
   2. Understands the social and cultural characteristics of hunter-gatherer communities in various continental regions (e.g., similarities and differences between hunter-gatherer communities in Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas and their responses to local environments; characteristics of Cro-Magnon communities of western Eurasia; location and composition of archaeological discoveries and what understanding these bring to Neanderthal culture and community life)
  Level III (Grade 7-8)
   1. Understands early hominid development and scientific methods used to determine the dates and evolution of different human communities (e.g., methods employed by archaeologists, geologists, and anthropologists to study hominid evolution; the approximate chronology, sequence, and territorial range of early hominid evolution in Africa from the Australopithecines to Homo erectus)
   2. Understands the role of the environment in the development of different human communities (e.g., current and past theories regarding the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens and the processes by which human groups populated the major world regions; how environmental conditions in the last Ice Age possibly affected changes in the economy, culture, and organization of human communities)
   3. Understands how different human communities expressed their beliefs (e.g., theories regarding the relationship between linguistic and cultural development; possible social, cultural, and/or religious meanings inferred from late paleolithic cave paintings found in Spain and France; theories about the ways in which hunter-gatherers may have communicated, maintained memory of past events, and expressed religious feelings)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands methods by which early human communities are studied and what these studies reveal (e.g., the way in which newly discovered sites and investigative techniques used to examine them affect the study and understanding of human evolution, how common refuse can be studied to make inferences about earlier communities)
   2. Understands how different kinds of evidence are used to determine the cultural characteristics of early human communities (e.g., how archaeological evidence demonstrates the influences of climate, geographic location, and economic specialization on everyday life; how nonverbal evidence such as burials, carvings, and paintings can indicate the presence of religion)
   3. Understands physical, social, and cultural characteristics of different human communities (e.g., the possible types of early hominid communities; characteristics of skeletal remains of nonhominid, primate, hominid, and Homo sapiens and how to classify them chronologically; major features of flora, fauna, and climate associated with different hominid communities)
   4. Understands environmental, biological, and cultural influences on early human communities (e.g., how language helped early humans hunt, establish roles, rules, and structure within communities; the proposition that Mesolithic peoples were the first to take advantage of a changing climate; biological and cultural relationships between Neanderthal and Homo sapiens sapiens)