The Great Human Odyssey
The Great Human Odyssey explores the unlikely survival and the miraculous emergence of Homo sapiens as the world’s only global species. Ancient climate research has revealed that we evolved during the most volatile era since the extinction of the dinosaurs. Just like the many other kinds of human who once shared our world, we should have died away. Instead, our species survived to populate every corner of the planet, against all the odds.
The series is an excellent introduction the the Grade 8 Geography curriculum. It provides a historical context for many issues addressed in the the Ontario Curriculum, such as:
- The ways in which the physical environment and climate change have influenced our earliest ancestors and their settlement patterns.
- A look at sustainable communities and the relationship between our ancestors and the environment.
- The series raises questions about the quality of life of our ancestors, allowing students to compare and contrast to other communities and times in the world.
Because the documentary series is a reflection of the lives of our ancestors, it is important for students to be able to compare and contrast some of these practices to modern times, and apply this knowledge to help make predictions about the future of the human species.
This Guide for Educators contains several components. For the three episodes, there are content overviews, viewing questions, and critical thinking questions, a computer-based assignment, which involves three community case studies for the first two episodes.
- The Viewing Questions are meant to be answered by students while watching each episode, or in discussion after watching the episode.
- The Critical Thinking Challenges are meant to be “big picture” questions that can be posed to students at any point during instruction.
- Each episode also contains a Web Component, where students use technology to find maps and to examine one of the three Case Studies, using the interactive World of Extremes website. After watching the series, students are able to participate in a virtual reality experiment, walking in the shoes of Kalahari Bushmen, Chukchi reindeer herders or Badjao free-divers, through the interactive web documentary.