Montessori Great Lessons - Coming of Humans, Study of Prehistoric Man Part 2

This was a really fun study that was in the works for quite a long time. The story of humans has fascinated Xander for quite some time, and we have visited this story many times in various ways.

We started out reading this book and watching the National Geographic Earth - Making of a Planet. If you missed our Great lessons Part 1 post you can visit it here.

I put together a series of laminated sheets to make large information cards that we laid out in chronological order. The sheets created a broad overview of man. We covered the great migration out of Africa,the Stone Age, Bronze, and Iron Ages. This led us to the movement of early man crossing the Beringa Land Bridge, which brought us into our Native North American Studies. Our study began with our ancient cultures of Canada. I will post about that very soon.
We will get into other ancient cultures after that.

I found the majority of this information and images on Wikipedia. I put this information together in a way most appealing to Xander and included maps, food, animals, climate, tools, shelter and homes communication and art.

Xander was very intrigued with the idea of hunting, gathering and the use of hand tools. In the upper right (photo below) you can see their large collection plate for rocks, and several other things he felt related to stone age man.

 This rock was a great find! It looked very similar to the shape of a hand axe.

A little experimentation with grinding stones together.

This is another book we love about early humans by DK Eyewitness Books.

We pulled out our wall book timeline again. The links for this are in our Great Lessons Part 1 here.

Xander was absolutely fascinated by early tools and how they were made and used. I bought some air dry clay (you could also use salt dough) and he created tools for a small "museum like" exhibit he wanted to display for family 💗 Above he was shaping a hand axe, arrow and spear heads.

We used this clay.

He had a ton of fun doing this! He shaped his objects with his hands and a Chinese soup spoon but anything would work.

Drying took a couple of days because the pieces were so thick. He painted them and did a little dry brushing to highlight the texture. He was trying to make them look aged and well used.

These skeletons were a fantastic find from a museum visit here! I did find them links for them on amazon though.


The books that came with them are well written and loaded with fun facts and information that Xander loved reading.

Miss Ava loved them as well:)

They are made with quality plastic and were fairly easy to assemble. They are also a great size. We have another human skeleton for anatomy study and it is much smaller so I think we'll use this one as well. The books detail each bone and compare the skeletons.

They talk about the bone and skeletal structure of the Neanderthal and why they may have had those characteristics.

We paid a visit to the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria last spring. One of the galleries has a display that features Ice-Age remains from mammoth and mastodon, bison and many other species. Xander was very taken with this massive woolly mammoth display!! has amazing Cave men play sets, and on their site they have a tons of facts about the stone age illustrated with their figures. Kids can download a fully detailed booklet to read, or read it online as Xander did. Kids can also take a fun fact quiz.

This was such a fun study for Xander. He made a pre historic man Lego Stop Motion animation video with the iPad. He has made a few SM videos and is really enjoying it. This app is by far his favourite method. You can check out this app here.

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  1. Great job!

    I loved your idea to have him make tools out of the clay so he could have his own museum. I will be borrowing that idea for sure.

    1. Thank you!! He had a great time with the clay. Ava made her own sculptures too:) Borrow away! I can't wait to see what you make:)

  2. This is wonderful. I've read your first Great Lesson post over and over and have order many of the items/books you used for Christmas. I will be adding some of these :) Thanks so much for all your posts. I get very excited when they're in my inbox!
    Is there any way you can share a link to the beautiful pages that you laminated for Xander? You put so much work into them....they look great!

    1. Hi Lauren!! I am so happy to hear you are enjoying reading about our work and that it is helpful! It means so much to hear that. You have wonderful work and so much fun going on at your blog:)
      Everything in my sheets are from Wikipedia and they are all commons photos. These are not my images so I am unable to post them as a download sadly. I will tell you though that there is so much information that they were fairly simple to put together. Sometimes I debate on showing these types of handmade things because I feel badly that I am unable to share them:(

  3. Is the 'Neadrathal book and skeleton" the one that contains the actual skeleton? and Is the "bones book and skeleton" the book you need to go along with it?? thanks

    1. It does contain both the book and skeleton!! These are so worth it, we just love them! They are in Xander's mini museum exhibit with the artifacts he made:)

  4. What a great post! We are excited to jump into this Great Lesson soon. I love the skeleton set, I saw it somewhere else online (i cant remember where) and thought it would be perfect for this lesson. Now that Ive seen some up close photos I think its great!
    The clay hand tools are awesome! They look just like rock after being painted. Thanks for all the book recommendations too!

    1. This one was so fun and interesting for Xander, and Ava got in there too! I found her pretty easy to keep busy during checking everything out:) It is such a great set. Honestly I wasn't sure about the content of the books that went with the skeletons, but I was so happy to see them because they were fantastic! I'll be looking for your post! I have a smaller part two with the research study portion that Xander did:) Soon!


I greatly appreciate your friendly comments and feedback. I love to see what others are making, so please feel free to include a links and share your site with us!!! If you have any questions regarding any of the materials we have made...I'd love to help!!! Thank you for visiting us:)



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