Timeline of Hominids, Alison’s Montessori

  • History, 6-12
  • In Montessori education, historical knowledge is organized in chronological order, and launched through impressionist stories.
  • Before learning about the Hominids, early humans, we studied the Timeline of Life (Paleozoic era, Mesozoic era, and Cenozoic era) accompanied by the Great Stories and some experiments.
  • The Timeline of Hominids by Alison’s Montessori provides a complete framework, rich with key elements, visuals, and research cards to spark interest. The following review will describe the different sections and the way the timeline is organized to facilitate understanding of the Quaternary period.


Old Stone Age (Paleolithic period)
Left: Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic period)
Right: New Stone Age (Neolithic period)

How it works

  • The Timeline of Hominids represents the last period of the Cenozoic era. This is where children ended the Timeline of Life. I tell the children that we are focusing on this last segment of the Timeline of Life, and to look at it closely.
  • It is very helpful for the children to reframe the era/periods using a Clock of era, and/or a Geological Time Scale (GTS).
Timeline, Lifestyle Picture
  • The Timeline of Hominids begins more than 3 million years B.C.E. It is divided into 3 Epochs or Ages: Paleolithi c (Old Stone Age), Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age), and Neolithic (New Stone Age).
Timeline and Research Cards
  • The Timeline is organized in a way that allows children to make comparisons of: skulls, brains, facial features, lifestyles, tools, and geographical locations across the globe.
Timeline – Species from beginning to end
  • The timeline contains a map of Human Migration. The map aids in following the migration patterns. It includes the locations where the remains were found, the estimate age of the remains, and arrows indicate the how humans may have spread through through the course of millions of years. This map got the children highly interested. They understand why we say Africa is the “cradle of Humans.”
Timeline includes a quick glance at the Human Migration
  • The Timeline of Hominids Research Cards are organized this way:
  • 7 species to represent the Paleolithic Epoch (Old Stone Age).
  • 1 species to represent the Mesolithic Epoch (Middle Stone Age).
  • 1 species to represent the Neolithic Epoch (New Stone Age).

Paleolithic Epoch

  • The research cards are companion cards to the timeline. They describe the social life, the tools, the brain and face, and the geographical features. Children can use these cards as a starter for deeper research. Our project will be to create a diorama of the living space of any group of Hominids using nature materials.
Research cards
Research Cards

Mesolithic Epoch

  • The research cards provide enough information for the child to process. The vocabulary is consistent so that a reader can make connections between similar or different patterns of behavior among species. For example, it is described what food was consumed, how a group gathered food, etc…
Research cards

Neolithic Epoch

  • This period marks the end of the Stone Age and Prehistory. It paves the path to the Bronze and Iron Ages, which begin recorded history. I hope this review has given you the confidence to embark on a prehistorical study. Books makes great additions to this learning component, but cannot guarantee that the children will have an overview of the Hominids’ incredible journey.
Research cards

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