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Educator Resources

Class Discussion
Establish Prior Knowledge

Call on students to share what they know about human evolution. Display or distribute copies of the hominid family tree found at this website: 

Have students locate Homo sapiens(modern-day humans) and Homo floresiensis. Point out that the fossil remains of Homo floresiensis were found recently on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Ask students what they can tell about Homo floresiensis from its position on the family tree. In the Snapshot they are about to see, scientists reexamine fossil bones to determine the fossil’s species.


Have students view the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Use the following questions to guide discussion.

1. What are some of the physical differences between Homo sapiens and Homo floresiensis.

2. What were the two hypotheses posed by scientists as to the species the Flores hominid belonged to?

3. What data did scientists present as evidence the Flores hominid was a different species?


  • Has it been determined definitively that Homo florsiensis is its own species? What does this tell you about the nature of science?