How Language Began

What can you infer?
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Slide 1: Slide
HistoryPrimary EducationAge 11

This lesson contains 21 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 30 min

Items in this lesson

What can you infer?

Slide 1 - Slide

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Body Language
We use more than our voice to communicate. Body language is the way humans use their bodies to communicate. Facial expressions, gestures, and posture differ from culture to culture.  For example raising your eyebrow to show someone that you want to speak to them or make contact is common worldwide, but in Japan it is Indecent. 

Slide 2 - Slide

gestures - moving your hands feet, and face in place of speech.

facial expression - motions of your face
posture - position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.
How could you sum up a lesson on Language in a Tik Tok? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram?

Slide 3 - Open question

Strike a pose! Let me see your body language for let's learn. 

# Social Studies 
#Language rocks!
#I speak English
How Language Began

Slide 4 - Slide

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Learning Objectives
  1. Analyze what enabled humans to develop language. 
  2. Explain why interpretations (explanation) of history are subject to change.
  3. Discuss the theories of how language developed.

Slide 5 - Slide

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When do you think language began? How do you think language began?

Slide 6 - Open question

Were they able to communicate that danger was near or maybe to mimic sounds they heard in nature. 
Think about why humans have language skills while other animals do not.
Human language appeared so long ago, there will never be definitive (complete) answers to questions such as "When and where did human language begin?". However, that probably will not stop people from coming up with  theories about the beginnings of this ability that makes us uniquely human. 

Slide 7 - Slide

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Why will scientists likely never know when and how language began?

Slide 8 - Open question

I know that language appeared long ago. Languages are dying. People come up with their own theories.
 Language may have died out with the last person that speaks the native language. 
So what does this tell me?
In the early part of the 20th century, linguist Otto Jespersen described the four main theories about how human language started. He also added his own idea for a fifth theory.

Slide 9 - Slide

Linguists investigate how people get their knowledge about language

Slide 10 - Video

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Who described the four main theories about how human language started.
Ottoman Clarke
Jessie Otto
Otto Jespersen
Otto Jeppers

Slide 11 - Quiz

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A theory is a set of ideas offered to explain something and that no one theory about the origins of language has been proved correct. 

Slide 12 - Slide

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Do you agree with one or more of the five theories about the origins of language? Can you explain why?

Slide 14 - Open question

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Modern Human Skull
Researchers have studied the parts of the body that make speech. They compared the skulls of Neanderthals, modern humans.  Scientists say humans probably developed speech sometime between 100,000 and 70,000 years ago.

Slide 15 - Slide

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Neaderthal skull
Cave drawings and the use of tools suggest that humans may have communicated in other forms, such as sign language, even earlier.

Slide 16 - Slide

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Throughout history, many languages have come and gone. No one speaks ancient Sumerian today. Many of the 1,000 or so Native American languages used in 1492 died with the last members of the groups that spoke them.

Slide 17 - Slide

We have just heard that languages have come and gone. This is true for our culture as well. Some words that were used before are no longer used. We are going to look more into this on the last slide. 
Dialect is a form of a language that is understandable to a specific group or place of the language.  Crucian is a dialect. 
So when we say things to one another, we understand it. For example:
crucian time
cyan, ca'an
mash up

Slide 18 - Slide

Mussee - must be; she mussee forget
vex  - mad
wata- water
ayo - them
crucian time - late
cyan - can't
machu  - matthew
mahning - morning
mash up - break 
membe - remember

Can you think of one? Give me an example. You have 3o seconds. When you have thought about your answer raise your virtual hand. 

One “dead” language, however, is very much alive. Latin, the language of the ancient Romans, lives on in the Romance languages, including Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Romanian. They all started out as local dialects of Latin. Latin has contributed thousands of expressions, roots, prefixes, and suffixes to English. 

Slide 19 - Slide

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How confident are you about the topic Language?

Slide 20 - Poll

Think about what you have learned today. How confident are you about the topic Language?
Assignment (your choice)
  1. Create a 1 to 2 minute song that discusses how language developed.  
  2. Create a short interview or write a script for a talk show with linguist Otto Jespersen that discusses how language developed.
  3. Imagine a classmate was absent from class today. Write a letter to your classmate that discusses how language developed. 

Slide 21 - Slide

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