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Post-Dinosaur Settlement of the Americas: US Geopolitics for English Learners Lecture 1

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Published on Jan 5, 2015

US Geopolitics through Time for English Learners
Study Guide 1: First animal and human settlement in the Americas

I highly recommend that English learners become familiar with the key terms before watching the video.

Section 1 – The land of North America
Key Terms
migration
glacier, glaciation
coast
Appalachian, Rocky, Sierra Nevada mountain ranges
The Great Plains
The Great Lakes
the Mississippi River
coal

Discussion Questions
1. How big is N America compared to Eurasia and Africa?
2. Do you think Europe and Asia are separate continents?
3. Why are the Great Plains important in this story?

Section 2 – Geological History
Key Terms
Antarctica
Pangaea
the isthmus of Panama
fauna, megafauna
speciation
outcompete
displace
marsupial mammals, placental mammals

Discussion Questions
1. What was the Great American Interchange?
2. Why is it significant that S America was isolated for tens of millions of years?
3. Do you know of any other great interchanges in world history?

Section 3 – Humans in America
Key Terms
Beringia
Ice Age
peopling of the Americas
shoreline
extinction event

Discussion Questions
1. When did humans come to the Americas? How does this compare with human settlement of East Asia and Europe?
2. Why do you think so much megafauna went extinct around 15 ka? (Another theory which isn't mentioned in the video is climate change; the end of the ice age may have led to extinction.)
3. What are some effects on the ecosystem of such mass extinctions?

Section 4 – Clovis culture and beyond
Key Terms
spear-thrower
fluted shaft
archaeology

Discussion Questions
1. Why was Clovis point technology so important for humans?
2. How does the location of Clovis sites relate to modern human settlement?
3. Why didn’t North America have potatoes or any production animals? (The answer for potatoes was not given in the video. Although potatoes are from S America, why do you think they didn't reach N America?)


(music by Brian Eno "Here Come the Warm Jets")

Created and presented by Michael Henshaw

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