Sunday, September 28, 2014

A species odyssey

This is an extraordinary French film made as a result of the cooperation of the best anthropologists in the world. The Spanish collaboration came from the Atapuerca team, expert publicists of their discoveries in Spain. This documentary rated the highest levels of attendance when it was broadcasted in Spain, in June 2003, which shows that when scientists care of making their discoveries accessible, people prefer science to reality shows or full of clichés TV series. 

Here you have the first part in English:

And this is the full documentary in Spanish: 

If you want to learn more about the hominization process, you can visit this website: 

Some help and advice for your Prehistory projects

Talleres para que los niños aprendan las técnicas del Paleolítico

These are some basic instructions for your first projects:


These are the parts a presentation has to include:

- A cover with the title, one or several images related to the content and your name and group

- Several slides combining text and images related to what you explain

- Last slide with the sources you've used: Internet sources and bibliography

The way to cite books in English is the following:

Author, (Year of publication in brackets). Name of the book (in Italic font and all the words in capital letters), Place where it was published, Publisher.


Carley, M. J. (1999). 1939: The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War II. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee Publisher

And this is the way to cite websites in English:

Name of the website. Editor(s) of the website. Date of electronic publication. Associated institution. Date of access <URL>.


BBC on the Internet. 2005. British Broadcasting Company. 12 Apr. 2005 <>.

Some useful advice: 

- First, read the notes and solve all your doubts before starting to work

- Prepare a previous scheme and be sure that you don´t forget any part. 

- Look for all the information you will need. You have to make sure that you understand all the information before starting to write your final text. 

- Copy the links of the websites you visit to include them at the end of your explanation and save them on a Word document. This way, you won't lose time looking for the links you've used when you finish your project. 

- Create a folder for the images you find and save it on your computer.

- Don´t copy and paste nor use the computer translator ( I will discover it)

- Write simple and understandable sentences

- Don't include too much information.on every slide. It´s better that you include another slide, rather than overloading a slide with too much text.


As in every research project, you have to start preparing a work plan or scheme. After this, you should compile all the information you will need and when you have all the data or opinions you need, you will be able to organize your ideas and start writing.

On this link you have a chart that includes the differences between a report and an essay and a detailed explanation of how to write good reports and essays:

And this is another very good guide to write a good report:

And finally, these are some useful links to extract information for your prehistory projects. They are a starter, but don't forget to make a deeper research on the sites you choose:

And these are the links your photocopy includes: 

- Example of presentation: 

- Collaborative map: 

- Latest discoveries in the Iberian Peninsula: 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Should we intervene in evolution?

Today's lesson has been very interesting and I've thought that maybe some of you (or all. Surprise me!) would like to think a little more about some of the challenges science poses to the evolution of our species. The main difference with respect to Prehistory is that we can intervene now and strenghten some specific features or eliminate what we consider useless or harmful for our species.  The hominids in Atapuerca show that, in their world determined by the fight for survival, they were able to care for the weakest members of their group (old people or disabled children). Nowadays, the advances in medicine and our knowlegde about genetics allow us to change what nature provides, but this possibility creates a lot of ethic dilemmas. Should we intervene in the improvement of the species? What are the limits of eugenics? Can abortion be considered as an intervention in evolution? Are disabled people a burden for society? What could be considered a life worth being lived? Do you think disabled/ handicaped/ special/seriously ill people contribute to our improvement as species? In what sense? 

This is the reconstruction of a 45 year old H. heidelbergensis who lived in Atapuerca 430,000 years ago. He was seriously handicaped, he could barely walk and couldn't hunt. He was an old person for that period and couldn't contribute to the survival of his fellows, but he wasn't left behind and died naturally. The same happened with a young girl who was born with craniosynostosis, a very rare illness, and survived for 12 years, with the help of his tribe. What can these two cases teach us about our species?

<p>Recreación del homínido de Atapuerca.</p> 

The same happened with a young girl (called Benjamina by the Atapuerca team), who was born with craniosynostosis, a very rare illness, and survived for 12 years, with the help of her tribe. 

What can these two cases teach us about our species?

If you want to answer to these questions, you can do it here or write a short essay on paper with your thoughts. Maybe Prehistory seems to be too far from us, but I think we can extract interesting conclusions from it. What do you think?

Presentation about Prehistory in the Iberian Peninsula

Here you have the presentation we´re using to study Prehistory in the Iberian Peninsula. It includes some schemes you can use to organize your ideas and study these contents.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Introduction: some basic concepts and tools

Here you have two short presentations that include basic information to know how historians work, how to make a good historical text analysis and the main stages of Spain's history.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Welcome to our new blog!

After an endless wait, we finally have the chance to learn the history of Spain in English together. I hope this will be a good year for all of us.  

Here you will find all the materials and projects we're going to prepare together. I'll also include all the sources, bibliography and resources we're going to use in class and all you need to prepare the damned PAEG exam ;)

I've also created some tabs, so that you can easily find what you're looking for. This is the list of books in Spanish I've showed you in class: 

- Gil Andrés, Carlos, 50 Cosas Que Hay Que Saber de la Historia de España, Barcelona, Editorial Ariel, 2013

- Aróstegui Sánchez, J, García Sebastián, M, Gatell Arimont,C, Palafox Gamir,J, Risques Corbella, M, Historia de España, Barcelona, Editorial Vicens Vives, 2009. 

And here you have the links to the information for the PAEG exam: 

- Guidelines to prepare the exam

- Exam models: you can have a look to this year exams and all the History exams since 1999:

Finally, this is my first contribution to the quotes' collaborative project. It belongs to Albert Camus, the French philosopher and writer:

In the end, man is not entirely guilty: he did not start history. Nor he is wholly innocent: he continues it. 

See you tomorrow!