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Making the Neanderthal Connection

Hudson Montessori School selects a school-wide theme each year that is studied by all classes, from 3-year-olds through sixth graders. This year, each class in the school is looking closely at the history and cultures of indigenous people from many regions across the globe. Focused on this theme, the upper elementary students recently met Dr. Aaron Wolf, a genetic anthropologist and postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University, who studies early human history and human-Neanderthal interactions.

Dr. Wolf is tracking Neanderthal DNA across the genomes of different global populations. He talked about the genetics of early man and excited students with his archaeology and anthropology experiences excavating pre-Roman dwellings in Italy.

Hudson Montessori School uses theme-based learning as a content-rich, immersive way to teach math, grammar, creative writing, geography, cultural studies, science, and more. These traditional subjects are interwoven with a common theme, sparking an intense interest in students and making the content more memorable. Making real-world connections, like meeting with Dr. Wolf, and tying it back to the theme is one of the many ways that Hudson Montessori School fosters the love of learning for our students.

Dr. Aaron Wolf, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Princeton University

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