Teacher's notes: Darwin’s Scientific Women

The Teacher’s Notes sections help you to make the most of using Darwin’s letters in the classroom. To accompany every subject specific or cross-curricula pack you will find:

  • An overview of each theme and of the types of activity.
  • A set of ‘Understanding Letters’ questions (with model answers) to test comprehension of letters in each activity.
  • A powerpoint presentation for each pack that is easy to adapt for use in the classroom.

Darwin’s Scientific Women 

Activities for: History, Citizenship, English, Religious Education and Science Key Stage 3 and 4

Darwin exchanged letters with many women botanists, travellers, observers, writers and naturalists who all contributed to his research. This pack teaches us about these untypical Victorian women.

Materials in this pack

This cross-curricular resource pack provides edited letters to and from Charles Darwin, contextual  images, diary entries and selected texts to enable you to:

- learn about the lives of some extraordinary women with whom Darwin exchanged letters
- explore the position of women in middle class Victorian society
- discover the science that women carried out, often otherwise unacknowledged
- understand how Darwin’s family were involved in his work
- discuss the possibility of gendered language

Activities include:

- draw a satirical cartoon
- write a news feature about a Victorian woman traveller
- draft a script
- attract moths at night experiment

Packs can be used on-line or materials can be downloaded.
The packs contain links to the Darwin Correspondence Project main site and to other relevant sources.