Teacher's notes: Doing Darwin’s Experiments

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.

Doing Darwin’s Experiments

Activities for: Science Key Stage 3 and 4

On returning from the Beagle Voyage, Darwin carried out most of his scientific work from home, enlisting the support of his family members and  corresponding with colleagues all over the world. Now you can try out some of Darwin’s own experiments.

Materials in this pack:

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

- understand how Darwin carried out particular experiments and his thinking behind them
- understand the significance of some the experiments for his theory of natural selection
- carry out the same experiments
- compare results with Darwin

Activities include:

- expose seeds to a variety of conditions to test their viability
- create a weed garden
- design an insectivorous plant
- dissect an owl pellet

More Science activities can be found in the following packs:

The Beagle Voyage / Darwin’s Scientific Women

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.