Teacher's notes: The Beagle Voyage

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.

The Beagle Voyage

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

On 27 December 1831 at the age of 22, Charles Darwin set sail on H.M.S. Beagle for a five-year voyage around the world. Darwin returned to England with a career’s worth of scientific observations. Having left as an enthusiastic but unproven 22 year old, his hard work during the voyage enabled him to enter the British scientific community with a set of specimens and experiences that few of his colleagues could match. Darwin’s voyage turned him into one of Britain’s most famous naturalists, long before he published On the Origin of Species in 1859.

Materials in this pack:

This cross-curricular resource pack provides selected letters between Darwin and his friends and family, contextual images, diary entries and selected texts.
Each stop on Darwin’s voyage includes relevant letters, talking points and classroom activities.

Activities include:

Design a cabin, write a letter home,  send specimens home safely, imagine and describe a fantastical  landscape, debate the influence of religion, and plan an expedition.

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.