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Darwin Correspondence Project

Doing Darwin’s Experiments

Key Stage: 

Darwin wrote to thousands of correspondents and his letters and notebooks show us how he worked. Many of his experiments were simple to create but had a profound impact on scientific thinking. Some of these experiments are replicated here.

Starter Presentation

Learning outcomes

By the end of the activities pupils will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the features, functions and classification of insectivorous plants.
  • understand more about nutrient uptake by insectivorous plants and compare their findings with Darwin’s own.
  • understand possible conditions affecting seed dispersal and germination and the implications for seed dispersal by different methods.
  • describe the factors affecting plant survival.

Flytraps and Sundews

Activity 1a: Is it a plant or an animal?

Duration: 1 hour

Flytraps and Sundews

Activity 1b: Design your own insectivorous plant.

Duration: 1 hour

Flytraps and Sundews

Activity 1c: What does an insectivorous plant eat?

Duration: 2 hours plus monitoring time

Survivor seeds

Activity 2a: Saltwater seeds

Duration: 2 hours plus observation time

Survivor seeds

Activity 2b: Digesting seeds

Duration: 65 minutes plus monitoring time

Survivor seeds

Activity 2c: Owl pellet dissection

Duration: 40 minutes

Weed garden

Activity 3: Create a weed garden

Duration: 70 minutes plus monitoring time