skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

Teachers notes: Offer of a lifetime

The Offer of a Lifetime? 

Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4

When Darwin was 22 he received an exciting and unique opportunity to join HMS Beagle. The voyage changed his life but the letters show how close he came to not going at all!

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:

- debate Darwin’s ideas
- compare Darwin’s public and private writing styles
- explore modes of address over time

Activities include:

- compose a missing letter
- write a series of diary entries that document events
- write a short drama

More English activities can be found in the following packs: 

How Dangerous was Darwin? / The Beagle Voyage/ Darwin’s Scientific Women / Darwin and Slavery

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.

In this section:

In this pack

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.