Overview

Each lesson plan  is structured with  a starter, a main activity, and a plenary in the end.  However, many of the activities can be borrowed and combined as needed.  However, please keep in mind that the curriculum material is more easily understood if these 3 concepts are presented in order: starting with Variation, moving onto adaptation and natural selection, and then long term changes.

Keyword definitions can be found here.

Lesson plan 1 – Variation and natural selection using hand drawn lizards

This lesson plan uses  a very intuitive approach (a type of drawing-chinese-whispers) to introduce the idea of variation, natural selection and changes over time.  This would be a good lesson for a younger or less able audience, or as a good overall introduction to the theme.

Great lesson plan to combine science and arts!

drawn lizard

Lesson plan 2 – Animal Variation

This lesson plan’s goal is to deliver the first curriculum objective “To recognize that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents”.  It might be very basic to some classes, but it provides a solid footing of some terms, and perhaps a useful introduction to the concept of variation for classes that might not have an awareness.

Lesson plan 3 – Natural Selection

The second objective of the new curriculum is to ” Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution”.  This lesson’s plan introduces a few different games to develop the idea of natural selection.  Pick one, or use them all, but make sure the concept of variation is well established (using for example lesson plan 2), prior to this lesson.

This lesson also provides good links with the math curriculum!  Just add steps to calculate frequencies every generation, or ask chidren to make graphs on the changes of the charactheristics.

adaptation

Lesson plan 4 –  Understanding change over long periods of times using evolutionary trees

The last objective within the new curriculum asks for year 6 children to “recognize that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago”.  This is a difficult task, and requires a good solid foundation on variation and natural selection.  We suggest that understanding of the previous topics are assessed and consolidated if needed, before moving into this objective.  The useful links section have a number of suggestions of extra activities that can be used for consolidation.

Darwinstree

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