Darwin teaching resources

Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) was an English naturalist famous for his theories on evolution, which he claimed resulted from a process called natural selection. Starting with his exploits in the Galapagos, his theories moved from animal adaptations/inheritance right through to his work on human evolution and sexual selection.

This collection celebrates Darwin Day – observed every year on 12 February – with games, quizzes, lesson plans and video resources for primary, secondary and post-16 levels as well as resources provided by some of our partners.

Primary Darwin Resources

Following in Darwin’s footsteps

  • Students learning about Darwin recreate some of his experiments involving flora and fauna for the Science Prize in 2007.

Heritage Learning – The Darwin issue

  • A special Darwin issue of the Heritage Learning Magazine containing easy-to-use lesson ideas and teaching ideas for both inside and outside the classroom.

Charles Darwin storybook

  • A wonderful booklet documenting the life and travels of Charles Darwin with fun activities for all primary-aged children.

Charles Darwin and evolution

  • Detailed lesson plans and image resources for the Charles Darwin and evolution theme.

Secondary Darwin Resources

You say, we pay: Evolution

  • A great game for plenary activities.

Darwin and Lamarck PowerPoint

  • A summary of Lamarck’s and Darwin’s theories on evolution and natural selection.

Camel rap song and video

  • A fun video clip of a camel rapping about how it has adapted to its desert habitat.

Adaptations in animals and plants

  • A detailed lesson on animal and plant adaptations on land and in the sea as well as the influence of surface area to volume ratios on body shape.

Charles Darwin cartoon strip

  • Students create cartoon strips telling the life of Charles Darwin with as few words as possible.

Whole School Darwin Resources

Darwin Day assembly

  • An assembly designed to celebrate Darwin Day; it contains many inventive ideas for games and student participation to illustrate the theory of evolution and natural selection.

TES Partner Resources

BBC Learning Zone Class Clips

Darwin video clips

  • A collection of videos to deepen students’ understanding of the theory of evolution, natural selection and variation and inheritance.

Adaptation: nocturnal and diurnal animals

  • A report about the significant differences and adaptations between nocturnal and diurnal animals.

Evolution of complex life

  • Professor Brian Cox explains the theory that the development of the eye by a predator in the Cambrian era may have started an evolutionary explosion and the development of complex life forms.

Coral reef animals

  • A report about the variety of creatures found living around a coral reef and their differences.

Can all birds fly?

  • All birds have feathers, but not all birds with feathers can fly. This resource looks at how different birds adapt to living on the ground.

How have different animals adapted to habitats?

  • Learn about the adaptations of agama lizards, penguins, bats and camels in their respective habitats.

Information gap jigsaw on Darwin and evolution

  • Four texts on Darwin’s life, the impact and development of theories of evolution and the conflicts between scientific and religious ideas about life on earth and the natural world.

Project Gutenberg - ebooks

The Origin of Species

  • Darwin’s definitive work on evolution and natural selection drawn from his time on the Galapagos Islands.

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin

  • The autobiography of Charles Darwin is the life story of the man whose work has provoked one of the greatest long-standing debates of all time – science vs. religion.

Coral Reefs

  • Arguably one of Darwin’s greatest pieces of work, containing his coral theory which helped explain the formation of these great ecosystems.

Charles Darwin: His Life

  • Darwin’s autobiography with a series of published letters.