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Key Stage 3 (11-14 year olds)
Using these resources
The resources are broken down into three units. Each unit is self-contained, but together they form a module that might be attempted in a science or environment week. The modules are:
- Module 1: Bees
- Module 2: Artificial selection
- Module 3: Hedgerows
- Module 4: Sustainability and Extinction
Darwin was writing for an audience that had a certain level of understanding of natural history. Students may not share a similar understanding; accordingly, the resources revolve around a visit to a local garden, nature reserve or park to give all a shared experience of the natural world. Images have been used extensively so that plants and animals Darwin would have seen become familiar.
The Resources are set out as follows:
Lesson Plan: containing an overview of Darwin’s work on the topic, a pertinent quotation, potential lesson outcomes, broad curriculum links, key words, and basic resources needed to complete the activities suggested. A Darwin notebook is an essential tool for these lessons.
Lesson sequence: there are 3 lessons in each unit.
Pre-visit lesson: This sets Darwin’s work in context in conjunction with the whiteboard presentation. Starter and main activities are followed by a plenary that prepares students for the visit. The extension activities suggested can be differentiated.
Visit: Being out-of-doors and having time to think were pivotal to Darwin’s work, and both offer models for stimulating scientific questioning and thinking. On their visit, students collect evidence for the final lesson. They need to know where to look, observe closely and learn to interpret what they see.
Post-visit lesson: presentation of evidence integrates science, English, mathematics, art, history and/or ICT. Ways of incorporating Darwin’s ways of working are suggested here to enable interpretation of the data, application of knowledge and understanding, and assessment of progression.
Resource materials: are provided in the module plan and are available for whiteboard use. Links are given for relevant websites throughout.
Health and Safety
Teachers need to read the appropriate local authority and school guidelines. Before making a visit you should carry out a risk assessment and a preliminary visit. Where a specific issue has been anticipated it is highlighted in the module plan.