The amazing variety of plant and animal life on Earth is due to the process of evolution. This is the process by which new species develop.
Evolution was first explained by Charles Darwin in 1859. At the time, some people thought it was a ridiculous idea and made fun of him. Since then, scientists have proved that the theory is correct.
Teach your children about evolution using our handy topic guide!
- Use this information page from Penguin Books as the text for a guided reading session.
- Discuss animal adaptions with your class using this great idea.
- Download this lesson plan and presentation from the Young People’s Trust For the Environment to learn about Inheritance and adaptation, as well as what fossils tell us about evolution.
- Use this quiz to see how much children know about evolution at the beginning of your unit, or how much they have learnt, at the end!
- This lesson plan and game from the Natural History Museum helps children to understand the process of evolution.
- Information about adaptation, inheritance and evolution from BBC Bitesize.
- Download the free Evolution Game from Outstanding Science to explore how a population changes over time.
- Balestra Primary Science Workshops have a complete free scheme of work for evolution and inheritance.
- This pack from Marwell Zoo has plenty of activities to support children’s understanding of adaptation.
- All of the living things on earth, plants and animals, have evolved from one common ancestor, billions of years in the past.
- Charles Darwin first published his ideas about evolution in The Origin of Species, published in 1859.
- Evolution works through a process called natural selection. This means that the members of a species most suited to their environment will survive to pass on their features to their offspring, while the less successful ones will die out.
- Birds evolved from dinosaurs.
- The process of evolution takes thousands of years.
The Theory of Evolution
An introduction to evolution for primary children.
Running time: 3:28
Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace
This film looks at how Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace came up with the theory of evolution and natural selection.
Running time: 4:23
The life and work of Mary Anning
Mary Anning tells the story of her life and shows us how she found fossils that changed scientific thinking worldwide.
Running time: 12:02
How Humans Evolved From Early Life
From the primordial puddle to the modern day, here’s how humans have evolved from the first life.
Running time: 3:27
Proof of evolution that you can find on your body
An explanation of evolution for children to enjoy.
Running time: 3:54
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!