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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!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

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Resources

Evolution Facts

  • 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.

Videos

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

Books

The Story of Life
An illustrated explanation of evolution.
Our Family Tree
This beautiful book explains evolution for younger readers.
When the Whales Walked
Explore evolution through thirteen case studies.
On The Origin of Species
An illustrated version of the classic text on evolution for children.
What Mr Darwin Saw
Follow Charles Darwin’s voyage on HMS Beagle.
Who Was Charles Darwin?
A biography of Charles Darwin for children.
Stone Girl Bone Girl
A biography of pioneering paleontologist Mary Anning.

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