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Charles Darwin's Findings

Charles Darwin was a naturalist and geologist best known for his evolutionary theories. While visiting the Galapagos Islands he discovered differences in sea shells. Discuss Darwin and his findings and have fun creating a turtle shell design.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Explain to student that Charles Darwin was an English scientist who was extremely interested in nature. Originally trained as a medical doctor, he instead turned his interest to the study of the changing patterns of creatures on land and sea called evolution. His studies took him on an extensive journey throughout the world. His travel began in 1831 on a ship called the HMS Beagle and continued for 5 years. Darwin explored many continents including South America, Africa and Australia.
    2. Show a map of the world and trace Darwin’s travels to different countries.
    3. While in the Galapagos Island he looked for evidence of the same species found on different islands. One of these was the sea turtle. Share pictures of Darwin’s work while living on the Galapagos Islands.
    4. Cover table with recycled newspapers and be sure to wear a smock to protect clothing.
    5. Design a sea turtle shell using a plastic bowl and Crayola® Dry-Erase Bright Crayons. Turn the bowl upside down and create a special design. The colors of the crayons make it fun to be creative.
    6. If time allows add legs, head and a tail. Use the rim of another bowl to cut out these pieces. Use different shapes to add turtle legs head and tail. A rectangle creates a leg, cut an oval for head and a small triangle for the tail. Color them to match shell design. Tape or glue to turtle.
  • Standards

    LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

    SCI: Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms.

    SS: Interpret use and distinguish various representations of the earth such as maps, globes and photographs.

    SS: Compare and contrast different stories or accounts about past events, people, places or situations, identifying how they contribute to our understanding of the past.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries maps, textbooks, photos and others.

    VA: Students experience, analyze and interpret art and other aspects of the visual world.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

  • Adaptations

    Show pictures of Charles Darwin and his boat the HMS Beagle. What other discoveries could be made if students had the chance to travel to different parts of the world. Write a paragraph about what you would like to see and discover.

    Another well known research scientist who studied gorillas in their natural habitat was Dian Fossey. She stated, “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” Come up with some ideas how that statement could be applied to how we live today.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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