Are you a fan of the 19th Century

scientist, Charles Darwin?

If so, this website is for you!  


This website aims to draw together key publications, media and websites on Charles Darwin for the enthusiast.

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Darwin & The Fox - Lesson Ideas

1) Look at photos and diagrams of the different flower types of

primrose. Look at Darwin's diagram of the flower's reproductive

organs.  Buy some primrose plug plants and watch them grow.

See how their flowers are tucked tight amongst a crown of leaves.  

Why is this a good adaptation? (Protection from frost).  Investigate

which types of primose structure are represented amongst the

specimens as they grow. Dissect some flowers. Look at the start of

this video showing primroses in a field. Look at photos and

video (or real plants) of cowslip.   What are the similarities and

differences between the cowslip and primrose.  Discuss their Latin

names, Primula veris and Primula vulgaris, pointing out that the first

parts of the names are similar - ie. that they are closely related.  The

second parts of the names are different, distinguishing them as

different species.


2) What are the characteristics of the Red fox. Foxes have often been

considered crafty, clever, opportunistic, cunning, playful and inquisitive.  

(If you want a cross-curricular link with English, take a look at Foxes

in popular culture). Watch videos of foxes playing.  What are the benefits of playing for life-long learning?


Though generalisations can be made about animals and humans, individuals have different personalities despite the parents and offspring looking similar. Ask children to write  down what they feel their personalities are.  How  many of the other pupils in the class share the same charactersitics? What are the likes and dislikes of family members.  Are these inherited or learnt? Do they vary within a family?  Bring in photos of different family members, ask others which members of the family they most look like.





* Flowers may be adapted to cross-fertilise or self-fertilise.  The two versions of primrose encourage the cross-fertilisation (the exchange of genetic material) between different flowers of the same species.

* The traits of a plant species can not suddenly change based on the conditions in which they are grown.  The traits of the primrose species, for example, are inherited.  If a primrose is planted in a nutrient-rich medium, it may increase in size (temporarily eg. for the duration of its life), but only in that individual; the increased size will not be passed on to its offspring.

* Though there are similarities between them, the primrose is a separate species to the cowslip.

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