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.
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
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
considered crafty, clever, opportunistic, cunning, playful and inquisitive.
(If you want a cross-curricular link with English, take a look at Foxes
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.
SUMMARY OF LEARNING POINTS IN THE STORY
* 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.