School Workshop: Darwin’s Doodles – An Amazonian Odyssey
- 2-hour workshop
- Suitable for years 5 and 6
- Focus on science and geography
- £6 per pupil
In this workshop pupils join Charles Darwin on his voyage to South America, learning about the theory of evolution.
School trips to Eden
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Your class joins Charles Darwin on his voyage to South America. On the way they must hone their scientific skills and knowledge of classification, adaption and interdependence. Can they help Darwin to make sense of the complexity of life in this unfamiliar land and formulate the most ground breaking idea of all; evolution?
What happens: Your students are invited to join Charles Darwin on the trip of a lifetime and become part of his odyssey to the South American Rainforest! After the scene is set the children play an interactive game in which they identify and explain some common plant adaptations to life in the rainforest.
Your pupils then venture deep into the Rainforest Biome to search for and record living examples of these plant adaptations. They are also tasked with locating and identifying specific plants that possess unusual adaptations or that have developed symbiotic relationships with other rainforest organisms. Back in the classroom the children explain these adaptations and finally play the innovative ‘Evolution Game’ to help them to see how adaptation leads to evolution.
Location: This takes place in The Core workshop room and Rainforest Biome.
Skills and curriculum links
This workshop enables students to:
- use dichotomous keys and practise classifying living things
- investigate and explain the adaptations of animals and plants in the rainforest
- consider how living things within an ecosystem are interdependent
- explain how the characteristics of living things change over time - evolution
We've designed the workshop to help teachers cover the following subject areas:
In Science, pupils should be taught to describe how living things are classified into broad groups and give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics. Pupils should recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago. They should identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution. Pupils might find out about the work of palaeontologists such as Mary Anning and about how Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace developed their ideas on evolution.
In Geography, pupils should be taught to locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions and key physical and human characteristics. They should be taught to identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
The workshop costs £6 per pupil, with a minimum charge of £120 per group (includes VAT). Maximum group size is 35. The cost includes:
- a facilitated workshop with our Education Team
- free access to the Eden site for the day
- all equipment needed for the workshop
- free teaching resources enabling your class to prepare for the workshop and to follow up on the activity (download a sample copy)
- a personal welcome from the Education Team at the entrance
- a base for your bags in our purpose-built education centre, The Core
- a space to eat your own lunch
free entry for accompanying adult helpers, whose participation is essential to the success of the day (please note our suggested adult/pupil ratios are as follows: Early Years Foundation Stage, 1:3; Key Stage 1, 1:6; Key Stage 2 and 3, 1:10; Key Stage 4, 1:15; Key Stage 5, 1:20). You’re welcome to bring more helpers if you’d like; for a charge of £14.75 per adult
a free preparatory visit to Eden for teachers wanting to plan their school trip, which should be booked in advance
Please ensure your group is divided into workshop teams, each with an adult helper.
Our Education Team will lead your workshop session, but the participation of your staff is essential to the success of our programmes. We provide all the equipment for the workshop.
Our programmes are focussed learning experiences, they do not provide a general introduction to Eden Project, so please allow sufficient unstructured exploration time for your students during your day.