What did Darwin do next? Darwin returned to England with a career’s worth of scientific observations. With his new vast collection of specimens and his impressive scientific observations, Darwin became an important member of the British scientific community. Darwin wrote four books based on his voyage, including the popular Journal of Researches, which made him famous. He continued to work on scientific topics and published the Origin of Species in Pillboxes used to send specimens home. Permission to reproduce granted by Sedgwick Museum, University of Cambridge
Design Activity: Design a Cabin 1. In groups, read through the letter and diary extracts, study the images and answer the Understanding Letters questions. 2. Using the dimensions of Darwin’s cabin, produce a basic scale design of your own. It should be suitable for a 5 year voyage. 3. Decide what navigational equipment you will need (remember you have no access to the internet or satellite navigation). 4.Consider what research materials you will need (Darwin had over 400 reference books on the voyage). 5.Make a list of personal equipment and belongings and incorporate their storage into your design. 6.Colour code the different features of your design and provide a key.
Design Activity: Design a Cabin Pin up your design and talk through your decisions in class. –What did you decide to bring? –What did you have to leave at home? –Do you think you would like to travel around the world by ship like Darwin? Plan of Darwin’s cabin. Permission to reproduce granted by the Trustees of the National Library of Scotland.
History: Life at sea Darwin had many new experiences while on the Beagle. He caught fascinating animal specimens, collected curious new plants, and observed magnificent vistas. He also endured the ‘sufferings of sea- sickness’ whenever he was at sea. Model of HMS Beagle. Permission to reproduce kindly granted by Simon Keynes.
History activity: Describe a day at sea 1. In groups, read through the letters and diary extracts, study the images and answer the Understanding Letters question. 2. As a class, list what the different accounts show about life at sea. –Why do you think Darwin’s diary account shows a different view from his letter to his father? –Which source is most useful? 3.Individually, write down 3 things that would be difficult and 3 things you would enjoy about being at sea – give your reasons for each. 4.Imagine you are Darwin. Write a letter to your best friend describing a day at sea.
History/Citizenship: ‘Civilising the natives’ Charles Darwin’s attitude to native Fuegian people can be explored through his letters and diary extracts. Jemmy Button (2 nd row) was a native Fuegian who was taken hostage with three others on the first Beagle voyage in The four Fuegians were then brought to England and educated with the intent of becoming ‘civilised.’ Only three survived their time in England. Captain FitzRoy and other reform- minded men and women hoped that these Fuegians would transform their communities when re-united with their kin in But their European influences were soon lost after their return home.
History/Citizenship Activity: How have values changed over time? 1. In groups, read through letter 203 and answer the Understanding Letters questions. 2. In groups, read through diary entries for January 20, 21, and What new information do you learn? List some of the differences between learning about history from reading a letter and from reading a diary entry. 3. As a class, look at the images in this pack, on screen or as downloads. Describe what you see and discuss what can we learn about the Fuegians and the way that they lived from these images. How reliable are the sources? 4.In pairs, look at the image ‘FitzRoy’s Fuegians’ and compare the diary entries for 23 January 1833 and 5 and 6 March 1834 to find out what happened to Jemmy Button who had previously been taken hostage and brought back to England to be educated. Write a summary of events. 5.Individually, imagine you are Jemmy Button re-telling the story to your family. Write an account that describes what happened and how you felt about what you experienced. Share with the class. 6.As a class, thinking about the material you have studied, discuss whether you think values have changed over time.
English: Darwin’s spelling Despite his scientific brilliance, Darwin was an atrocious speller. In a letter to Darwin wishing him happy birthday, his sister Susan makes a point of correcting her brother’s spelling. Read Susan’s letter to Darwin and answer the associated talking points to learn more.
Science/Design & Technology: Send specimens home Darwin sent around 2,700 plant samples home whilst on the Beagle voyage. Many of these plants were sent to Darwin’s mentor Professor John Henslow in Cambridge as dried herbarium specimens. Sicyos villosa specimen. Cambridge University Herbarium
Science/Design Activity: Send specimens home 1. In groups, look through the letters, diary extracts and images of specimens that Darwin sent back. Answer the Understanding Letters questions. 2. As a class, discuss what potential hazards there are to sending plant samples on a long sea voyage. Consider which part of a plant you would send. What are the pros and cons to sending back seeds versus entire plants, and live versus dead specimens? 3. In groups or pairs, design a container to transport plant specimens alive on a sea voyage that could last 5 months. What issues do you need to consider? 4.Share your design with the class.
Science: Tasty tortoises and fantastic finches Darwin collected vast numbers of animal and plant specimens while on the Beagle. As a young naturalist, his specimen collection methods were still developing. For instance, he sometimes neglected to record where he found specific ornithological specimens. Initially Darwin’s collecting practices were haphazard, but they improved with experience and with feedback from Darwin’s mentor in Cambridge, Professor John Stevens Henslow. Finches sent back from the Beagle voyage. University Museum of Zoology, University of Cambridge
Science Activity: Natural history expeditions, then and now 1. In groups, read the diary extracts to find out about Darwin’s experiences of collecting on the Galapagos. 2. Using the diary extracts, make a list of priorities for the nineteenth century expedition and how they were achieved, e.g. access to food. 3. In groups or in pairs, imagine you are trying to recruit volunteers for a modern natural history scientific expedition to the Galapagos Islands to study giant tortoises. The study must have minimal impact on the environment. As part of the recruitment package you need to show the following: – How you will travel to and between the islands - The length of the expedition - What equipment will be provided - What accommodation will be provided - How the research will be carried out - What kind of data/ specimens you will send home 4. Design a brochure for your package and promote your expedition to your class. Vote for the most appealing trip.
Science Activity: Fantastic finches beaks & adaptation 1. In groups, read through the letter and extract from Narrative of the Surveying Voyages and answer the Understanding Letters questions. 2. Complete the ‘Fantastic Finches’ worksheet to learn more about Darwin’s evolutionary ideas. 3. As a class discuss your findings.
RE/Citizenship Activity: Views on missionaries 1. In groups read the letter, diary extracts and excerpt from the Moral State of Tahiti. Answer the Understanding Letters questions. 2. Share your answers with the class and then consider what the 2 images show about Tahitian Society. 3. In groups, decide whether you will be ‘for’ or ‘against’ the motion that ‘this house believes that religion improves society’. 4.Prepare your argument and select a speaker for your group. 5.Individually, vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ before hearing the arguments in the debate. 6.In turn, share all the arguments proposed by the groups for the motion and then those against it. 7.After hearing all the arguments, individually vote in favour or against the motion. 8.As a class discuss the results.
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