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The Beagle Voyage Cross-curricular educational resources Key Stages 3-4 Darwin Correspondence Project.

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Presentation on theme: "The Beagle Voyage Cross-curricular educational resources Key Stages 3-4 Darwin Correspondence Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Beagle Voyage Cross-curricular educational resources Key Stages 3-4 Darwin Correspondence Project

2 Who was Charles Darwin? Born in Shrewsbury in 1809 Educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge Sailed around the world with the HMS Beagle, Became a famous gentleman- naturalist who published on many scientific topics Lived and worked at Down House in Kent Wrote the Origin of Species in 1859 which proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection Died at Down House in 1882 Copyright © Cambridge University Library

3 What was the Beagle voyage? Charles Darwin circumnavigated the globe on HMS Beagle between , when he was 22. He joined the voyage as a keen naturalist who would be a companion to the ship’s Captain; Robert FitzRoy. At sea and on land, Darwin observed a vast variety of plant and animal species and geological formations. Darwin wrote regularly to his friends and family about his research, the new lands and people he encountered, and the wonder of the natural world. Watercolour of HMS Beagle by Conrad Martens. Copyright © Cambridge University Library

4 Where did the Beagle go?

5 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

6 Design and Technology: Design a Cabin Darwin shared the Poop Cabin on the Beagle with surveying officers. It was roughly 11ft x 10ft (3.3528m x 3.048m). Space was so limited that Darwin had to remove the top drawer of a chest of drawers each night to rig up his hammock! Blueprint of HMS Beagle. Copyright © Cambridge University Library

7 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.

8 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.

9 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.

10 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.

11 English : Unimagined sights and pleasures Early letters home from Charles Darwin describe magical, little known landscapes. In a letter to his father, Robert Waring Darwin, Darwin wrote: ‘Whilst viewing such scenes, one feels the impossibility than any description should come near the mark, – much less be overdrawn–.’ (Letter 158) Watercolour by Conrad Martens on the Beagle voyage. Copyright © Cambridge University Library

12 English activity: Describe the scene 1. In groups, read through the letters, study the images and answer the Understanding Letters questions. 2. Write a diary entry or a letter home describing an imagined scene from the voyage. –What is the landscape like? –What is the weather like? –Are there people and/or animals? Describe them. –What does it feel like to be there? –Are there any dangers or is it a restful place? 3.Share your writing with the class. Watercolour by Conrad Martens on the Beagle voyage. Copyright © Cambridge University Library

13 History/Citizenship activity: News from home Darwin received many letters from his friends and family about what was happening in England. His brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin, wrote to him in 1832 describing the political context of London at the time. Read Erasmus’s letter to Darwin and answer the talking points associated with the letter to learn more. © English Heritage Photo Library Copyright © English Heritage. By kind permission of Darwin Heirlooms Trust.

14 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.

15 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.

16 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.

17 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

18 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.

19 English: Fireside and Friendship Charles Darwin exchanged many letters with his cousin William Darwin Fox throughout their lives. Fox, a clergyman, attended Cambridge with Darwin and had the career that Darwin’s father expected him to take up upon his return. Darwin’s experiences on the Beagle, however, inspired him to become a naturalist instead. Read Darwin’s letter to Fox and answer the associated talking points to learn more. Copyright © English Heritage. By kind permission of Darwin Heirlooms Trust. Copyright © Cambridge University Library

20 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

21 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.

22 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.

23 RE/Citizenship: Views on missionaries Darwin encountered humans from all walks of life while on the Beagle voyage. He was deeply affected by his interactions with native Fuegians, especially Jemmy Button. Darwin also met many missionaries on his travels and was impressed by the social good he believed they performed in the far flung lands of the British Empire. Watercolour of cottage in Tahiti by Conrad Martens. Copyright © Cambridge University Library

24 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.

25 For more educational resources: Please visit the Darwin Correspondence Project’s school resources pages: –http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/schoolshttp://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/schools Do you have feedback? We would love to hear from you! –Contact:


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