You have learned about the theory of evolution and the man who is most credited with it, Charles Darwin. But, do you know Darwin's life story and the research he undertook to develop his theory? Darwin himself described writing his book On the Origin of Species as "like confessing a murder." This website brings you the story of one man’s struggle with the most radical idea of all time.
Charles Darwin: Evolution and the Story of Our Species is a multimedia timeline from the BBC that chronicles Darwin's childhood, his studies at Edinburgh University and Cambridge University, his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, the observations he made while on the Galapágos Islands, and his publication of On the Origin of Species. In addition, the resource takes you through the debate over Darwin's revolutionary idea, his defense of it, his publication of The Descent of Man, and up to his death in 1882. The resource contains links to historical documents, maps, photographs, and videos that help explain the story and shed light on Darwin's thoughts and actions.
This resource is full of material that you can use with your students as you lead them in a lesson or unit on evolution. It provides a good overview of Darwin's life, his research, and the debate that surrounded his "dangerous idea." Or, you could have your students focus on just one aspect of Darwin's life, say his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle or his college years, and ask them to do some in-depth research on that subject and present the information to the class.
These Science NetLinks resources will help extend on the information presented in this website.
Charles Darwin and On the Origin of Species
Nowhere to Hide
6-8 | Interactive
The Rise and Fall of the Mammoths
6-8 | Interactive
The History of Evolutionary Theory
Introduction to Natural Selection
9-12 | Hands-On
The Macaque Genome: An Interactive Poster
9-12 | Interactive