"This has been a fantastic workshop. The children were fully engaged and learned so much in a hands-on, investigative way. They were able to use and improve different skills." Year 6 teacher, Roxbourne School,.
"Well-timed, well-paced, well-resourced activities for a range of needs, interests and learning styles. An enjoyable day, thank you." KS2 Year 6 teacher, Aldryngton School.
This workshop covers the Evolution and Inheritance KS2 topic. Also ideal for KS3+. Examine an extensive collection of fossil specimens through 8 different prehistoric time periods to discover how life on earth changed through the millennia. Record and interpret your findings, and see the evidence for evolution in front of your very eyes. Meet your ancestors, and some other weird and wonderful prehistoric creatures.
This is a hands-on activity and we use the children's observations to tell the story of life on earth, and how it changed, over the last Billion years or so.
We look at the plants, animals, and body features (traits) that appeared (and disappeared) over time, and meet a number of our own ancestors in fossil form.
Discover how your genes are passed on into your descendants. Then take the Natural Selection Challenge. Find out who adapted and who didn't .... and how this amazing process actually happens. For KS2, inheritance, variation, adaptation, and Darwin's "origin of species" are all demonstrated through a series of hands-on activities, demonstrations and games. KS3 discuss the "selfish gene", loss of hereditary material and biodiversity over time, and alternative views on evolution (eg. Lamarckism, Intelligent Design).
A "Q & A" session allows pupils to ask all those searching questions children seem to have about this fascinating topic (we can discuss how Natural Selection may conflict with other versions of events eg. creation stories, if desired, although this rarely comes up).
Additional optional activities, that can be teacher-led (or included in longer workshops), include: meet your ancestors, "alternative evolutions", timeline quiz, word evolution, palaeo-adaptations, eye evolution game, adaptation cards, evolution cartoons. Please inquire if you require further details.
Everything that is alive today is exquisitely adapted to its environment. It would have gone extinct if it hadn't been. It is only here because all of its ancestors survived - by sheer luck. What would have happened if one tiny thing had been different in the past? What might the world look like now? Would we even be here?? Makes you think, doesn't it?
This KS2 Evolution and Inheritance workshop can be done with a maximum group size of 45 (occasionally 60). So, for larger groups, we usually split into two - one doing the main workshop and one with their teacher - and swap over. All start with the fossil activity (60 - 90 minutes) and add various other activities depending on time. There are a number of teacher-led activities available for the other group(s) to use, if desired. There is no maximum time limit - there are enough activities to last all day if needed. If teachers wish to accommodate 60 or more pupils in this workshop, plus a different workshop for another year group in the same day, this is possible but only parts of this workshop will be covered (usually the fossils).
Different group sizes can be accommodated in the following ways:
30 pupils: can be done in a classroom, can last all day or half day, and will cover all activities. Can be combined with a different workshop for another year group.
More than 45 pupils: Split into groups - see below - all pupils can join together for introduction, and final Q & A session. Additional teacher-led activities are available for use with the other groups so that all pupils can have a full day on the topic, if desried.
60 pupils: split into 2 groups (in a classroom or hall) - one group with their teacher, then swap over. If all day, both groups do fossils in the morning and swap over, then both do other activities in the afternoon then swap over. For a shorter time, all 60 can do the workshop all together.
90 pupils: split into 2 groups of 45, and proceed as above - requires large room or hall OR split into 3 groups and do shorter version of workshop (classroom OK).
120 pupils: split into 2 or 3 groups and proceed as above in large room or hall.