Are you a fan of the 19th Century

scientist, Charles Darwin?

If so, this website is for you!  


This website aims to draw together key publications, media and websites on Charles Darwin for the enthusiast.

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Darwin's Stories Come Alive!

Teachers!  Use the Stories!

This part of the website is especially for teachers (and parents) who have purchased the children's book 'Darwin's Wild Pursuits Around Downe' (published on 17th September 2014) and want to take the stories 'one step further' with their children.


These pages aim to help teachers feel more confident about teaching the Year 6 topic 'Evolution & Inheritance' (from September 2015).  It is hoped that teachers will be enthused  about Charles Darwin and feel motivated enough to communicate his work to pupils.  


The book seeks to introduce Year 6 students to aspects of Evolution & Inheritance, in a light-hearted way. In the book, Darwin has discussions with various creatures about the investigations he is doing. 'The Truth Behind the Fiction' section highlights which aspects of each story are based on real events - indeed most of the stories are based on fact, bar Darwin's verbal communication with the animals!  The stories are in chronological order.


Click on the links below for more information:


Evolution & The National Curriculum

Storytelling & Science

Evolution Message Matrix

Darwin & The Fox Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Field Mouse Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Lizard Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Duck Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Roman Snail Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Honey Bee Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Badger Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Newt Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Squirrels Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Stag Beetles Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Butterfly Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Rabbit Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Wren Lesson Ideas

Darwin & The Spider Lesson Ideas



Below is a Powerpoint containing all the illustrations (strictly for educational use only)






Below is a PDF outlining 'The Truth Behind the Fiction' for each story.






Click here to read 'How Evolution Works'.

Use ideas from other websites to build up your and your pupils' understanding of evolution. eg. Use the Darwin Evolution Game, watch 'Just so Darwin'  episodes (type in 'Lammas Science Just so Darwin' in YouTube - note that the cartoon episodes are set abroad), use the Natural History Museum evolution pages.


The scientific messages in 'Darwin's Wild Pursuits Around Downe' are:


1. What a species is and what a hybrid is using Darwin & The Roman Snail (Verbascum hybridisation).


2. Coevolution between insects and flowers using Darwin & The Honey Bee (bees and violets), Darwin & The Field Mouse (clover and bees), Darwin & The Butterfly (Lepidoptera and pyramidal orchid); coevolution between host and parasite using Darwin & The Rabbit (toothwort)


3. Change through domestic breeding using Darwin & The Rabbit (domesticated rabbits)


4. Inherited traits from parents and individuality using Darwin & The Duck (size of webbed feet), Darwin & The Badger (shape of badger), Darwin & The Newt (abdomen of newt)


5. Sexual selection and competition for mates using Darwin & The Newt (male/female form of newt), Darwin & The Duck (male/female form of mallards), Darwin & The Stag Beetles (male/female form of stag beetle)


6. Specialised features using Darwin & The Spider (web-spinning apparatus, wings of bats), Darwin & The Badger (bone/muscle structure of badgers, tendril of bryony), Darwin & The Lizard (glands of sundew), Darwin & The Duck (webbed feet), Darwin & the Lizard (scaly lizard), Darwin & The Wren (camouflage, Oxalis movement), Darwin & The Butterfly (butterfly proboscis), Darwin & The Roman Snail (snail shells/eyestalks)


7. Recessive genes, aberrations and mutations using Darwin & The Rabbit (rabbit coloration), Darwin & The Roman Snail (Anagalis coloration), Darwin & The Squirrels (Gentian double-form)


8. Package of genetic information in propagules using Darwin & The Newt (water plant seeds), Darwin & The Lizard (eggs of lizards)


9. How the structure of flowers can promote cross pollination - using Darwin & The Butterfly (Lepidoptera and orchid), Darwin & The Fox (pin- and thrum-eyed primroses).


10. How the separation of sexes promotes cross-fertilisation using Darwin & The Squirrels (forms of Spindle)


11. Traits retained through evolution that can be called into play using Darwin & The Spider (webs in hunting spiders), Darwin & The Roman Snail (salt-toleration of snail), Darwin & The Lizard (salt-toleration of lizard eggs), Darwin & The Squirrels (squirrel invertebrate-feeding)


12. Evolutionary adaptation to terrestrial life from water using Darwin & The Newt (terrestrial/aquatic aspects of newts), Darwin & The Lizard (retention of eggs in viviparous lizard)


13. Modes of dispersal of propagules and how new species can be introduced into an area using Darwin & The Duck (duckweed/water snail dispersal)


14. The role lowly-creatures can have on their environment using Darwin & The Badger (earthworm as a food source and mover of soil), Darwin & The Duck (earthworm as mover of soil), Darwin & The Stag Beetles (recycling of rotting wood by stag beetle grubs)


15. Evidence of evolution in the fossil record using Darwin & The Badger (Pliocene period).


16. The influence of humans or other species in local extinctions and the relevance of extinction to evolution using Darwin & The Lizard (local extinction of sundew), Darwin & The Wren (collection of birds eggs), Darwin & The Field Mouse (pressure imposed by food chains)


17. K- and R-strategies of reproduction using Darwin & The Wren (investment in a small number of eggs)


18. The difference between innate and learnt behaviours using Darwin & The Spider (improvement in web-spinning through learning)


19. The genetic form of flowers not being affected by environmental conditions using Darwin & The Squirrels (Gentian double-form), Darwin & The Fox (primroses and cowslip formation).


Check out the Evolution Matrix


If you have any comments to make or suggestions to add to these webpages, just let Ewa know at

spindle Suite of Illustrations The Truth Behind the Fiction