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Adaption: A Life of Change

Inspirational People

Adaptation. A life of change!

How and why do living things adapt to their environment?

All living things have to adapt to survive in their environment. In this learning challenge we will investigate questions like “What do we mean by the adaptation of living things? How do scientists understand adaption through the classification of living things? How do animals and plants adapt to suit their environment? How do fossils tell the story of how living things adapt over time? Who was Charles Darwin and what was his theory of evolution about? How do the world’s climate regions affect living things and their habitats?


In English we will read the story of Robinson Crusoe. He was a young man who defied his parents and went to sea. After surviving being captured and becoming a slave, he escaped to board another ship which was caught in a violent storm and he found himself shipwrecked on an island all alone. The story is about his struggle to survive single handily. From reading the text we will try to imagine how the main characters felt and what creative language the author, Daniel Defoe, used to express these feelings. We will then try to write a fictional recount of being shipwrecked alone on an Island and in the process we will learn the importance of  planning and drafting,  We will use the story as a starting point to help us develop our understanding of how humans adapt and survive in hostile environments..


In Maths we will undertake a mathematical mystery to help Robinson Crusoe problem solve his chance of survival.  In addition, we will develop our number skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, to recognise number patterns and how to understand the importance of measurement through problem solving.  We will also learn to use mathematical ideas in the form of flow charts to explain the idea of adaptation.


In Science we will find out more about the scientific idea of adaptation. We will learn how classify living things into groups according to their characteristics, about the importance of fossils in explaining how living things change and adapt over time and will learn about how living things produce offspring with similar characteristics which evolve.  We will also investigate the different habitats that plants and animals live in and explore how they adapt in different environments. We will particularly look at how animals adapt in the Arctic Tundra and in the Madagascan Rainforest and find out why some animals are becoming endangered species.


In Geography we will use globes and atlases to find out about the world’s climate and vegetation zones. We will learn to use longitude and latitude to describe the location of hot and cold regions of the world. We will then develop our knowledge and understanding of how people can damage, improve, manage and protect the habitats of living things.  In History we will find out about a Victorian scientist called Charles Darwin and his ideas about evolution and natural selection.


In Design and Technology we will design and make a hotel fit for an invertebrate to live in within the school grounds. While in Computing we will use search technologies effectively to inform our design and the needs of its residents. Once our invertebrate hotel is finished, we will make a digital presentation about the design and give an explanation of how it could be improved.


In Art we will look at how well known artists, like Richard Foley, have represented Darwin’s ideas about evolution in their paintings and we will use these ideas to inspire us to sketch using charcoal. Finally, in Music we will listen in detail to different types of world music, e.g. music from the rainforests, deserts and mountains, to inspire our musical creativity and to represent artistic ideas of how living things adapt.


Your reading text for this challenge is:


St. Joseph's Catholic Primary and Nursery School

90 Oakhill Road

SW15 2QD


Tel: 020 8874 1888



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