Theory of Evolution


This interesting lesson students will be able to define the theory of evolution, and list examples of animal adaptations, as well as explain the process of evolution.

Theory of Evolution Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about theory of evolution .
  • Hands-on homework activities to reinforce their knowledge and understanding of theory of evolution.
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 5-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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This interesting lesson discusses Darwin’s Theory of Evolution along with natural selection and adaption. Depending on the backgrounds of your students the theory could be controversial with them in regard to religious beliefs. The theory of evolution, though, is simply the basis for how organisms have evolved over time. For older students, if it becomes controversial, calmly debating the information may be an exercise worth pursuing. Though it is called a theory, the facts are overwhelming that organisms have evolved over millions of years to their present state today, and will continue to evolve as necessary in order to survive.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction

  1. Ask students what they think would happen if the only plants became available for humans to eat. What changes might take place with the human body over a period of time?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce adaptation and evolution to students.
  3. Distribute Theory of Evolution content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Save the final question for the lesson closing. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  4. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. (Share the example of the water filled Earth, humans may have gills, or in a hotter climate an organism with hair/fur may become bald or tougher skinned.) Pair students, if possible include someone who enjoys drawing.
  5. Give students access to the Internet, distribute colored pencils. Allow students sufficient time to complete the activity. When all are completed, each pair of students will present the adapted organisms to the class, describing it in details, etc. Be sure the presentation responds to each of the activity questions.
  6. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  7. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  8. In closing, ask: If you can choose an adaptation for yourself, what would you chose and why?
  9. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards: 


Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more science resources? Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

5th Grade, 6th Grade