The One With The Finches!

This morning, we began our topic on Evolution with a lesson on understanding evolution in finches. We learned about Darwin and his travels on the HMS Beagle, which took him to the Galapagos Islands.Here, he studied the differences between finches on a range of different islands and came to the conclusion that different finches needed a different beak to eat the range of seeds/insects available on each island. To understand this, we took part in a task that required us to ‘be a bird’ and ‘eat’ seeds. We either had a fork, spoon, pair of tweezers or a peg and had to gather as many items off the desks as possible. There were 7 islands with 7 different ‘seeds’. These were: skittles, rice, pasta, marbles, counters, cubes and peas. We found that some items were easy to pick up with our ‘beaks’ and others were very tricky. This helped us to understand how different finches had evolved to survive on each island.

We also took part in an activity called ‘Talking Telephones’. This involved sending a message around the circle by whispering it to the person next to us and seeing where changes in the message occurred. We then linked this to mutations with DNA through time, which helped us to understand how mutations lead to evolution.