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ERIC Number: EJ1041894
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0269-2465
Evolution in Action
Dennis, Mike; Duggan, Adrienne; McGregor, Deb
Primary Science, n131 p8-10 Jan 2014
Evolution and inheritance appear in the new National Science Curriculum for England, which comes into effect from September 2014. In the curriculum documents, it is expected that pupils in year 6 (ages 10-11) should be taught to: (1) recognise that living things have changed over time; (2) recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents; and (3) identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution. Traditionally a secondary science topic, evolution and inheritance may challenge primary teachers' subject knowledge (Ofsted, 2011) and represents a complex set of ideas which children will need to explore. It is also challenging because evolution describes changes that occur over long periods of time, which is a difficult notion for children to grasp. There is a little time, however, for teachers to gather ideas and information to help, because children in year 6 do not start the new curriculum until September 2015. Drama is a powerful learning tool because it enables children to experience first (and they may have to think on their feet!) and reflect afterwards, often bringing about an enriched awareness and understanding of a concept (McGregor, 2012; McGregor, Dennis and Duggan, 2013). Through a range of creative drama strategies, children physically, emotionally and mentally enter into a given scenario or situation that enables them to personally explore ideas in role. This article describes several activities that were devised to see whether drama could aid understanding of these more abstract ideas, as set out in the new National Curriculum. Because these the modelling and role-play approaches provided a sequential learning experience, they enabled the children to progress in their thinking about evolution.
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A