Activity Introduction

arabicQuick summary: Students investigate the dual dimensions of human evolution – physical advances and human achievements – by creating a Museum of Human Evolution in their classroom. Students will need to work in pairs to create displays for a range of historical human milestones, including signage and artifacts. Students will assess the displays of other groups, and may lead younger students on tours of their museum.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that landmark achievements of human beings throughout human history can be considered part of the ongoing story of human evolution.

21st century skills:

evolution museum skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content description:

Year 10 Science

  • The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (ACSSU185)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-14LW, SC5-15LW.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Science achievement standards: Students explain the processes that underpin heredity and evolution.

Topic: Evolution.

Time required: 60 mins +

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet, Internet access. A range of resources to support students is available on the Student Worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Online brainstorming tool (such as MindMeister or, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity can be extended over several sessions.

Keywords: Human evolution, human achievements, history.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

lion-mosaicTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students participating in this lesson will understand that landmark achievements of human beings throughout human history can be considered part of the ongoing story of human evolution.

Teacher content information:

Crash Course Big History #6: Human Evolution - (

Teaching sequence

10 minutes - Brainstorm.
45+ minutes - Creating museum displays (this activity could be extended over several lessons).
5 minutes - Reflection.

Work through this resource material in the following sequence:

Part A: Brainstorm

Step 1. Begin by engaging students in a brainstorming exercise about what the term ‘human evolution’ brings to mind. Guide the brainstorm to the point that evolution doesn’t only refer to physical advances; it can also refer to achievements that mark progress in areas such as survival, social organisation, use of tools/technologies, control of the environment, and record keeping.

Ask a student volunteer

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Student Worksheet

museum-heroThought starter: How do we define human evolution?

In this activity you will work in pairs to act as museum curators to create a section for the Museum of Human Evolution (to be displayed in your classroom).

You will be assigned one of the following milestones of human achievement to investigate, research and build a display for:

  • Our animal ancestors
  • Out of Africa: Earth's first hominids
  • Life during the Ice Age
  • The early hunter-gatherers
  • The first Australians
  • Learning to farm: domestication of plants and the rise of agriculture
  • Humans settle down: early village life
  • The development of writing
  • The birth of civilization
  • Global population growth throughout time and future population/overpopulation
  • The impact of humans on animal evolution
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Evolution or devolution? The future for humans
  • Planet Earth and beyond (Biosphere II or terraforming Mars)

You will need to conduct research on your topic. You should then create a display using images, video

- or - to view worksheets

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