Activity Introduction

Quick 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

Teacher 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 volunt

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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

- or - to view worksheets

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