The Process

Background for All

First you will be assigned to a team of 3 students.

Each team will be reading the background material, below, together.

Robert FitzRoy after his promotion to Vice-Admiral, by Francis Lane
 Charles Darwin was invited to be the Naturalist on the long voyage around the world by Captain FitzRoy, a deeply religious man. FitzRoy explained that they had two missions on the voyage: first, to continue charting the coast of South America and, secondly, to accurately fix longitude. Darwin would be able to get ashore, explore unknown rivers, mountains, and coral islands in the tropics and sail towards the frozen south. Check out the Preface of Darwin's book, The Voyage of the Beagle to read his comments about Captain FitzRoy.

Side elevation of the Beagle. After he first saw the ship Darwin wrote, "The absolute want of room is an evil that nothing can surmount"


The voyage of the Beagle from England to Galapagos Islands


To see an enlarged map of the Islands click here: Galapagos Islands

Click here for help with vocabulary words

More vocabulary word help

As additional background, everyone is to read Charles Darwin's diary about his experiences in Galapagos Islands. It is printed in the book he wrote called Voyage of the Beagle, Chapter 17. It will take you at least 10 minutes to read the whole chapter so you may want to take turns reading it to each other in your team. You will want to refer to specific parts of this document when you are doing your research on your team's specific topic. Click on the link below to see the on -line text for Chapter 17 in this book:
Voyage of the Beagle

For your information:
The entire on-line text for several of the books that Darwin wrote can be found on-line. You may want to refer to any or all of these books for help in your research. The complete texts of the two books we will have read parts of , The Voyage of the Beagle and The Origin of Species, can be found here:
Darwin's books The Origin of the Species and Voyage of the Beagle

Team Roles

Once you have been assigned your team's research project, you are to open the corresponding link below. Within each of these links there will be information and links to on-line resources that will help your team prepare the report you must bring to the seminar. Darwin insists that each of you record as much detail as you can about each of the topics you have been assigned. He would like accurate descriptions of each animal and geologic feature, habitat, behavior, food sources. It is important that these observations be documented carefully as he will be analyzing the data you collect back home in England for many years. He does not expect to visit these islands again. He is counting on you to be thorough.

Naturalist: Galapagos Finches

Naturalist: Giant Tortoise

Naturalist: Land Iguana

Naturalist: Marine Iguana

Naturalist: Ocean Birds

Historian: Darwin's 20 Years After the Voyage

Geologist: Geology and Isolation of Galapagos Islands