KS3 Galapagos Giant Tortoises Lesson Plan


KS3 Science

KS3 Science: Interactions and Interdependencies (Relationships in an ecosystem)

Familiarise your students with the history of the Galapagos giant tortoise. This section begins with the history of the giant tortoise in Galapagos. The conservation of Galapagos giant tortoises will be the main theme of this chapter.

Resources required

Learning objectives

  • Explore the history of the Galapagos giant tortoise and the reasons for their decline.
  • To understand the threats the tortoises currently face.

Students’ outcomes

  • To recognise the need for conservation of the Galapagos giant tortoise.
  • To be able to explain why tortoise populations were exploited and how this lead to a decline.
  • To identify the threats that may currently face tortoise populations.

Fire Starter: Introduce students to the history of the Galapagos giant tortoise using the online animation, highlighting key points of their history and species facts.


Gaining Ground: Either share or individually read the Galapagos giant tortoise factsheet, which expands on some of the points from the interactive. Discuss key points as a class.


Making Waves: Students should try out the tortoise trackers quiz. These eight questions will test their learned knowledge of the history of the Galapagos giant tortoise section. After students have completed the quiz individually, they can then contribute to a class discussion of the answers.


Future Focus: From the information they have read, students could create a mind map to illustrate the problems that the Galapagos giant tortoise has faced in the past and the present issues of concern for the conservation of this species.