Evolution: A process of gradual change, formation and growth by adapting to your current circumstances
To Revolve: 1) To move in a circle on a central axis
2) To treat as the most important element
‘Survival of the fittest’, says a confident pupil who remembers studying Darwin in a recent Biology lesson.
‘Dinosaurs and monkeys’ says an enthusiastic pupil who goes on to talk about the film ‘Planet of the Apes’.
When we talk about ‘evolution’ we tend to think about prehistoric processes that have very little relevance to our modern lives. However, evolution is happening all around us, including in our classrooms. We are guiding our students to change, form and grow by adapting to their current circumstances. Could it be that ‘adaptation’ is the most important skill for schools to develop? Our current circumstances are constantly changing, and we need individuals who are well equipped to evolve and adapt to future challenges in a future world.
Let’s take a look at a future world in the story A New Atlantis. The planet has no hope and everything seems lost. The rain is coming and it will destroy the planet. Does it sound familiar? Could future generations come across a similar fate on Earth? A young slave named Ryan and a Princess called Daria adapt and evolve to their circumstances. They find the solution to save their people and create a New Atlantis. It’s for this reason adaptation and evolution are the key for our future success, and it all begins in the classroom!
Write a list of 10 key skills for school pupils. Ask your students to rank the skills from 1 (the most important) to 10 (the least important). Your students are likely to disagree, so it’s a great way to create a productive classroom debate!
A New Earth
(A short story inspired by A New Atlantis)
Somebody is calling my name and I look around. It’s my old grandfather. It’s a hot evening and the city is humid as the streams of water between the buildings glisten in the sun. My grandfather is red in the face, perhaps from the heat or because of the anger, it is hard to know the difference.
‘Your work hasn’t finished my boy!’, he shouts. I look around at the wreckage from the last storm. The buildings that have survived the storm are sat on wooden platforms that desperately keep the red brick structures standing up. The roofs are destroyed, windows smashed and a horrible smell fills the air. I return to work with the rest of the slaves whose job it is to clear and destroy what is left of the damaged buildings. We are slaves and we mustn’t stop working until the sun leaves the sky every evening.
The slaves destroy and clear their city until nothing is left but a large silver crystal, which shoots out of a puddle of water like an iceberg. This is the crystal of the slaves, their last hope, the only thing they have left.
‘Daria? Princess Daria?’
Somebody is calling my name and I turn away from the window. It’s my father King Darius. ‘It’s time for your astronomy lesson’ he says. I turn back to the window and look down on the destroyed city and the slaves who work tirelessly to destroy what is left of their home. They must leave this land to escape the storms, yet my family, the rich and the royal are safe in the tower.
The tower is a huge cylinder building which reaches the tops of the clouds. It has survived strong storms without damage and on top of the tower floats a purple crystal. The crystal of the rich and royal. I don’t want to go to the astronomy lesson, I know my father is planning something. He knows the purple crystal has a special power, he wants to use it to leave and find a new Earth. The storms are getting stronger and we must find a way to leave soon, but how can we leave the slaves.
I take my coat and go outside.
‘Excuse me, I recognise you! Are you Princess Daria’ says Ryan. They look at each other and then look at the grey diamond, the diamond of the slaves. ‘Yes, I am’, says Princess Daria. ‘What is that?’
‘It’s our diamond’, says Ryan. ‘We don’t know its power, but we hope it can save us’. ‘We have to find a way to leave this land.’
‘My people are also looking to leave and find a new planet, says Princess Daria. ‘We have a purple diamond, but we don’t know how to use its power.’
‘I have an idea!’, says Princess Daria.
The slaves come together to lift the diamond out of the puddle and carry it to the tower. Inside the tower there is a large entrance with a small fountain in the middle. The slaves carry the diamond into the central hall and place it in the fountain.
The slaves, the rich and the royal all gather in the central hall to see the diamond. ‘What is this?’, Says King Darius.
‘It’s the crystal of the slaves’, says Princess Daria
‘The only way we can leave this world and find a new home is by coming together’, says Ryan.
The room begins to shake and the sliver crystal begins to glow and revolve. The purple crystal on top of the tower shoots a beam of light and the crystals connect. The tower begins to rise into the air, spinning, revolving and leaving the Earth and into space. It’s time to discover a new Earth, an Earth where we live and work together.
Teach your students the story of A New Earth.
Create a class play to retell the story.
Give your students roles of slaves, rich and royals and make props such as the diamonds.
Perform the play and send us the video!
Let’s put the ‘revolution’ into the ‘evolution’!
How do we create a ‘r-evolving classroom?
The idea of the r-evolving classroom activity is
to challenge our students to think out of the box
and see how they would adapt in different circumstances.
This is also a great activity to practice the Second Conditional! Before you start the activity you need to write four problems on pieces of card and place them in a circle in the middle of your class.
To Go Further
Place your students into four teams and assign them a problem. They have five minutes to discuss the problem and think of possible solutions. After five minutes it’s time to ‘revolve’ your students! They go to the next problem in a clockwise motion and discuss the solutions for 5 minutes. When the pupils have discussed and found solutions for all of the problems the class comes together and finds one perfect solution for each problem.
From evolution to revolution your students will have adapted to different situations while practising English. Now that’s a great class!