Digital Program | Primate Evolution

Year levels



$180 per class of 30 students


Online workshop: Monday to Wednesday

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 30 students

Analyse and compare living primates to reveal humans’ closest living and extinct relatives, evolutionary trends and what it means to be classified as Homo Sapiens.

Program description

VCE Biology Unit 4

Each program includes a 30-minute online workshop with a Zoo Teacher and a teaching guide filled with activities for your scope and sequence. While not a tour of the zoo, you will have direct access to your own expert Zoo Teacher and unique zoo content.

Students will uncover human’s closest living and extinct relatives. They will determine the evolutionary trends leading from primates to humans using observational data and fossil analysis, anatomy and DNA. Students will look at biofacts, obtained from the past and present, to identify adaptations and determine the phylogeny of species.

DNA sequence comparisons will be utilised to further investigate species relatedness and draw phylogenetic trees. Students will gather some evidence to support human evolution through behavioural observations and comparing with a range of primates.

Students will learn: 

  • The anatomical and behavioural characteristics of primates, hominoids and hominins 
  • The processes that underpin speciation of primates and humans 
  • Construction and use of phylogenetic trees to identify relatedness of species 
  • How to collect and analyse behavioural observation data 

Want to come face-to-face with our incredible wildlife and extend your students' learning in their environment? Book in an excursion to one of our three amazing zoos.

Program sequence

Before your online workshop


Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to inform and prepare students before their online workshop.

During your online workshop

Connect and Understand 

Students will draw on their analysis of anatomical, molecular and behavioural evidence, in combination with understanding of evolutionary processes. They will identify evolutionary trends, describe relatedness of species and build a phylogenetic tree to model human evolution.

After your online workshop


Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning.


Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. 

Program resources

VCE teaching guides are password protected. You will receive the password via email before your excursion. You can also request the password upon booking.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) – Biology

Unit 4: How does life change and respond to challenges?

Area of Study 1: How are species related over time?

  • Students will use comparative anatomy, behaviour observations and DNA of living and once living primates to explore changes in the genetic make-up of a population, changes in biodiversity over time, determine relatedness between species and human change over time.

Online workshop details

Your online workshop will be hosted on Zoom.   

All you need is a computer or device with internet access.

During the exclusive online workshop for your class, you will be able use the camera and microphone functions.  

Students can also communicate with a Melbourne Zoo Teacher by typing in the Chat  box.  

We will send out a link to join the program to the teacher that booked.

Join us ten minutes before your start time. Arriving early will enable us to check any tech issues and start your session on time.  

Book now

Call 1300 966 784 to book an online workshop.   

Credit card payment at time of booking. Cancellation must be made at least 10 business days prior to your booked workshop. If not, a cancellation fee of $180 will be invoiced.