Evolution and Natural Selection Year 9-10

Year levels

Year 9, Year 10


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


Adaptations, Animal Features, Biodiversity, Ecosystems / Habitats

Explore evolution through natural selection by building an understanding of how animal adaptations, variation in a population and selection pressures can lead to a new species.

Program description

Get up close with biodiversity at Melbourne Zoo. Students will learn about the processes of natural selection that have led to the species we see today. Through looking at the adaptations of wildlife, students will apply key science skills including observation of animals and interpretation and analysis of primary data they have collected. They will determine the selection pressures that occurred in the past and predict how changes in the environment could affect adaptations in the future.

Students will learn:

  • How interactions between organisms may shape speciation
  • How the process of natural selection shapes adaptations
  • How specified selection pressures have led to biodiversity
  • How to observe animals to determine the factors that may have led to certain adaptations

Program sequence

Before your visit


Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) and Student Workbook to spark students’ curiosity before their zoo visit.

During your visit

Connect and Understand

Students will discover the methods scientists use to understand and explore the theory of evolution. Put science skills to the test by observing animals and collecting and interpreting data to better understand how adaptations occur and what can influence adaptations in a species.

Your zoo visit will include: A welcome at entry (for arrivals between 9.45am – 10am), Zoo Teacher workshop (40 minutes) and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide and Student Workbook for other ideas of what to do at the zoo.

After your visit


Use activities in the Teaching Guide and Student Workbook to deepen students’ learning back at school. 


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

Program maps and itineraries 

Your booking confirmation email will list your group's education workshop time/s. Each workshop time has its own map and suggested daily itinerary. Digital maps will be provided to you on the day.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 9-10


The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (VCSSU120)

  • Apply key science skills to determine the selection pressures that may have led to the adaptations observed for a species

Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (VCSSU121)

  • Determine the interactions between organisms and their environment that may have shaped speciation


Plan your excursion 

This program is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection.

School groups will enter Melbourne Zoo via the Rail Gate entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More Information. 

Book your education experience

Fill out an online form to request a booking for your zoo education experience

Request booking now

You will need to know the following to book your zoo excursion or online workshop:

  • Education program of your choice (if applicable)
  • Preferred date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level