Ideas and Evidence in Science: The Kirkdale Cave

How to use this Learning Journey with your students

Pupils will be presented with 5 different theories to explain how the bones may have got into the Kirkdale Cave. They will then work as researchers to decide which theory they most strongly agree with.  You may wish to withhold important information about William Buckland and his research until pupils have worked on their own theories.


All the additional resources you will need with your pupils are included in the Worksheets Section - see links below.

  • Use the 'Theories' PowerPoint' to introduce the lesson and the problem faced by the Yorkshire Museum.  Ask pupils to work in small groups, considering one theory per group.
  • Give each pupil a copy of the blank Evidence Chart .  Use the 'Evidence' PowerPoint, and ask pupils to consider in their groups whether each piece of evidence supports or confilcts with their theory.
  • Ask pupils to consider what additional evidence they now need to explore their theory further.  Use the Related Links at the foot of this page as a guide for further research.
  • Show pupils the clips in the Video Gallery. They should now be able to use this information to draw a conclusion about their theory.
  • Pupils may want to present their findings to the rest of the class.  You may also wish to ask pupils to write a letter to the Yorkshire Museum with a summary of their research.  Examples of completed letters from students can be downloaded
  • Use the information in the Background Information pages to show pupils the scientific debate sparked by William Buckland's book.  
  • The lesson plans give additional guidance on using these resources with your pupils. 

The resources in this Learning Journey were developed in partnership with Holly Cooke and Nichola Crawford, both teachers of Science at Canon Lee School, York.  The lessons were piloted with Year 9 students from the school.

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