The Galápagos Islands

Home learning focus

Learn about the Galápagos Islands including their location, environment, dramatic landscape and amazing wildlife.

This lessons includes:

  • one animation introducing the Galápagos Islands

  • one short film showing the landscape and wildlife of the Islands

  • two activities to build on your knowledge


Where are the Galápagos Islands?

The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago or group of islands that have been created by volcanoes. They are found in the Pacific Ocean, almost 1,000 km from the coast of Ecuador in South America.

The islands are at either side of the Equator, which means they are in both the Southern and the Northern Hemisphere.

Watch this short animation to explore the Galápagos Islands with Sue Venir.

Learn about the Galápagos Islands with Sue Venir.

What are the Galápagos Islands like?

The Galápagos Islands are home to lots of different types of plants and animals. They contain some of the most unusual animals on the planet. For example, giant tortoises, marine iguanas and even the Galápagos penguin.

On his visit to the islands in 1835, Charles Darwin noticed the slight differences between the same types of animal on each island. This helped him work out how they had adapted to their environment through a process called natural selection.

Today, tourists visit the islands to see the dramatic landscapes - volcanoes, beautiful coastlines and coral reefs - as well as the wildlife and plants.

People are only allowed to live in small areas of the island so that the wildlife and plants are protected. This is part of the conservation plan for the islands and the ocean around them. Other laws prevent things such as too much fishing, too many people living there or too many visitors. This will hopefully protect the variety of plants and animals and the beauty of the islands for the future.

Watch this short film to see more of the dramatic landscape and amazing wildlife of the Galápagos Islands.

Some tortoises on the Galápagos Islands have shells that rise up at the front which allow them to eat plants that are high up.
Explore the dramatic landscape and amazing wildlife of the Galápagos Islands.


There are lots of fun things to do to help you remember what you've learnt about the Galápagos Islands.

Here are a few you could try.

Activity 1


How much have you learnt about the Galápagos Islands?

Have a go at this three question multiple choice quiz to find out.

Activity 2

Create a postcard of the Galápagos Islands

Pretend you've visited the Galápagos Islands! Using what you've learnt in this lesson write a postcard about the Islands.

Download and print out the activity sheet below from Britannica Digital Learning.

Galápagos Islands postcard activity sheet

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

More Year 5 and P6 lessons
KS2 Geography on BBC Bitesize
KS2 Geography on BBC Teach
The Dumping Ground: Face Your Fears! game
Wildlife at risk on the Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands flashcards
More about the Galápagos Islands