Adventure Cruise News

Educational Resources for Familes & Children Going to the Galapagos Islands

by Todd Smith

The Galapagos Islands are a living classroom for travelers of all ages. Researching Galapagos history and learning about the islands, animals and ecosystems before you arrive will enrich your understanding and enhance your experience while you are there.  We have compiled our favorite Galapagos educational websites, TV shows, documentaries, lesson plans and environmental education to help families prepare for their trip to the Galapagos, the trip of a lifetime. 

Child photographing Galapagos tortoise

Galapagos Children's Reading List

Check out our Kids in Galapagos reading list for a terrific selection of books and field guides designed for younger travelers. Purchase books and maps from our partners at Longitude Books. We also have books for adults in our online bookstore.

Galapagos Educational Resources for Kids

This list of Galapagos educational resources for kids begins with resources appropriate for younger travelers at the top with increasingly sophisticated resources for older children as you progress down the list. 

Join the Tortoise Club

The Tortoise Club is a children's program organized by the Galapagos Conservation Trust (based in the United Kingdom). Tortoise Club helps young people to learn about the  Galapagos Islands, its incredible wildlife and why conservation is so important. A membership fee provides access to a set of color fact-sheets, a giant tortoise poster, a map of the islands, Galapagos stickers, access to the password protected "Club House" area of the website, a subscription to Discover Galapagos (the Tortoise Club newsletter) and a warm fuzzy feeling for helping to conserve one the most important places on earth. GCT is working to get this program accredited so UK schoolkids will get class credit for completing the program. 

Animals, Adaptation & the Galapagos Islands - Discover with Darwin

Scholastic books, magazines and educational programs are found in more than 90% of schools in the U.S. This three-level online library titled Animals, Adaptation, and the Galapagos Islands - Discover with Darwin, provides an overview of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for students.

Galapagos for Kids Travel Blog

Our partners at Red Mangrove Lodge have a series of Galapagos for Kids blog posts written by kids for kids. Discover a Galapagos fish market, travel tips for kids, cool facts about the Galapagos giant tortoise and more.

About Galapagos

About Galapagos, from our partners at the Galapagos Conservancy, provides an overview of the Galapagos Islands including history, people today, biodiversity, Lonesome George, the islands and a resource library. 

Virtual Tours & Web Cams

Trace Darwin's Footsteps with Google's virtual tour of the Galapagos Islands, or Explore the Galapagos with NOVA's multimedia map. The Galapagos Conservancy has a giant tortoise web cam showing the tortoises at the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.

IGTOA Galapagos Travel Guide

A fantastic overview of the Galapagos National Park, IGTOA Travel Guide outlines the islands, challenges, plants, wildlife, geology, weather and climate. From our conservation partners at International Galapagos Tour Operators Association

Galapagos National Park

The official website of the Galapagos National Park offers a wealth of information including a description of landing sites, park rules, overview of guides, an overview of Galapagos Island and marine ecosystems, discussion of challenges facing the park including invasive species and more.

Galapagos Geology on the Web

This Cornell University website offers extensive information on Galapagos geology, climate, oceanography and history

About Darwin

A website dedicated to the life of Charles Darwin, About Darwin includes a chronological timeline of the famous naturalist's life, including the Voyage of the Beagle and the Origin of Species. 

UNESCO Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The UNESCO Galapagos Inscription page site describes the Galapagos Islands criteria for inscription with maps, videos and a discussion of challenges facing the islands. 

Education in the Galapagos

What is it like to live and go to school in the Galapagos Islands? Galapagos Conservancy's Education in the Galapagos Islands page outlines challenges facing schools in the Galapagos Islands and reform programs designed to address them. The Galapagos Conservancy is also a terrific resource for information on conservation issues in the Galapagos Islands.

Girl with Galapagos sea lions

Galapagos TV Shows, Documentaries & Videos

Fulllength Galapagos TV shows, documentaries and videos are a great way to prepare for your trip or to watch on the plane. Here are some of our favorites:

Big Green Rabbit

The lesson plan What are the Galapagos? (pdf) created by BIG GREEN RABBIT®, was designed in conjunction with BGR’s Emmy® award-winning television episode titled The Rematch: What are the Galapagos?  

PBS Destination Galapagos Islands

PBS and Scientific American Frontiers invites you to join an expedition to the Galapagos Islands! Host Alan Alda, the Frontiers crew, scientists and School Program ambassadors Sherri Steward and Mandy Williams took an exciting voyage to the Galapagos. The cyber field trip is archived on this website. Explore Expedition Journals, try your hand at species classification and DNA synthesis, or take part in interactive experiments by collecting data from your local area and comparing it online to data from the Galapagos. Educators: visit the special section for teachers on this site to learn how you and your students can use the Galapagos Islands cyber field trip.

Nova: Explore the Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands may be the birthplace of our scientific understanding of evolution. Charles Darwin, who put the Galapagos on the map, pointed to them as the "origin of all my views." In this multimedia feature, Nova: Explore the Galapagos, get a sense of Galapagos' extraordinary animals and landscapes through panoramic photos, video and audio. And trace Darwin's journey to see how the islands sparked his thinking about evolution.

BBC Galapagos

This three-part BBC Natural History Unit series, narrated by Tilda Swinton, explores the remarkable Galapagos Islands. You cannot watch this documentary on the BBC website but a quick search on You-Tube will find all three episodes.  

Galapagos 3D

The Galapagos Islands are one of the wonders of the natural world. They teem with life found nowhere else in the world. Join celebrated natural historian and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough as he travels to the islands to bring them to life for you, in Galapagos 3D.

National Geographic Galapagos Videos

Many of these breathtaking educational National Geographic Galapagos videos were filmed aboard our partner ships, the National Geographic Endeavour and National Geographic Islander.

Children with Galapagos Guide

Galapagos Lesson Plans for Parents & Teachers

Share the Galapagos with your school, or book a student charter cruise. These Galapagos lesson plans for parents and teachers are sure to inform and entertain. 

National Geographic Education

The following lesson plans were developed for National Geographic Channel in conjunction with the March 2007 premiere of "Galápagos."

The Galapagos Islands: A Special Place is an archived Xpeditions lesson plan covering the key concepts of the Galapagos Islands, adaptation, conservation and extinction for students grade 3-5. 

The Galapagos Islands: A Geologic Wonder is an archived Xpeditions lesson plan covering the key concepts of geology, plate tectonics, volcanoes and the Galapagos Islands for students grade 6-8.

Galapagos for Teachers

PBS challenged teachers to come up with their best original lesson plans related to scientific study in the Galapagos Islands.They received some great entries, the best of which are featured on Galapagos for Tearchers

Galapagos: Beyond Darwin

Galapagos: Beyond Darwin is a lesson plan developed by Discovery Channel Education for students grade 6-8. 

Center for Galapagos Studies

A collaborative partnership has been created between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, to address the current challenges facing the Galapagos Islands such as population growth, resource conflict and economic development. The Center for Galapagos Studies partnership is designed to foster research, education and outreach programs in the islands, with the larger goals of advancing conservation efforts in the Galapagos and promoting better understanding of ecologically sensitive and protected areas worldwide.

Websites change often so if you find a broken link, or a resource we have missed, please contact us to keep this page accurate and up to date.

Children with Galapagos Guide 2

Photos provided by our partners at Metropolitan Touring


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