edHelper.com
The Galapagos Islands



The Galapagos Islands
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.74

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    endemic, goess, saddlebacks, isolation, evolution, assortment, publication, selection, further, response, renamed, hinder, generally, theory, considerable, cormorant
     content words:    Galapagos Islands, Guh LAH, Enchanted Islands, Islas Galápagos, Charles Darwin, HMS Beagle, In South America


Print The Galapagos Islands
     Print The Galapagos Islands  (font options, pick words for additional puzzles, and more)


Quickly Print - PDF format
     Quickly Print: PDF (2 columns per page)

     Quickly Print: PDF (full page)


Quickly Print - HTML format
     Quickly Print: HTML


Proofreading Activity
     Print a proofreading activity


Feedback on The Galapagos Islands
     Leave your feedback on The Galapagos Islands  (use this link if you found an error in the story)



The Galapagos Islands
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     The Galapagos Islands (Guh LAH puh goess) are a group of thirteen islands lying six hundred miles west off the coast of Ecuador. They were first called the "Enchanted Islands" by early Spanish explorers. The land mass is approximately three thousand square miles. They are one of the most active volcanic sites in the world. In 1892 the Enchanted Islands were renamed Archipiélago de Colón or Islas Galápagos by Ecuador which had annexed the islands in 1832. Either name or both may appear on a map. But most people still call them Galapagos, the Spanish word describing the tortoises that live on the islands.
 
2     The Galapagos Islands are most famous for being the object of Charles Darwin's study of their unique plants and wildlife. In 1835, the young Charles Darwin came to the islands on the HMS Beagle. The Beagle visited the islands for five weeks. Darwin visited at least four of the islands. He collected and classified plant and animal specimens. Darwin wrote about the giant tortoises the islands were named for and the differences he saw among them. Darwin wondered what could account for such an odd assortment of creatures in the Galapagos and the subtle and sometimes stark differences in some species. He puzzled over these questions, and his observations and notes led to the formation of the theory of evolution by natural selection. He published his theory and comments about these strange islands in 1859 in his book On the Origin of Species. In the almost one hundred fifty years since the publication of his book, his ideas about evolution have become the central theory of biology.
 
3     Each major island boasts its own unique ecosystem and geographic features. At least nine hundred plant species have been identified here, and two hundred of these grow only in the Galapagos. Darwin wondered about the cormorant birds he saw there. In South America cormorants fly. But in the Galapagos, they have stubby wings that make flight impossible, and they have extremely long necks. He theorized that because living things do not generally create exact duplicates of themselves, those changes or mutations can help or hinder them, depending on their environment.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!


More Activities, Lesson Plans, and Worksheets


Back to School
Graphic Organizers
Alphabet Worksheets
Sight Words
Math Worksheets
Mazes
50 States

Monthly Themes
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

Fractions
Place Value
Time and Calendar
Money
Earth Day
Solar System
Analogies
Nouns
Following Directions
Listening
Capitalization
Cursive Writing
Patterns and Sequencing
Dinosaurs
All About Me

Kindergarten
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade

Multiplication
Division
Main Idea
Cause and Effect
Measurement
Decimals
Rounding
Order of Operations
Verbs
Community Helpers
Adjectives
Plants
Grammar
Addition and Subtraction
Contractions
Bulletin Board Ideas
Word Searches
Crossword Puzzles
Printable Puzzles

Reading Comprehension
Reading Skills
English Language Arts





Copyright © 2011 edHelper