DNA timeline

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Contributor: Jane R
DNA timeline
Main Subject
Key stage
Resource type
Student activity
Working scientifically
Development of scientific thinking

A matching and sequencing activity for KS3-4 science or biology students to complete, to develop their understanding of the timeline for the discovery of DNA. 

With a set of 9 dates to match with the relevant scientific discovery, as well as photos of the leading scientists, students then create a timeline poster with their own. 

Includes teaching notes. Perfect for revision or as a formative assessment activity.

Example events for students to sequence and timeline: 


Charles Darwin proposes that humans evolved over millions of years from animals in his book On the Origin of Species.


Gregor Mendel supports Darwin's theory. In a series of experiments, he shows that characteristics can be inherited and passed down through the generations.


Oswald Avery is the first to describe DNA as the substance most likely to be responsible for the inheritance of characteristics.


Rosalind Franklin produces detailed photographs of DNA fibres; she thought that DNA was likely to be a helical (helix shape) structure.

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