Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students investigate what physical features animals might need to help them adapt to climate change. Students look at an animal that is local to their area, and compare it to other similar animals in other parts of Australia and the world. They select adaptations from these similar animals that they believe would help their animal cope with climate change. Students present their ideas to the class.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that animals have evolved physical features that help them survive in their habitat.
  • Students understand that similar animals in different habitats have developed different adaptations according to the needs of their habitat.
  • Students recognise that climate change may alter habitats.
  • Students recognise that changes to habitats can affect that animals that live in those habitats.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, ICT capability.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 5 Science

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS086)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface (ACSSU096)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Syllabus outcome: ST3-4WS, ST3-10LW, ST3-11LW, ST3-9ES

Topic: Climate change

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussion, oversee activity and presentations

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, drawing materials, or computer-based image editing or creating programs (e.g. Photoshop).

Digital technology opportunities: PowerPoint or Prezi, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension.

Keywords: Climate change, animals, adaptation, physical features, local, global.

 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Through participating in this activity students will understand that animals have evolved physical features that help them survive in their habitat, and that this means that similar animals in different habitats have developed different adaptations according to the needs of their habitat. Students then learn that climate change may alter habitats and that this may affect that animals that live in those habitats.

Teacher content information: Climate change is expected to impact animals in a variety of ways, including by altering, damaging or destroying habitats. While some animals will be able to move to new habitats others will be forced to adapt or face extinction. Unfortunately adapting is not an easy task: many animal adaptations have evolved over hundreds of years.

Imagine you are a possum living in a tropical rainforest in northern Queensland. At the moment you live in an environment that is shaded, damp and relatively cool. You c

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Student Worksheet

fairy-wren-biodiversity-heroThought starter: What adaptations would people need for life on Mars?

Imagine you are ecologists working on investigating possible adaptations for animals in your region whose habitats are at risk from climate change. You are unsure of how conditions in your regions might be altered because of climate change: it could be hotter, or colder, or wetter, or drier, or any combination of these. Your job is to look at the adaptations of other similar animals around the world and find ones that you think would be suitable for your local animal.

In your groups select a local animal (local to your region or your state). It could be a mammal, an amphibian, a reptile or a bird.

LOCAL ANIMAL

Name and description of local animal:

 

Where does this animal live? (What is its habitat and range?)

 

What does this animal eat?

 

What physical features it has evolved to adapt to its habitat?

 

Now find similar animals (at least 2) that live in other parts of the world in different types

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