Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students use their observation skills in a structured way to explore our environment. In this activity your class will explore some of the amazing colours, shapes, patterns and textures that can be found in nature. The class will take a walk around the school or a nearby park, spotting as many colours as they can, observing the different shapes and patterns found along the walk, and feeling the different textures of a variety of objects along the walk. This activity is adapted from Sharing Nature with Children.*

Learning goals:

  • Using observation skills and the senses, students describe, compare and sort colours, shapes, textures and pattern of natural objects.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 1 Mathematics

  • Recognise and classify familiar two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects using obvious features (ACMMG022)
  • Measure and compare the lengths and capacities of pairs of objects using uniform informal units (ACMMG019) 

Year 1 Science

  • Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables (ACSIS027)

Year 2 Mathematics

  • Compare and order several shapes and objects based on length, area, volume and capacity using appropriate uniform informal units (ACMMG037)
  • Describe the features of three-dimensional objects (ACMMG043)

Year 2 Science

  • Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables (ACSIS040) 

Syllabus OutcomesST1-4WSMA1‑1WM, MA1‑2WM, MA1‑3WM, MA1-9MG, MA1-10MG, MA1-11MG, MA1-14MG, MA1-15MG

Topic: Biodiversity

Year levels: 1 and 2

Indoor or outdoor activity: Outdoor

Time required: 30 mins

Learning areas addressed: Science.

Resources required: One average size shopping bag.

Keywords: see, think, hear, feel, senses, nature, biodiversity.

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

* Joseph Cornell, 1998, Sharing Nature with Children, CaliforniaDawn Publications.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation


As students describe natural objects, the teacher should collect natural items for sorting activities back in the classroom. Only the teacher should collect the items, in order to ensure that plants are not damaged and the items are clean.

Look for opportunities that will be challenging, e.g., sorting eight leaves into those that are youngest to oldest.

Activity outline

Explain to students that when the class goes outside they will identify and compare colours, patterns, texture and shapes in nature.

Take your students outside and walk around the schoolyard or a local park seeing how many different colours, shapes and textures you can find in nature. Encourage children to stop and observe, touch and feel objects along the way (although discourage the touching of insects or turning over large stones or pieces of wood).

Identify natural objects of interest

What kinds of shapes, patterns and textures can they find? Look at leaves, shadows, clouds,

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Student Worksheet

Activity outline

Walk around the schoolyard and look for different colours, shapes and textures that you can find in nature. Stop and observe, touch and feel objects along the way. Be careful not to touch dangerous items.

Identify natural objects of interest

What kinds of shapes, patterns and textures can you find? 

What colours did you see?

How did things feel?

What textures, colours and shapes can you identify in the picture below?

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