Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students will create four different ecosystems in a shoebox. They will begin by researching different ecosystems, then create and collect all the parts necessary for each of those ecosystems.

(If using a shoebox is too difficult or will take too long, use a large piece of art paper divided into quarters.)

Learning goals:

  • Students learn that ecosystems are made up of a wide variety of elements, including those living and non living.
  • Student recognise that relationships within an ecosystem work together to form a sustainable balance.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 Science

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives (ACSHE083)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE098)

Syllabus OutcomesST3-7PW, ST3-4WS, ST3-10LW, ST3-11LW

Topic: Biodiversity

Year levels: 5 and 6

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor/Outdoor

Time required: 45+ mins

Learning areas addressed: Science, Technology, Geography, Sustainability, Art.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Assist students in research and ecosystem construction, provide materials for ecosystems.

Resources required: Shoe box or other similar sized box for each student or group, scissors, rulers, permanent ink markers, glue, cardboard pieces to fit into boxes, sand, dirt, potting soil, magazine pictures or plastic animals, clumps of grass, twigs, rocks, small paper cups, coloured paper, Internet access, Student worksheet 1 (optional).

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity can be extended for several lessons.

Keywords: ecosystems, shoebox, diorama.

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

Part 1. Review what students know about ecosystems. Use an example to highlight the living (plants, animals, microorganisms, etc) and non living (climate, soil, topography, etc.) components within a typical ecosystem. Explain that these components interact.

Begin this activity by asking your students to list some of the types of ecosystems they know, and what they know about these ecosystems. Ask each student to think of four different ecosystems that they like or that they would like to learn more about. Explain to the class that they will be creating these four ecosystems in a shoebox, and will be finding and creating all the parts of those ecosystems. (Students can also work in small groups if you prefer.)

First, they will need to undertake research on the ecosystems they have chosen. Ask students to find an image of that ecosystem that includes some of the typical features of that ecosystem, such as vegetation, animals, and landscape features such as water

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Student Worksheet

Ecosystem 1 Details

Types of plants in this ecosystem:

Types of animals in this ecosystem:

Non living features of this ecosystem:

 

Paste a picture of
this ecosystem here

 

 Ecosystem 2 Details

Types of plants in this ecosystem:

Types of animals in this ecosystem:

Non living features of this ecosystem:

 

Paste a picture of
this ecosystem here

Ecosystem 3 Details

Types of plants in this ecosystem:

Types of animals in this ecosystem:

Non living features of this ecosystem:

 

Paste a picture of
this ecosystem here

Ecosystem 4 Details

Types of plants in this ecosystem:

Types of animals in this ecosystem:

Non living features of this ecosystem:

 

Paste a picture of
this ecosystem here

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

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