Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students explore the positive and negative impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Students work in groups to investigate the impacts on five animals – Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby, Giant Gippsland Earthworm, Common Clownfish, Southern Corroboree Frog and Regent Honeyeater – and create a fact sheet describing the impacts on these animals.

earth-hour-160x160In 2016, Earth Hour will celebrate the places we love that make our outdoor lifestyle and the Aussie way of life so great. Our beaches, rivers, reefs, snow-capped mountains, farmland and national parks uniquely distinguish Australia as the “lucky country”. You can become a part of the movement and start to take action on climate change by visiting earthhour.org.au to register for Lights Out or find your local event. Take part and register in Earth Hour Schools Day on Friday the 18th March and don’t forget to switch off on Earth Hour, on Saturday 19th March 8:30-9:30pm.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that climate change will have both negative and positive impacts on biodiversity.
  • Students recognise that most climate change impacts on biodiversity are negative.
  • Students understand that biodiversity is vulnerable to numerous types of climate change impacts.
  • Students understand that there are actions we can take to help biodiversity cope with the impacts from climate change.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability – OI.1, OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 9 Science

  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)
  • Critically analyse the validity of information in secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems (ACSIS172)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS174)

Year 10 Science

  • Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
  • Critically analyse the validity of information in secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems (ACSIS206)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS208)

Year 10 Geography

  • The human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
  • The application of human-environment systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK073)
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose, using relevant geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS079)
  • Reflect on and evaluate the findings of the inquiry to propose individual and collective action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge, taking account of environmental, economic and social considerations; and explain the predicted outcomes and consequences of their proposal (ACHGS080)

Syllabus OutcomesGE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-8SC5-7WS, SC5-9WS, SC5-8WS, SC5-14LW, SC5-12ES

 

Topic: Climate change

Time required: This activity can be extended over several sessions

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity, facilitate discussion.

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, materials for making fact sheet/poster, PowerPoint.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity includes opportunities for extension or homework.

Keywords: Biodiversity, climate change, impacts, benefits, animals.

 

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: Students understand that although climate change will have both negative and positive impacts on biodiversity most will be negative. Students recognise that biodiversity is vulnerable to numerous types of climate change impacts but that there are actions we can take to help biodiversity cope with the impacts from climate change.

Teacher content information: It is predicted that most aspects of biodiversity will be impacted by climate change. In terms of animals, most will experience some kinds of change to their habitat, food, access to water and interactions with other creatures. Some of these impacts will be dramatic and negative and may contribute to the extinction of some creatures. However, there are other creatures who may benefit from climate change.

How can human behaviour benefit biodiversity? Here are some examples:

  • The Wedge-tailed Eagle benefits from being able to eat road kill.
  • Native ducks benefit from the increasing n
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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How will climate change affect biodiversity?

Create a fact sheet or poster that describes your animal and discusses the impacts of climate change on your animal.

General details to include in your fact sheet:

1. Common and scientific names

2. Distinguishing features (including a photo or drawing)

3. Brief description of behaviour

4. Habitat and distribution (including a map)

5. Conservation status (e.g. vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered)

 

Details of the impact of climate change on your animal:

1. How might climate change affect the following for your animal and in what ways will they be affected:

  • Range
  • Habitat
  • Food
  • Water
  • Breeding
  • Interactions with other animals

2. What particular climate change impacts is your animal particularly vulnerable to (e.g. ocean acidification, declining snow cover, increasing bushfires)?

3. Will your animal experience any positive impacts from climate change? What are these benefits?

4. How might climate ch

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