Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students investigate a local biodiversity issue within their community. They use a range of local sources to find out what their community is most passionate about.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand how local communities including local government operate.
  • Students create criteria that identifies the most significant biodiversity issues and discover what issues the local community seem to be most passionate about.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.5.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 9 Science:

  • The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)

Year 10 Science:

  • The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE230)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-11PW

Topic: Biodiversity

Time required: 60 mins x 2

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity.

Resources required: Internet, Excel, back issues of the local newspapers, writing material, white board or smartboard, Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: None

Keywords: Biodiversity, ecosystem, investigation, community, data.

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 participating in this activity will understand how local communities including local government operate. They will create criteria that identifies the most significant biodiversity issues and discover what issues the local community seem to be most passionate about.

Teacher content information: Most communities are serviced by one or more local papers. These are usually delivered to people’s homes but are also available online. Within these papers are articles about local issues. By reading local papers you can highlight environmental and social issues in a certain area. 

Councils and some community group newsletters are also good sources for identifying local issues.

See what other schools are doing by exploring a case study here.

Student and classroom organisation

Step 1. Research activity

In small groups, select a local paper to research. Students should download the latest three copies of the paper.  Students should col

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Who protects our biodiversity?

Research activity: 

In small groups, select a local paper to research. Download the latest three copies of the paper.  Your job will be to collect data and organise it into a spreadsheets for further analysis. As a group, you might like to have a discussion about how best to display the data.

1. Analysing what environmental issues are published in local papers.

  • Find out how many environmental related articles are in each issue.
  • Work out how many of these articles relate to biodiversity and conservation.
  • Categorise each biodiversity issue into the following sections:
  1. Wildlife
  2. Revegetation and land management
  3. Keeping pets under control
  4. Waterway issues
  5. Pests and weeds
  6. Pollution
  7. Other.

2. Finding out about the local issues.

  • For each issue, research the following information and add it to the spreadsheet:
  1. Who is interested in the issues?
  2. What is the issue?
  3. What is the proposed solution?
  4. Source of information.
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