Activity Introduction

cc-secondary17-heroQuick summary: During this lesson students collect data about the biodiversity of their schoolyard. Using this data they calculate the biodiversity index of the area of the schoolyard they personally analysed and compare this with other areas around the school to calculate a total average for the schoolyard. They reflect on their results to suggest options for increasing the biodiversity of their school.

This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, students are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.

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Learning goals:

  • Students understand that box plots are an efficient and common way of representing and summarising data and can facilitate comparisons between data sets.
  • Students know how to use parallel box plots to compare data.
  • Students find the five-number summary (minimum and maximum values, median and upper and lower quartiles) and using its graphical representation, the box plot, as tools for both numerically and visually comparing the centre and spread of data sets.
  • Students recognise the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside.

21st century skills:

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Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 10 Mathematics

  • Determine quartiles and interquartile range (ACMSP248)
  • Construct and interpret box plots and use them to compare data sets (ACMSP249)

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Numeracy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Mathematics achievement standards: Students calculate quartiles and inter-quartile ranges.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 80-100 mins

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

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Box Plot Practice Sheet. Biodiversity Index – Data Collection. One copy of Census or Sample – Data Collection for each group. One copy of Census or Sample Data Analysis – Your School for each student.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Data, statistics, biodiversity, schoolyard, Biodiversity Index, outdoor learning.

Cool Australia would like to thank the Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

cc-secondary13-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students are able to use box plots as an efficient and common way of representing and summarising data and can facilitate comparisons between data sets. They find the five-number summary (minimum and maximum values, median and upper and lower quartiles) and use its graphical representation, the box plot, to visually compare real situations. Finally, students recognise the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside.

Outdoor learning information:

Outdoor Learning Series (https://vimeo.com/171030135)

Factsheets:

To help guide teachers through suggested activities in this lesson, we have developed a series of icons designed to show what types of activities are involved and where these activities may take place (see Learning Activity Key below).

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What animals live at your school?

Reflection

1. How many of the living things that you counted had you noticed for the first time?

2. Are there any living things that you personally enjoy or have a connection to? (E.g. birds, trees, etc.)

3. What living things not observed do you think would improve your enjoyment of this outdoor space?

4. How do you think you could encourage more living things into your schoolyard to increase the biodiversity index?

5. Do you see any risks involved with encouraging living things into a school environment?

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