Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity you will take your students for a walk around your school to visit trees and smaller plants in the schoolyard. Direct students’ observations when looking at different plant species and their structures. Photograph plant structures and collect leaves.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that species of plants can be separated using the plant’s different structures and growth patterns.
  • Students recognise diverse plant structures such as leaf shapes, flowers and bark.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 3 Science

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS055)

Year 3 Mathematics

  • Identify symmetry in the environment (ACMMG066)

Year 4 Science

  • Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS066)

Year 4 Mathematics

  • Compare objects using familiar metric units of area and volume (ACMMG290)

Syllabus OutcomesST2-4WS, ST2-10LWMA2-10MG, MA2-11MG, MA2-15MG, MA2‑1WM, MA2‑2WM, MA2‑3WM

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Topic: Biodiversity

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Focus students’ observations on a walk around the school, supervise the collection of leaves and assist with taking photos.

Resources required: Computers and digital cameras or tablets with built-in cameras. Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Tree walking observation prompt sheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Safety: Confirm that your students understand they are not to climb anything to obtain photos or samples. If it is out of normal reach then it can’t be photographed or sampled.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: Plant diversity, features, sorting, shrubs, photography.

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: By participating in this activity students will understand that species of plants can be separated using the plant's different structures and growth patterns. They will be able to recognise diverse plant structures such as leaf shapes, flowers and bark.

Teacher content information:

Cool Australia Presents Biodiversity from Cool Australia on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/coolaustralia/coolbiodversity)

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

Safety: Confirm that your students understand they are not to climb anything to obtain photos or samples. If it is out of normal reach then it can’t be photographed or sampled.

Student and classroom organisation

The Walk

Take your students for a walk around your school, visiting the trees that are on the school grounds. Take the Tree walking observation prompt sheet to help direct observations.

Systematically take photos of a number of different species with very different

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

The Walk

You are going to take a walk around your school, visiting the trees that are on the school grounds. Your job is to take photos of a number of different types of trees and plants. 

Step 1. Take photos of...

  1. The entire plant
  2. The leaves
  3. The trunk or branches if they have them
  4. The base of the plant where it grows from the ground
  5. Flowers if you can find them
  6. Seeds f you can find them.

Step 2: In one bag collect an example of one leaf from every different plant that can be found.

In other plastic bags collect from several different plants (e.g., six) their leaves, flowers, seeds and bark.

Back in the classroom

Step 3: Now you need to combine all the images taken. How will you sort and file all these images? Are there any similar  features?

Questions:

1. Which features might be most useful for identifying a species of plant?

2. How many different plants are in your school grounds?

 

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.