Activity Introduction

heart-leaf-heroQuick summary: Students will undertake a scientific inquiry to examine the impacts of spending time in nature. They will design, test and conduct an experiment to examine whether nature time affects mental, physical and emotional well-being. Students will communicate their findings through a short video clip that may be shared with the wider community.

 

Following this lesson is an ideal way for students to participate in Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day - the largest nature-care event in Australian schools. You and your students will join thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference, fostering a child’s love of nature and creating positive environmental change. So, get growing! It only takes a minute to register for Schools Tree Day.

 

Learning goals:

  • Students develop an understanding of scientific inquiry and how this process extends, clarifies and unites observations and data to develop testable hypotheses and scientific explanations;
  • Students gather, record and collate their findings from a first-hand investigation and secondary sources;
  • Student draw conclusions on the effects of spending time in nature;
  • Students communicate their scientific ideas and findings to the wider public.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Literacy, ICT.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2., OI.7.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 9 Science

  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS164)
  • Plan, select and use appropriate investigation methods, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS165)
  • Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to systematically and accurately collect and record data (ACSIS166)
  • Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS169)
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS170)
  • Evaluate conclusions, including identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations, and describe specific ways to improve the quality of the data (ACSIS171)
  • 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

  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS198)
  • Plan, select and use appropriate investigation methods, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS199)
  • Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to systematically and accurately collect and record data (ACSIS200)
  • Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS203)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS208)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-4WS, SC5-5WS, SC5-6WS, SC5-6WS, SC5-7WS, SC5-8WS, SC5-9WS

Topic: Schools Tree Day.

Time required: 2 x 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity.

Resources required: Internet access, digital cameras/tablets/phones for making films, Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Online brainstorming programs (mindmeister or bubbl.us), film making and editing, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Nature, Biodiversity, Scientific Method, Hypothesis.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

horseshoe-seeds-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will undertake a scientific inquiry into the impacts of spending time in nature. They will undertake first-hand investigations and use a secondary source (Planting trees: just what the doctor ordered) to examine the impacts of nature time on mental, physical and emotional well-being. Students will communicate their findings through a short video that may be shared with the wider community.

Teacher content information: There is an emerging body of local and international research linking childhood contact with nature to a wide range of benefits in human health and wellbeing. Planet Ark’s 2012 report  Planting trees: just what the doctor ordered includes two elements:  

1. A review of local and international research of the intellectual, psychological, physical and mental health benefits of contact with nature for children; and 2. the results of a new Australian study called the Nature and Children’s Health Survey, which was comm

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Where is 'nature'?

Preparation: Read the report Planting trees: just what the doctor ordered and summarise three (3) key findings of the research.

Making the case and background research

Work in teams of six to evaluate the research using De Bono’s six Thinking Hats. Divide your group into the six hats and complete the table:

White Hat - What are the facts?

Yellow Hat - What are the best bits?

Red Hat - What are your thoughts, feelings or hunches?

Green Hat - What are the alternatives? How can you solve the problems?

Black Hat - What are the bad bits?

Blue Hat - What are your final thoughts?

Group activity

In this activity your team will complete a scientific inquiry into the effects of spending time in nature. You will start by planning and conducting your research and will then communicate your findings by creating a video and sharing it with your classmates.   

Step 1: Developing a research question...

 
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