Activity Introduction

Activity details: Students design their own investigation to record biodiversity in the school ground. They will decide on strategies to investigate species diversity and ecosystem diversity. Their goal is to find out if there are relationships between species diversity and different habitats (mini ecosystems). 

Learning goals for this activity include:

1. Design an investigation to find out how species diversity is affected by habitats around the school.

2. Identify different habitats around the school and link these with different types of ecosystems.

3. Collect data about the school species diversity in different habitats.

4. Organise all the data collected by all the students to analyse and draw conclusions.

Module: Biodiversity

Year levels: 7 and 8

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor/outdoor

Duration of activity: 120 mins+

Learning areas addressed: Science, Geography, ICT.

Teacher input: Assist and review student designed investigations. Review students conduct and safety code when working outdoors. Make sure students have worked out how their data will be combined before they start collecting data.

Resources needed: Computers, photocopied maps of the school, writing equipment, clipboards or tablets, observation tools including digital cameras.

Homework and extension opportunities: Some parts of this activity can be set as homework.

Australian Curriculum Link:

Year 7 Science:

  • Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs; human activity can affect these interactions (ACSSU112)
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS130)

Year 7 Mathematics:

  • Identify and investigate issues involving numerical data collected from primary and secondary sources (ACMSP169)

Year 8 Science:

  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships, including using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS144)

Year 8 Mathematics:

  • Investigate techniques for collecting data, including census, sampling and observation (ACMSP284)
  • Explore the practicalities and implications of obtaining data through sampling using a variety of investigative processes (ACSMP206)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-7WS, SC4-15LW

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Introduction

School grounds are divided up into different functions and have a variety of facilities and are planted in different ways.

The issue with urbanised areas is that most of the species planted originates from other continents. Even when native plants are used they may not be indigenous to the area. 

There can be a large number of habitats in the school grounds. The true definition of a habitat is a place where something lives. The major different habitats in the school grounds can mimic some ecosystems:

  • Garden beds mimic cultivated areas, heathland or grassland depending what is planted in there.
  • Playing fields mimic grazing land.
  • Treed area with native trees mimic woodland.
  • Thickly planted areas with native plants mimic forests.

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

Activity outline

Step 1: Identify the school habitats

Take your students out on a nature walk and give them a map of the school grounds. They will need to:

1.     Ident

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Student Worksheet

School habitat activity sheet

Descriptive habitat name:

Location:

 Physical  Slope
   Soil
   Rocks
   Rotting logs
   Moisture
   Protection from wind
 
 
 
 Tall plants  Height
   Shape of canopy
   Amount it shades the ground
   Type of leaf
   Native or introduced
 
 Bushes  Native or introduced
   Prickly
   Flowers
 
 
 Grasses  Native or introduced
   Low or tall tussocks
 
 
 Small plants  Native or introduced
   Prickly
   Flowers
 
 Other
 
 

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