Activity Introduction

kids-water-heroQuick summary: Students investigate the relationship between time spent in nature and happiness. They begin by exploring their own understanding and experiences of happiness and then design and conduct an experiment aimed at interrogating the relationship between nature, time and happiness. Students will use data collected in this experiment to create a ‘nature of happiness’ campaign.

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 understand what is meant by happiness.
  • Students identify actions and activities that affect their own happiness.
  • Students recognise the relationship between happiness and time spent in nature.
  • Students learn how to design a social research study, and how to collect, analyse and use their data.

 

 

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 & 8 Health and Physical Education

  • Plan and implement strategies for connecting to natural and built environments to promote the health and well being of their communities (ACPPS078).

Year 7 Science

  • Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS124).
  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125).
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS130).
  • Reflect on the method used to investigate a question or solve a problem, including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identify improvements to the method (ACSIS131).
  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133).

Year 8 Science

  • Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS139).
  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS140).
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS145).
  • Reflect on the method used to investigate a question or solve a problem, including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identify improvements to the method (ACSIS146).
  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148).

Year 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education

  • Plan and evaluate new and creative interventions that promote their own and others’ connection to community and natural and built environments (ACPPS097).

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).
  • Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS169).
  • Evaluate conclusions, including identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations, and describe specific ways to improve the quality of the data (ACSIS171).
  • 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).
  • Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS203).
  • Evaluate conclusions, including identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations, and describe specific ways to improve the quality of the data (ACSIS205).
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS208).

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-4WS, SC4-5WS, SC4-6WS, SC4-7WS, SC4-9WS, SC5-4WS, SC5-5WS, SC5-6WS, SC5-7WS, SC5-9WSPDHPE4.9, PDHPE4.14, PDHPE5.9, PDHPE5.14.

Topic: Schools Tree Day.  

Time required: 3 x 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity and assist with designing and conducting experiment.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Other resources may be required for the experiment.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities:

Keywords: Happiness, nature, experiment, Planet Ark.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

picnic-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will understand what is meant by happiness and will identify actions and activities that affect their own happiness. Students will recognise the relationship between happiness and time spent in nature and will learn how to design and conduct a social research study on this topic. Finally they will understand how to communicate experiment data as part of a nature time campaign.

Teacher content information:

The benefits of spending time in nature
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 well being. 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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is your happiest memory?

Part 1. Happiness and time spent in nature – your experiences

Working in pairs take it in turns to conduct short interviews of each other using the following questions.

Write answers below:

What is happiness?

When are you happiest?

What do you think is the relationship between our happiness and time spent in nature?

What do you think is the value of time spent in nature to our happiness?

 

Part 2. Design a happiness and nature time experiment

Your task is to design an experiment that measures how time spent in nature influences happiness. If you don’t have access to nature spaces at your school you can adjust your experiment to measure how time spent viewing scenes from nature or listening to sounds from nature affect happiness.

When designing and conducting your experiment you will need to consider:

  • You (the students) will need to be the test subjects
  • The experiment will need to be conducted in class time
  • Nature spaces req
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