Activity Introduction

School tree day hero.jpgQuick summary: Students take part in a nature walk to connect to their local environment. They demonstrate their prior knowledge of ecosystems by contributing to a class mural. Students draw and cut out different elements that they would find in their environment and place them on the mural.

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 will use a basic concept of scale when they paint/draw their images and use location to place their images on the mural.
  • Students connect to nature by discovering their local environment.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Science Year 1:

  • Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211)

Science Year 2: 

  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030)

Syllabus OutcomesST1-10LW, ST1-11LW

Topic Biodiversity, Schools Tree Day

Time required: 60+ mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Prepare surface for the mural and conduct a nature walk.

Resources required: Art materials including scissors and paste, Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: Mural, ecosystem, art, scale.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goals: Students will use a basic concept of scale when they paint/draw their images and use location to place their images on the mural. Students are given the opportunity to connect to nature by discovering their local environment.

Teacher content information: There is no better way to connect students to nature than by helping them discover what's in their own backyard! In this activity, students will engage with their local environment by undertaking a nature walk, then they will create a class mural. Students can use the Student Worksheet to help them think about the plants and animals that they might find in their local environment. They will then drawn and position the animals and trees on a class mural. Students may be familiar with many elements in their local environment, but as they learn more, they can add further elements to the class mural. It is best if the mural is not filled up immediately.

Student and classroom organisation

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is nature?

Part 1: Take a look at these photo. Do any of these photos look like your local environment? Can you describe the different plants and features of each picture? Get your teacher to help you if you're stuck.

Environment Examples

Does this picture look like your local environment?

Part 2: Take a look at these photos of different animals. Do any of these animals live in your local environment? Can you name the animals? Get your teacher to help you if you get stuck.

Animal Examples

Do any of these animals live in your local environment?



Part 3: You are going to make a class mural showing all the different things that live in your ecosystem. Your teacher will give you some more instructions.

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