Activity Introduction

School tree day hero.jpgQuick summary: Students design and implement a variety of projects around the school that will enhance the biodiversity of their school and the local area. 

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 that different kinds of projects enhance different aspects of biodiversity. 
  • Students recognise that planting indigenous species is important for biodiversity.
  • Students understand that biodiversity projects on school grounds need to relate to land use and the local physical conditions. 

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 5 Science: 

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217)

Year 6 Science:

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)

Syllabus OutcomesST3-6PW, ST3-10LW, ST3-11LW.

Topic: Biodiversity, Schools Tree Day.

Time required: 60 mins (plus planting)

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Lead discussion, review students’ findings in this unit when it is relevant.

Resources required: School grounds map, whiteboard or smartboard, resources from previous biodiversity activities, local indigenous nurseries information and contacts, 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: Biodiversity, ecosystem, conservation, planting.

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 understand that different kind of projects enhance different aspects of biodiversity and that planting indigenous species is crucially important for biodiversity. Finally students recognise that biodiversity projects on school grounds need to relate to land use and the local physical conditions.

Hot tips: Encourage students to think outside the box when planning their biodiversity actions. For example, are their opportunities to create vertical gardens at your school? Find out more: How to make a vertical garden

Teacher content information: For information about biodiversity - what it is, how it helps us and what we are doing to protect it, read this short article.

Student and classroom organisation

Preparation -

Big question: What is biodiversity and why is it important?

Discuss with your students that biodiversity is the variety of all living things; the different plants, animals and micro-organisms. It is also the

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What does biodiversity look like?

Background research questions

What area in the school ground is involved?


Describe the project. How will the area change?


How will this project increase the local biodiversity?


What do you still need to find out? Where will you find help? Do you need to contact an expert?


What resources do you need? What kind of tools? Is mulch needed? Timber for building bird boxes? Plants?


What tasks will each group member do?


How will your group members remain safe?


What is the total cost of this project? How will you raise funds?


How can you engage your local Council and business? 


What is the launch date of the event?



 Make a drawing or diagram of your project:



















How will you celebrate the success of your finished project?

Tree day

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