Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students design their own investigation to record biodiversity in their school grounds. 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). 

 

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 design an investigation to find out how species diversity is affected by habitats around the school.
  • Students identify different habitats around the school and link these with different types of ecosystems.
  • Students collect data about the school species diversity in different habitats.
  • Students organise all the data collected by all the students to analyse and draw conclusions.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content description:

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

Topic: Biodiversity, Schools Tree Day.

Time required: 120 mins+

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Assist and review student investigations. Review student conduct and safety codes when working outdoors.

Resources required: Computers, photocopied maps of the school, writing equipment, clipboards or tablets, observation tools including digital cameras, Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

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

Keywords: School, habitat, trees, species, ecosystem.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goals: Students understand how to design an investigation to find out how species diversity is affected by habitats around the school and identify different habitats around the school and link these with different types of ecosystems. Students collect data about the school species diversity in different habitats and organise all the data collected by all the students to analyse and draw conclusions.

Teacher content information: School grounds are divided up into different functions. As a result, areas are planted in different ways. The issue with urbanised areas is that most of the species planted originate from other continents, meaning they are non-indigenous. 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. Different habitats in the school grounds can mimic some ecosystems:

  • Garden bed
...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Where does nature start and end?

My school habitat

Descriptive habitat name:

Location:

 

 Physical properties   Description 
   Soil
   Rocks
   Rotting logs
   Moisture
   Protection from wind
   Slope
 
 
 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
 
 

 

 

Feature Type of species - describe the species and record the number of individuals Total number of species
 Soil creatures
 
 
 
 
 
...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.