Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students investigate a local biodiversity issue within their community. They use a range of local sources to find out what their community is most passionate about. As a result of their investigation students are empowered to undertake positive action in their local environment.

 

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 how local communities – including local governments – operate.
  • Students create criteria that identifies the most significant biodiversity issues.
  • Students discover what issues the local community seem to be most passionate about.
  • Students suggest reasons why some issues have opposing views within the community.
  • Take action to make changes in the local community.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2., OI.5, OI.6.

Australian Curriculum content descriptors:

Year 9 English:

  • Interpret, analyse and evaluate how different perspectives of issue, event, situation, individuals or groups are constructed to serve specific purposes in texts (ACELY1742)

Year 9 Science:

  • The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)

Year 9 Mathematics:

  • Compare data displays using mean, median and range to describe and interpret numerical data sets in terms of location (centre) and spread (ACMSP283)

Year 10 English:

  • Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences (ACELY1752)

Year 10 Science:

  • The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE230)

Year 10 Mathematics:

  • Evaluate statistical reports in the media and other places by linking claims to displays, statistics and representative data (ACMSP253)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-11PWEN5-2A, EN5-8D

Topic: Schools Tree Day, Biodiversity.

Time required: 2 x 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Facilitate students sharing their ideas.

Resources required: Internet, Excel, back issues of the local newspapers, writing material, white board or smartboard, 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, investigation, community, data.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

story-murray-river-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand how local communities - including local governments - operate and will discover what issues the local community seem to be most passionate about. Students will make suggestions about why some issues have opposing views within the community and will take action to make changes in the local community.

Hot tips: Most communities are serviced by one or more local papers. These are usually delivered to people’s homes but are also available online. Within these papers are articles about local issues. By reading local papers you can identify environmental and social issues in a certain area. Councils and some community group newsletters are also good sources for identifying local issues these can usually be found on the internet.

Student and classroom organisation

Research activity

In small groups, select a local paper to research. Students should download the latest three copies of the paper and analyse the issues.

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What does NIMBY mean?

Research activity: 

In small groups, select a local paper to research. Download the latest three copies of the paper. Your job will be to collect data and organise it into a spreadsheets for further analysis. As a group, you might like to have a discussion about how best to display the data.

Spreadsheet 1.

Step 1. Analysing what environmental issues are published in local papers.

Find out how many environmental related articles are in each issue. Work out how many of these articles relate to biodiversity and conservation. Categorise each biodiversity issue into the following sections:

  1. Wildlife
  2. Revegetation and land management
  3. Keeping pets under control
  4. Waterway issues
  5. Pests and weeds
  6. Pollution
  7. Other.

Step 2. Finding out about the local issues.

For each issue, research the following information and add it to the spreadsheet:

  1. What is the issue?
  2. Who is interested in the issue?
  3. What is the proposed solution?
  4. Source of informa
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