Activity Introduction

Module: Biodiversity

Year levels: 7 and 8

Activity details: Students explore examples of genetic diversity and explain its significance within the larger concept of biodiversity.

Learning goals for this activity include:

1. Recognise that each individual organism has all of its features, adaptations and internal chemistry coded in its genes.

2. Link the conservation needs of a species with genetics diversity i.e., for groups of individuals within in a region potentially having different genetics diversity compared to the same species in other regions.

3. Show how genetic diversity assists survival in a species.

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Duration of activity: 60 mins+

Learning areas addressed: Science, Geography, English.

Teacher input: Keep linking students’ work back to genetic diversity.

Resources needed: Internet and library access, writing materials.

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

Australian Curriculum Link: 

Year 7 Science:

  • There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (ACSSU111)
  • 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 8 Science:

  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS145)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-7WS, SC4-14LW, SC4-15LW.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Introduction

Biodiversity is thought of as the combined genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. This concept is extremely important and is helping people responsible for conservation to do a much better job. It helps us to understand our complex environment by seeing the whole picture. Genetic diversity refers to the variety of all the genes between and within a species.

The concept of genetic diversity clearly shows that even small local conservation projects can be extremely valuable at saving local genetic diversity of some plants and many invertebrate animals as well as bacteria, fungus and other organisms in the soil.

Activity outline

Students work in small groups and access information from the web.

This activity has two parts:

  • Identify five good reasons why genetic diversity is important.
  • Investigate the genetic diversity of the river red gum.

Five good reasons

1. Discuss with students what is meant by genetic diversity. What is the opposite o

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Student Worksheet

Activity outline

Work in small groups and access information from the web.

This activity has two parts:

  • Identify five good reasons why genetic diversity is important.
  • Investigate the genetic diversity of the river red gum.

 

Part 1: Five good reasons.

1. What is meant by genetic diversity. What is the opposite of having a genetically diverse population of a particular species of animal?

2. In small groups students have five minutes to find reasons why genetic diversity is important. List those reasons here:

3. Genetic diversity is extremely important in our food crops. Why might this be? Think about how genetic diversity is necessary for the agricultural industry to meet future challenges. How might it help with:

Combating more resistant crop diseases:

Climate change:

Ways to use less fertilizer and sprays:

Producing more food for the same amount of land and effort:

An unknown future in which unexpected things can pop up affecting crops?

Part 2: River red gum

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