Quick summary: In this practical and hands-on activity students complete a biodiversity assessment of their school. They begin by creating definitions for habitat terms, and then calculate the habitat percentage cover of different cover types (tree cover, roof cover, soft surfaces/grass, and hard surfaces) using a map of the school grounds. Through authentic learning experiences students assess the schools natural resources and where there is opportunities for further actions. Students create a biodiversity improvement development plan.
This lesson can be used when working on the Biodiversity Module of ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Certification. By completing this lesson you will have completed the following actions:
Biodiversity Checklist Compulsory Actions:
- A1 – Have you completed biodiversity assessments for your school’s grounds, including the identification and recording of:
- Indigenous/native plants and animal habitat quality e.g. trees, understorey, ground cover weeds and soil management?
- Linkages of school vegetation and habitats with surrounding areas?
- A1 – Has your Habitat Quality Assessment score been entered as your baseline data?
Checklist data goals:
- To estimate a ‘habitat quality score’ as well as the percentage of different elements in the school ground e.g. percentage of school grounds covered by buildings, asphalt, oval/lawn etc.
Australian Curriculum Links:
Cross curriculum priorities
Sustainability OI.1 – The biosphere is a dynamic system providing conditions that sustain life on Earth. O1.2 -All life forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival.
Critical and creative thinking
Explicit content description
Science Year 5
Geography Year 5
Science Year 6
Geography Year 6
Connecting lessons: Native animal identification – must be completed as a compulsory action.
Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, maps of school grounds (from Google Maps), ruler, pencil, materials for making maps.
Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.
There’s an app for that:
- Google Maps: Explore new places, discover local favourites, and navigate your world with Google Maps.
- Field Guide to Victorian Fauna: Detailed descriptions of animals, maps of distribution, and endangered species status combine with stunning imagery and sounds to provide a valuable reference that can be used in urban, bush and coastal environments.
- The Michael Morcombe and David Stewart eGuide to the Birds of Australia: The foremost field guide to Australian birds with a comprehensive collection of bird calls.
- Sea Life Victoria: An informative guide to over 200 of the marine animals that live in Australia’s southern habitats. The southern Australian coastline is known for its extraordinarily high number of unique species that are found nowhere else in the world.
- Bunurong Marine National Park Field Guide: This app presents images and information on over 300 species of marine and coastal animals and plants that can commonly be seen in Bunurong Marine National Park and nearby waters.
- Project Noah: Project Noah is the best way to share your wildlife encounters and help document our planet’s biodiversity.
- Field Guide to Pest Animals of Australia: This app contains pest information, distribution maps, photos, animal calls, control information and resource links for 53 pest species.
- Weed Identification Tool – Victoria
- Weed Identification Tool – Australian Government
- Manningham Council – Weeds Booklet
- City of Yarra – Removing Weeds and Planting Indigenous Alternatives
Keywords: Habitat, biodiversity, map, hectare, cover, percentages.
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