Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will consider the role of entomologists, and the need to catch insects in order to study them. They will then research and analyse various insect collecting methods/devices, before making and creating an insect collection device. Students will then learn why the roles of teams are so important in any collection method.

Although this lesson can be taught by itself, it also forms the third lesson in a unit of eight lessons that can be delivered in sequence to take your students through a complete backyard sustainability project.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the role of the entomologist
  • Students understand that each insect collection method achieves a different result
  • Students understand why teamwork is important when collecting animals.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingCultural Understanding

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 English

  • Understand that the pronunciation, spelling and meanings of words have histories and change over time (ACELA1500)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700)
  • Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students’ own experiences and present and justify a point of view (ACELY1699)

Year 5 Science

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
  • Identify, plan and apply the elements of scientific investigations to answer questions and solve problems using equipment and materials safely and identifying potential risks (ACSIS086)
  • OPTIONAL – Decide variables to be changed and measured in fair tests, and observe measure and record data with accuracy using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS087)

Year 6 English

  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)
  • Make connections between students’ own experiences and those of characters and events represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1613)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • Identify, plan and apply the elements of scientific investigations to answer questions and solve problems using equipment and materials safely and identifying potential risks (ACSIS103)
  • OPTIONAL – Decide variables to be changed and measured in fair tests, and observe measure and record data with accuracy using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS104)

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-4A, EN3-8D, EN3-1A, EN3-2A, ST3-10LW, ST3-4WS, ST3-11LW.

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking, ICT.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students understand how language features, images and vocabulary influence interpretations of characters, settings and events. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives. 

Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how the form of living things enables them to function in their environments. Students predict the effect of changing variables when planning an investigation and communicate their ideas and findings using multimodal texts.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students contribute actively to class and group discussions, using a variety of strategies for effect.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students describe and predict the effect of environmental changes on individual living things. Students design investigations into simple cause-and-effect relationships. and construct multimodal texts to communicate ideas, methods and findings.

Topic: Biodiversity, Sustainability.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Backyard Bush Blitz – Years 5 & 6.

Time required: 130+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium to High depending on class needs. Mixed level writing and designing of species collection methods.

Resources required: 

  • Device capable of presenting a website to the class
  • Optional – Collection Methods Images
  • Optional – buying insect trap methods – see Part C, Step 4.
  • Student access to devices with internet connection
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per group
  • Workbooks.

Related professional development: Teach Science Inquiry in the Primary Classroom.

Keywords: Mapping, ethics, jobs, traps, insects, teamwork, research, schoolyard, habitats, observations, collections, ecology, entomology.

Bush Blitz is Australia’s largest nature discovery program run by EarthWatch who kindly provided the images in these lessons. Thank you to the Ian Potter Foundation and John T Reid Charitable Trusts for generously supporting the development of these lessons.

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

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... understand the role of the entomologist
  • ... understand that each insect collection method achieves a different result
  • ... understand why teamwork is important when collecting animals.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … analyse one insect collection method
  • … describe the safe use of one insect collection method
  • … actively contribute to a team environment while collecting insects.

Teacher content information: Although it is possible to teach this lesson in isolation, it forms part of a unit of eight lessons designed to introduce place-based learning to your class and to encourage students to consider what is in their backyard and school grounds. To allow flexibility for you and your students, the design of this unit is such that you can work through all eight lessons in sequence.

Place-based learning takes advantage of geography to create meaningful, authentic and engaging personalised learning activit

...
 
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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What insects do you usually notice in the schoolyard?

Insect Collection Methods

Working in groups, undertake research to complete the table below about your assigned insect collection method.

Table 1. Insect collection method we are researching: ...........................................................

Steps on how to use the collection method/device (1-8)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Sourcing the trap: can you buy or make it?
What safety concerns relate to this collection method/device
Ethics of collection using this method/device
Overall reflections (will this method/device be suitable for collection in our schoolyard?). Why or why not??

Making An Insect Collection Device

If you're testing out the collection method/device you made, use the table below to record what you found.

Table 2. 

Insect collection method:
Collection date:
Insect caught:
...
 
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