Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will create artworks based on the Bush Blitz species and the habitats in which the species live. They begin by creating a 3D model of one species before applying their learnings from this activity to create a 2D scientific drawing. This drawing can then be incorporated into a display in the classroom or school as a mural.

Although this lesson can be taught by itself, it also is the final 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 recognise microhabitats in the schoolyard and identify the animals that live in them
  • Students understand that you can use both 2D and 3D techniques to visually communicate scientific findings
  • Students observe visual detail of bush blitz critters as they apply technique and process to their drawing/painting/modelling
  • Students explore and experiment with visual conventions (line, shape, colour and texture) to apply observation of their animal species.

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)
  • 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)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes using scientific representations in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)

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)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis (ACELY1710)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes using scientific representations in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Years 5 & 6 Visual Arts

  • Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115)
  • Plan the display of artworks to enhance their meaning for an audience (ACAVAM116)

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

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students 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 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 construct multimodal texts to communicate ideas, methods and findings.

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 Visual Arts achievement standards: Students use visual conventions and visual arts practices to express a personal view in their artworks. They demonstrate different techniques and processes in planning and making artworks.

Topic: Biodiversity, Sustainability.

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

Time required: 3 hours 15 mins (over several lessons).

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – creating the resource/ background habitat between classes.

Resources required: 

  • A1 colouring paper (to form the background for a classroom mural)
  • Bush Blitz Slides
  • Clipboard
  • Devices capable of accessing the internet
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Plasticine/clay/playdough (enough for each student)
  • Scientific Drawing Guidelines.

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

Keywords: Sustainability, habitat, ecosystem, Bush Blitz, ecology, environment, art, mural, insect, STEM.

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...

  • ... recognise microhabitats in the schoolyard and identify the animals that live in them
  • … understand that you can use both 2D and 3D techniques to visually communicate scientific findings
  • ... observe visual detail of bush blitz critters as they apply technique and process to their drawing/painting/modelling
  • ... explore and experiment with visual conventions (line, shape, colour and texture) to apply observation of their animal species.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... work independently and collaboratively
  • ... use visual art and scientific terminology
  • ... draw a scientific drawing
  • … describe why a horizon line helps our landscape picture have depth
  • … blend a landscape background.

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 con

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Why might we draw habitats and animals when we can just take photos?

Reflection

Work independently to respond to the following questions:

What was the best part of this lesson and why?

What was the most challenging part and why?

Why do you think it's important to learn about microhabitats and the animals who live in them?

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