Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will review trophic levels and interactions between species. They will create a habitat display proposal for a newly discovered subspecies, including information about its interactions, a food chain and the consequences of a human impact on the ecosystem. They will then provide feedback to their peers about their proposals.

Learning intentions: 

  • Students understand how to identify and describe the position of an organism in an ecosystem
  • Students understand that a food chain shows how organisms interact in an ecosystem
  • Students understand how a human-caused event can impact an ecosystem.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingInitiativeProblem SolvingTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Science

  • Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities can be represented by food chains and food webs (ACSSU112)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-5WS, SC4-14LW.

General capabilities: Literacy, Creative and Critical Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards: They predict the effect of human and environmental changes on interactions between organisms and classify and organise diverse organisms based on observable differences. They communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.

Topic: STEM, Sustainability, Biodiversity.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Backyard Bush Blitz – Year 7.

Time required: 100 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate activities.

Resources required:

  • A3 paper OR devices for computer-based displays OR plasticine or other crafting equipment for the habitat displays
  • Packs of sticky notes
  • Printed Bush Blitz Information Sheet
  • Student devices capable of researching using the internet
  • Student Worksheets (one copy per student).

Keywords: Interactions, ecosystems, food chains, trophic levels.

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, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The Myer Foundation 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.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • … understand how to identify and describe the position of an organism in an ecosystem
  • … understand that a food chain shows how organisms interact in an ecosystem
  • … understand how a human-caused event can impact an ecosystem.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... define key terms
  • ... explain the different characteristics of a food chain and a food web
  • ... identify the impact a human-created event, such as a bushfire, can have on an ecosystem
  • ... present information visually
  • ... work collaboratively and independently.

Teacher content information: It is estimated there are 435,000-510,000 undiscovered species in Australia. 45% of the land and over 90% of our marine areas have never been comprehensively surveyed by scientists. This leaves huge gaps in our knowledge about Australia’s biodiversity and the impacts of land use. Bush Blitz is a project that aims to categorise as many plant and animal species as p

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: How do so many different plants and animals exist in the same place?

Introduction - Flipped Classroom

You task is to look at the vocabulary in the table below and to undertake research to fill in the blank spaces on the table:

Hint: You could use Google Images to help you find examples.

Role Explanation Example
Producer (Autotroph) Gains energy from sunlight, air, soil Plants, lichen, algae
Consumer (Heterotroph)

Thinking About Interactions

Answer the following questions from the clip:

1. What does a food chain show us?

2. In what direction do the arrows point in a food chain?


3. What is the difference between a food chain and a food web?


4. How does biodiversity help an ecosystem survive?


5. What did you find interesting or important about this clip?



Habitat Display Proposal

You have been tasked

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