Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will explore habitats in their local backyards, focusing on their school grounds. They will begin by looking at the word ‘habitat’ and how this relates to the concept of home. Students then create a birds-eye perspective of potential habitats in their school grounds, before taking the time to explore these through sensory experiences. Students will then reflect on this experience by developing a series of questions that can be used to guide further investigation of habitats.

Although this lesson can be taught by itself, it also forms the introduction of 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 similarities between home and habitat
  • Students understand why a birds-eye view can be a valuable perspective to have
  • Students recognise how utilising our senses can give us a different perspective.

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)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)

Year 5 Science

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
  • With guidance, pose clarifying questions and make predictions about scientific investigations (ACSIS231)

Year 5 HASS

  • Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources (ACHASSI095)
  • Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions (ACHASSI096)

Year 6 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • With guidance, pose clarifying questions and make predictions about scientific investigations (ACSIS232)

Year 6 HASS

  • Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources (ACHASSI123)
  • Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions (ACHASSI124)

Year 5 & 6 Health and Physical Education

  • Plan and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing (ACPPS054)
  • Explore how participation in outdoor activities supports personal and community health and wellbeing and creates connections to natural and built environments (ACPPS059)

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-4A, EN3-8D, EN3-1A, EN3-2A, ST3-10LW, ST3-4WS, ST3-11LW, GE3-4, PHS3.12, SLS3.13, ALS3.6.

General capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capability

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students encounter and decode unfamiliar words using phonic, grammatical, semantic and contextual knowledge. They create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. 

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences.

Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how the form of living things enables them to function in their environments. They follow instructions to pose questions for investigation.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students describe and predict the effect of environmental changes on individual living things. They follow procedures to develop investigable questions.

Relevant parts of Year 5 HASS achievement standards: Students represent data and the location of places and their characteristics in graphic forms, including large-scale and small-scale maps that use the cartographic conventions of border, scale, legend, title and north point.

Relevant parts of Year 6 HASS achievement standards: Students record and represent data and the location of places and their characteristics in different graphic forms, including large-scale and small-scale maps that use cartographic conventions of border, source, scale, legend, title and north point.

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 HPE achievement standards: Students explain the influence of people and places on identities. They recognise the influence of emotions on behaviours and discuss factors that influence how people interact. 

Topic: Biodiversity, Sustainability

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

Time required: 150 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required: 

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

Keywords: Habitat, birds-eye, map, mindfulness, senses, outside, questions, wonderings.

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 similarities between a home and a habitat
  • ... understand why having a birds-eye view can be a valuable perspective to have
  • ... recognise how utilising our senses can give us a different perspective.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … describe what a habitat is
  • … create a birds-eye habitat map, using a key and a title
  • … use the satellite view on Google Maps and explain why it is useful
  • … demonstrate the use of our senses in nature as a tool for mindfulness
  • ... create questions to guide inquiry.

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 s

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What habitat does your favourite animal live in?

Activating Prior Knowledge

Three-minute drawing challenge - You have three minutes to draw a picture of your home in the space below. You don't need to include the details of things like gadgets or the correct location of every piece of furniture; what is more important is that you focus on what your home looks like and how it feels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once complete you will share your drawings with a partner. Once you have shared your drawing you need to think about the keywords of what defines home. For example, how is a home is different from a house? Record your keywords below.

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Asking Questions

You will now work in pairs to think about what you DIDN'T find out about your schoolyard habitats in this lesson. These could include the habitats where there are the most animals, the greatest diversity in animals, if some habitats are more or less popular at different times of the year or day, or

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