Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will investigate insect habitats and the ethics of studying insects. They begin by developing their mapping skills, thinking about how maps can be used to convey information, in particular, with reference to insect habitats in their schoolyard. They will then consider the role of entomologists and the ethical requirements of catching versus cataloguing species, and will participate in a role-play activity to explore these ethics in more detail.

Although this lesson can be taught by itself, it also forms the second 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 how the features of a map are used to convey information
  • Students understand the role of entomologists
  • Students understand why ethics is an important component when considering studying animals.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingEmpathy

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, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700)

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

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

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes using scientific representations in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

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)

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-4A, EN3-8D, EN3-1A, EN3-2A, ST3-10LW, ST3-4WS, ST3-11LW, GE3-4.

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

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

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 5 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.

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.

Topic: Biodiversity, Sustainability.

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

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required: 

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

Keywords: Mapping, ethics, jobs, traps, insects, species, schoolyard, habitats, observations, collections, ecology, entomology, problem-solving, perspectives.

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 how the features of a map are used to convey information
  • ... understand the role of entomologists
  • ... understand why ethics is an important component when considering studying animals.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … create a map legend to convey information
  • … explain what an entomologist does
  • … stand on a continuum and reflect on why they are there
  • … describe the difference between the ethics of ‘catch and release’ and ‘cataloguing.’

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 c

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: If you could be an insect, what would you be and why? 

Reflection

Work independently to reflect on how your thoughts changed when you were on the continuum. Record your answer to the following question:

Did you find that when you had more information that your decision changed?

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