Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will look at parasitic insect species and their lifecycle in all their gory glory. Students begin by looking at the Bush Blitz program before being introduced to some of the species uncovered through Bush Blitz. Students then work collaboratively to investigate some of these species in detail before participating in a game around these species.

Although this lesson can be taught by itself, it forms the seventh lesson 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 purpose of a bush blitz
  • Students understand the features of a bush blitz species
  • Students understand the role of parasites
  • Students ask questions, from big to small, to identify a species.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 English

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

Year 6 English

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

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

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

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. 

Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how the form of living things enables them to function in their environments, 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 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: 120 mins. 

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and demonstrate/ model game and questioning.

Resources required: 

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

Keywords: Game, terminology, adaptations, species, Bush Blitz, parasite, disguise, insects, game,

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 purpose of a bush blitz
  • … understand the features of a bush blitz species
  • … understand the role of parasites
  • … ask questions, from big to small, to identify a species.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … describe the difference between three bush blitz species and can identify their different features
  • ... describe the role of a parasite
  • … explain that the purpose of a bush blitz is to identify new Australian species
  • … demonstrate narrowing their questions from big to small, to identify their species.

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 less

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: If a fly could talk to you, what do you think it would say?

Recently Catalogued New Critters

Work independently to think about and respond to the questions in the table below, recording your ideas in Column A.

Questions Column A Column B

What are your wondering questions about this species? (Tip: Think like a scientist and start with appearance, habitat, predators and prey.)

If it (the animal) could talk, what would you like to ask the species?

Once complete, share and discuss your initial thoughts with a classmate and add any new ideas to Column B of the table.

Reflection

Work independently to respond to the following: 

What was your favourite animal species that you looked at in this lesson and why?

If you could be one of those animal species, what would you be and why?

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