Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students explore the roles of decomposers and pollinators. Students explore the processes of decomposition and pollination, and devise their own small role-play activities to demonstrate these processes. They then use the iNaturalist app to identify species as being either pollinators or decomposers. This lesson combines different methods of sharing information, such as through slides and clips as well as through role-play and song-and-dance to incorporate different ways of conveying information.

Although this lesson can be taught by itself, it also forms the sixth 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:

  • … understand the role pollination plays in the ecosystem
  • … understand the role of decomposers in the ecosystems
  • … understand that song and dance can be used to pass on scientific knowledge.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingDigital LiteracyInitiativeTeam 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)

Year 5 and 6 Drama

  • Explore dramatic action, empathy and space in improvisations, playbuilding and scripted drama to develop characters and situations (ACADRM035)

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-1A, ST3-4WS, DRAS3.1.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, ICT Understanding.

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.

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 Drama achievement standards:Students explain how dramatic action and meaning is communicated in drama they make, perform and view.

Topic: Biodiversity, Sustainability.

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

Time required: 145+ mins. 

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussion and lead students in activities.

Resources required: 

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

Keywords: iNaturalist, song and dance, pollination, pollinators, decomposition, decomposers, microbes, bacteria, pollen. 

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 role pollination plays in the ecosystem
  • … understand the role of decomposers in the ecosystem
  • … understand that song and dance can be used to pass on scientific knowledge.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … explain the process of pollination and decomposition
  • … act out the process of pollination and decomposition
  • ... work independently and collaboratively
  • ... use the iNaturalist app to identify animal 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 lessons in sequence.

Place-based learning takes advantage of geography to create meaningful, authe

...
 
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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What would the world look like without decomposers? What would it look like without pollinators?

Reflection

Work independently to think about the pollination and decomposition cycles and to respond to the following:

I used to think...

But now I think...

...
 
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