Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will consider Indigenous and Western world views of the species in their backyard. As part of this, students will learn about classification systems and consider the value of looking at the natural world through differing perspectives.

Although this lesson can be taught by itself, it also forms the fifth 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 understand that science and scientists are all around us
  • Students understand why open questions are essential in finding out more information
  • Students understand that stories shape our world and can give us scientific information
  • Students understand how a classification system works when identifying animals
  • Students understand that there are different perspectives on how we see animals.

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, 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

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

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-4A, EN3-1A, ST3-7PW, ST3-4WS.

General capabilities: Literacy, Intercultural Understanding, 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. 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 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 construct multimodal texts to 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: 150+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium to high- teachers will need to scaffold different parts of the lesson plan.

Resources required: 

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

Keywords: Indigenous, anthropocentric, western science, native, worldviews, stories, cultural mapping, classification, identification, systems, 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...

  • … understand that science and scientists are all around us
  • … understand why open questions are important in finding out more information from someone
  • … understand that stories shape our world and can give us scientific information
  • … understand how a classification system works when identifying animals
  • … understand that there are different perspectives at how we see animals.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … explain why scientists are not just someone in a lab coat
  • … understand the difference between closed and open questions
  • … find local stories from members of the community about local animals.
  • … describe parts of the anatomy of animals
  • … describe two different ways of looking at the same animal.

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

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What insects are you most interested in?

Reflection

Work independently to answer the following questions:

Why is it important to look at more than one perspective when investigating an issue or topic?

How can we use multiple perspectives to make sense of what we found in our school grounds?

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