Quick summary: Students model the impacts of bushfires on flora and fauna through the use of food webs. They begin by refreshing their understanding of food webs before looking at how the loss of a flora species might affect their food web. They then explore the impact of invasive species who are given the opportunity to colonise an area following a bushfire. Students will then explore what happens to the food web when a native fauna species is lost. Finally, students reflect on their learning to produce a written piece outlining suggested actions for conservation in bushfire-affected areas.
In partnership with The Conversation, the Beyond the Bushfires series brings the words of scientists who are actively involved in research and science communication into classrooms throughout Australia. Students will explore evidence-based research embedded in the context of real-world practice.
Additional thanks to the Ian Potter Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The Myer Foundation, for generously supporting the development of these lessons
- Students know what a food chain is and what a food web is
- Students understand how bushfires can affect an Australian food web.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Years 7 Science:
- Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities, can be represented by food chains and food webs (ACSSU112)
- Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence (ACSIS130)
- Communicate ideas, findings and evidence-based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)
Year 9 Science
- Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)
- Critically analyse the validity of information in primary and secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems (ACSIS172)
- Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS174)
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.
Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students predict the effect of human and environmental changes on interactions between organisms. They draw on evidence to support their conclusions and summarise data from different sources. Students communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.
Relevant parts of Year 9 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They use appropriate language and representations when communicating their findings and ideas to specific audiences.
This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Beyond the Bushfires – Secondary.
Time required: 90 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussions and lead students in food web activities.
- A device capable of presenting a website to the class
- Food web factsheet
- Invasive Animal Images – printed and cut out
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student
- Trophic levels factsheet.
Keywords: Food webs, bushfires, invasive species, species loss.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.