Quick summary: Students explore the process of ecosystem regeneration after a bushfire. They begin by defining key terms before looking at the adaptations Australian flora and fauna have to bushfires. Based on this information, they then explore the concept of ecological succession by working in groups to create a drawing of how flora regenerates after a bushfire. They then add further information to speculate on how and when fauna would reenter the recovering ecosystem. Finally, students create a final version of their succession model.
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 understand what succession is
- Students recognise how flora and fauna are adapted to bushfires.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 9 Science:
- Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)
- Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE157)
- Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS170)
- Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS174)
Syllabus outcomes: SC5-14LW, SC5-12ES, SC5-7WS, SC5-9WS.
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2, OI.3.
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: 120+ mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion, lead students in activities.
- Article – The Conversation – Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
- Butchers paper and markers
- Device capable of presenting a video to the class
- How Have Plants Adapted To Bushfires? – Factsheet
- Optional – Secondary Succession After A Bushfire
- Optional – Secondary Succession After A Forest Fire
- Succession Worksheet
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student.
Keywords: bushfires, plants, animals, adaptations, succession, regeneration, Flora, Fauna, Fire resource.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.