Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students demonstrate their prior learning about biodiversity by contributing to a mural. They will create different elements that can be be found in an ecosystem and place them in the mural.

Learning goals:

  • Students use prior knowledge to contribute to a mural the kinds of plants and animals that live in several ecosystems.
  • Students will scale their images so they reflect size differences in the mural.  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 3 Science

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)

Year 3 Mathematics

  • Model and represent unit fractions including 1/2, 1/4, 1/3, 1/5 and their multiples to a complete whole (ACMNA058)

Year 4 Science

  • Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)

Year 4 Mathematics

  • Investigate equivalent fractions used in contexts (ACMNA077)

Syllabus OutcomesST2-10LWMA2‑1WM, MA2‑3WM, MA2‑7NA

Topic: Biodiversity

Year levels: 3 and 4

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Time required: 45 mins

Learning areas addressed: The Arts (Visual Arts), Science, Mathematics.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Prepare surface for the mural.

Resources required: Art materials including scissors and paste.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: ecosystem, biodiversity, mural, art, scale.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet


Students are familiar with several ecosystems. Keep the mural throughout the unit of work. As students learn more, they can add further elements to the mural. It is best if the mural is not filled up immediately.

The images students draw for the mural need to reflect something about the relative size difference. For example, a fly should be a lot smaller than a kangaroo.  

Create a mural

Provide a large area on a wall covered with paper. Divide the paper into four areas: the sea, a pond an area for a forest and an area for grassland.

Explain to students they will create a mural of a forest, grassland, pond and the sea. Don’t provide too many ideas at this stage. Students can’t intrude onto other ecosystems.

Divide the class into four groups, one for each ecosystem. Students are to:

1. Draw/paint illustrations that can be pasted onto the mural.

2. Draw/paint any physical things that might be in that environment.

3. Draw/paint the plants. Students will need to have

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Student Worksheet

You are going to be working in groups to create a mural of an ecosystem, such as a forest, grassland, pond or the sea. 

In a small group, you will be given an ecosystems and your job is to create a drawing or painting that can be pasted onto the class mural. You need to think about the living and non-living things that might be in your ecosystem. When you draw animals their size must reflect the size of the plants and the size of the other animals.

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