Activity Introduction

Activity details: Students refine the concept of biodiversity through investigating ecosystem diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity. They create a communication product that explains the importance of biodiversity.

Learning goals for this activity include:

1. Understanding the complexity of the concept of biodiversity.

2. Distinguishing between ecosystem diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity.

3. Applying the concept of biodiversity to conservation.

4. Building communication skills. 

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Science:

  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS164)

Year 9 English:

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)

Year 10 Science:

  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS198)

Year 10 English:

  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-4WS

Module: Biodiversity

Year levels: 9 and 10

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Duration of activity: 60 mins +, depends on the amount of time used for research.

Learning areas addressed: Science, English, Geography.

Teacher input: Facilitate students sharing their ideas about an alternative.

Resources needed: Internet access, digital projector or smartboard.

Homework and extension opportunities: Do some of the research at home.

Keywords: Ecosystem diversity, species diversity, genetic diversity, research.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Biodiversity is described as the combination of ecosystem diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity. When conservation strategies are developed with a deep understanding of biodiversity concepts, much better conservation solutions are developed. Biodiversity is often not properly explored because old ideas are rebadged as biodiversity so it is important to get students to discover why biodiversity is bigger than the components that make it up.

There are a number of very significant sub plots within biodiversity. One example is the importance of maintaining the genetic diversity of our food crops. Genetic diversity in our crop species is an insurance policy when current crops are threatened by pests, disease, climate change, etc.


Student research

Divide the class into four main groups so all the research topics below are covered. Students will do the research and provide the class with a short report. The report should include:

1. Answering

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Student Worksheet

Group being assessed:

How well was it presented?



What is biodiversity?

Why is biodiversity important to people?

How is the idea of biodiversity helping us with conservation?


Note: To complete each assessment form, the group must come to a consensus about a mark out of five for each of the five criteria. If you give a mark of three or less, you must provide a reason. At the conclusion each group receives their assessments. It is up to the class if you want to compare scores. If you do, organise the scores on a spreadsheet.

  • Test it out at home.
  • Use the communication products at home to find out if your family can understand a bit more about biodiversity.

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