Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students investigate a local ClimateWatch Trail, studying various environmental features. Students then work in groups to create a single page website that can be shared throughout the community to inspire people to visit and record species along the trail. 

 

This lesson has been developed in partnership with Earthwatch. Earthwatch developed the ClimateWatch program with the Bureau of Meteorology and The University of Melbourne to understand how changes in temperature and rainfall are affecting the seasonal behaviour of Australia’s plants and animals. 

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how the behaviour of a single species can reveal information about a range of environmental factors. 

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 Geography

  • Distribution and characteristics of biomes as regions with distinctive climates, soils, vegetation and productivity (ACHGK060).
  • Human alteration of biomes to produce food, industrial materials and fibres, and the use of systems thinking to analyse the environmental effects of these alterations (ACHGK061).
  • Evaluate sources for their reliability, bias and usefulness and select, collect, record and organise relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS064).
  • Apply geographical concepts to synthesise information from various sources and draw conclusions based on the analysis of data and information, taking into account alternative points of view (ACHGS068).
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms, selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose; using relevant geographical terminology, and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS070).

Year 10 Geography

  • The application of systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK073).
  • Evaluate sources for their reliability, bias and usefulness and select, collect, record and organise relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS073).
  • Apply geographical concepts to synthesise information from various sources and draw conclusions based on the analysis of data and information, taking into account alternative points of view (ACHGS077).
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms, selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose; using relevant geographical terminology, and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS079).

Syllabus outcomes: GE5-1, GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-7, GE5-8.

General capabilities: Information and CommunicationTechnology (ICT) Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2

Relevant parts of Year 9 Geography achievement standards: Students explain how geographical processes change the characteristics of places. They analyse interconnections between people, places and environments and explain how these interconnections influence people, and change places and environments. They predict changes in the characteristics of places over time and identify the possible implications of change for the future.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Geography achievement standards: Students explain how interactions between geographical processes at different scales change the characteristics of places. Students identify, analyse and explain significant interconnections between people, places and environments and explain changes that result from these interconnections and their consequences.

Topic: Biodiversity, Climate Change.

Unit of work: ClimateWatch: Citizen Science – Geography – Years 9 & 10.

Time required: 100 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher will facilitate class discussions and group work.

Resources required:

  • Student Worksheet (one copy per student).
  • Data projector and connected internet-enabled device.
  • Enough internet-enabled devices to allow students to conduct paired research.
  • A class set of A4 or A3 pieces of paper.
  • A pile of sticky notes. 

Keywords: Earthwatch, ClimateWatch, geography, pollinators, citizen science, biodiversity, community.

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 understand how the behaviour of a single species can reveal information about a range of environmental factors. 

Success criteria: 

  • Students can explain the link between species behaviour and environmental factors.
  • Students can conduct rigorous online research that clearly connects flying-foxes to their environment.
  • Students can create persuasive texts using geographical information specific to the behaviour of flying-foxes. 

Teacher content information: ClimateWatch is a citizen science initiative developed by Earthwatch that seeks to educate people from across Australia on the issue of climate change and empower them to contribute to solutions. Through its ClimateWatch program, Earthwatch works with educators to help them bring their experiences back to the classroom, fostering new generations of environmental leaders. By incorporating ClimateWatch into curriculum, students and teachers will become more knowledgea

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Of the over 60 ClimateWatch Trails around Australia, at least 25 include a species of bat.

1. Using the space below, record information about the importance of flying-foxes to the environment you read in the Australia Wildlife Protection Council article Flying Foxes (https://awpc.org.au/the-animals/flying-fox/):

2. Explore the closest ClimateWatch Trails featuring bats, from the list below:

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