Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students compare environmental management strategies in Malaysia to those in Australia. Using the flying-fox as a case study, students will investigate how research becomes an important part of policymaking as well as how they can contribute to geographical and scientific data collection through citizen science. Students end the lesson by investigating how a local species contributes to the wider environment. 

 

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 that native species provide ecosystem services for humans.
  • Students understand that geographical and scientific research influences land management and animal protection decisions.

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).
  • Challenges to food production, including land and water degradation, shortage of fresh water, competing land uses, and climate change, for Australia and other areas of the world (ACHGK063).

Year 9 Science

  • Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (ACSSU175).
  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176).
  • People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE160).
  • Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228).

Year 10 Geography

  •  Select ONE of the following types of environment as the context for study: land (e.g. forests, deserts, grasslands, farmland), inland water, coast, marine or urban. A comparative study of examples selected from Australia and at least one other country should be included (ACHGK0082).
  • The application of systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK073).
  • The application of geographical concepts and methods to the management of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK074).
  • The application of environmental economic and social criteria in evaluating management responses to the change (ACHGK075).

Year 10 Science

  • Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE230).
  • Critically analyse the validity of information in primary and secondary sources, and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems (ACSIS206).

Syllabus outcomes: GE5-1, GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-4, GE5-5, SC5-11PW, SC5-13ES, SC5-14LW.

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 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 describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.

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.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Science achievement standards: Students explain the processes that underpin heredity and evolution.

Topic: Biodiversity, Climate Change.

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

Time required: 90 mins.

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

Resources required:

  • Student Worksheets (one copy per student).
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class. 
  • Enough internet-enabled devices to allow students to conduct paired research.

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 that native species provide ecosystem services for humans.
  • Students understand that geographical and scientific research influences land management and animal protection decisions.

Success criteria:

  • Students can recall at least one example of an ecosystem service provided by a native species.
  • Students can cite an example of where research has influenced land management policy in Australia and overseas.
  • Students can conduct rigorous research on a local native species and communicate this to an audience of their peers.

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 to foster new generations of environmental

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Prior to their protection, around 22,000 flying-foxes were killed in Malaysia each year.

1. Compete the 'Think-Pair-Share' visible thinking routine to respond to the question: 

What do you think should be done to protect Malaysian flying-foxes?

THINK PAIR SHARE

2. Read the abstract below and answer the following questions: 

  • What is the aim of the research?

  • In your own words, summarise how was the research was conducted.

  • What new knowledge on the flying-fox did the study help uncover?

  • Are the researcher's findings positive or negative? What does she indicate the results could be used for?

Source: Pollination by the locally endangered island flying fox [Pteropus hypomelanus] enhances fruit production of the economically important durian [Durio zibethinus]) –https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lee_Sim_Lim/project/Bats-from-Penang-Island-Malaysia/attachment/59c2335b4cde26fd91fce242/AS:540595231916032@15058993

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