Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students prepare information and materials to support users of the school biodiversity trail. Students begin by creating a package of information to inform visitors about how to use their trail, including maps, field guides, ClimateWatch app details and recording sheets. Students then create a package of information to support future students analysing the data collected, including templates for graphs and charts, and suggestions on how to share this information. 

The lessons in this unit have 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 are able to select, research and communicate scientific and geographical information.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: NOTE – This unit has been designed to be taught in either Geography or Science. To further enhance the learnings from this unit for students, consider teaching this as a cross-curricular unit of work.

Year 7 Geography

  • Represent data in a range of appropriate forms, for example climate graphs, compound column graphs, population pyramids, tables, field sketches and annotated diagrams, with and without the use of digital and spatial technologies (ACHGS049)
  • Represent spatial distribution of different types of geographical phenomena by constructing appropriate maps at different scales that conform to cartographic conventions, using spatial technologies as appropriate (ACHGS050)
  • Present findings, arguments and ideas in a range of communication forms selected to suit a particular audience and purpose; using geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS053)

Following collection of data from the school biodiversity trail:

  • Apply geographical concepts to draw conclusions based on the analysis of the data and information collected (ACHGS052)

Year 8 Geography

  • Represent data in a range of appropriate forms, for example, climate graphs, compound column graphs, population pyramids, tables, field sketches and annotated diagrams, with and without the use of digital and spatial technologies (ACHGS057)
  • Represent spatial distribution of different types of geographical phenomena by constructing appropriate maps at different scales that conform to cartographic conventions, using spatial technologies as appropriate (ACHGS058)
  • Present findings, arguments and ideas in a range of communication forms selected to suit a particular audience and purpose; using geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS061)

Following collection of data from the school biodiversity trail:

  • Apply geographical concepts to draw conclusions based on the analysis of data and information collected (ACHGS060)

Year 7 Science

  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS129)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)

Following collection of data from the school biodiversity trail:

  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence (ACSIS130)

Year 8 Science

  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS140)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS144)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148)

Following collection of data from the school biodiversity trail:

  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence (ACSIS145)

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-7, GE4-8, SC4-5WS, SC4-6WS, SC4-7WS, SC4-9WS.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Geography achievement standards: Students record and represent data and the location and distribution of geographical phenomena in a range of forms, including large-scale and small-scale maps that conform to cartographic conventions. They interpret and analyse data and other information to propose simple explanations patterns, trends and relationships, and draw conclusions. Students present findings and arguments using relevant geographical terminology and digital technologies in a range of communication forms.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Geography achievement standards: Students select, record and represent data and the location and distribution of geographical phenomena in a range of appropriate digital and non-digital forms, including maps at different scales that conform to cartographic conventions. They analyse data and other information to propose explanations for spatial distributions, patterns, trends and relationships, and draw reasoned conclusions. Students present findings, arguments and ideas using relevant geographical terminology and digital technologies in a range of appropriate communication forms.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: They plan fair experimental methods, identifying variables to be changed and measured. They summarise data from different sources and describe trends in their data. They communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students plan investigations, including designing field or experimental methods. They construct representations of their data to reveal and analyse patterns and trends, and use appropriate language and representations to communicate science ideas, methods and findings in a range of text types.

Topic: Biodiversity, Climate Change.

Unit of work: ClimateWatch: Citizen Science – Geography and Science – Years 7 & 8.

Time required: 210+ min.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and lead students in creation of materials.

Resources required: Tablets with ClimateWatch app installed. Internet access. Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class (optional). Digital camera (optional). 

Digital technology opportunities: ClimateWatch app. Google Maps (optional).

Keywords: Earthwatch, ClimateWatch, citizen science, trail, biodiversity, plants, animals, map, field guide, recording sheets.

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 are able to select, research and communicate scientific and geographical information.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... support other students and/or community members to participate in citizen science programs.
  • ... share geographical and/or scientific information in a range of communication forms.
  • ... create templates for graphs, charts and tables.
  • ... justify their decision making.

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 leaders. By incorporating ClimateWatch into curriculum, students and teachers will become more knowledgeable about climate change and its impacts

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: 

Helping others to use our school biodiversity trail

Work independently to think about your answers to the questions in table below, and record your ideas in Column A. 

Once complete, you will team up with a classmate to discuss, refine or elaborate your ideas in Column B.

Question Column A Column B
What is the purpose of our school biodiversity trail?

 

 

 

 

What do you hope users of the trail might get out of their visit to your trail? What messages do you hope they take away with them?

 

 

 

 

How can we incorporate information about the ClimateWatch app into our trail and the information we provide about our trail?

 

 

 

 

How can we incorporate our ideas about citizen science into our trail and the information we provide about our trail?

 

 

 

 

Be prepared to share your answers with the class.

Reflection

Work independently to answer the following question

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