Quick summary: In this lesson, students explore the question: ‘What is the Australian tropical savanna?’ In groups, students research a specific region of a tropical savanna and describe the climate, vegetation, animals and the impact of fire upon the area. Students will complete a research worksheet and present their findings to the class.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.
- Students explore how flora and fauna are uniquely adapted to specific regions.
- Students describe the interconnections between people, places and environments and identify the effects of these interconnections on the characteristics of places and environments.
- Students interpret research data and other information to identify and compare spatial distributions, patterns and trends, infer relationships and draw conclusions.
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
Year 5 Science:
- Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
- Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)
Year 5 Geography:
The influence of people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places (ACHASSK112)
Year 6 Science:
- The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
- Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)
Topic: Cool burning
Time needed: 120 minutes
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – introduce new content, assist with student research, assess student outcomes.
Resources required: Internet, digital projector or Smartboard, Student Worksheet, Fact Sheet – Introducing the Savanna, Fact Sheet – Australian tropical savanna, Fact Sheet – Savanna Regions, Australian Tropical Savanna PowerPoint. Rubric Years 5&6 – The Australian tropical savanna.
Digital technology opportunity: Obtain data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/, digital sharing capabilities.
Homework and extension opportunities: Locate major towns in the region where the tropical savanna exists. Find out which industries and human activities occur in these locations.
Assessment: See the attached rubric to monitor students’ learning based on chosen criteria and guidelines.
Prior learning: Maps and states of Australia, Eucalypt forests, ecological communities, climate, weather.
Key words: savanna, tropical, climate, weather, distribution, monsoon, adaptation, vegetation, fire, mean, conservation, species
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum. There is great diversity in histories and cultures among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia. This resource includes investigations into and information about some of them. It has an emphasis, but not an exclusive one, on the histories and cultural practices of the Aboriginal peoples of the Northern Territory. It is underpinned by consultation with Aboriginal communities in various parts of Australia.
Special thanks to:
Fish River Station, John Daly, Dr Jeremy Russell-Smith, Peter Jacklyn, Peter McConchie, Dr Tommy George, David Claudie, Dale Musgrave, Carolyn George and Victor Steffensen.
Made possible by: