Activity Introduction

biolum-hero1Quick summary: This lesson is designed for a flipped classroom, where students learn new content by watching a video in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand what bioluminescence is and how it works.
  • Students recognise some of the ways scientists are using bioluminescence.
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Science

  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)

Year 10 Science

  • The transmission of heritable characteristics from one generation to the next involves DNA and genes (ACSSU184)
  • Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (ACSHE192)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-15LW, SC5-14LW

Time needed: 20 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – allow students to explore the topic independently.

Resources required: Internet, laptops and earphones, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Bioluminescence, genetics, scientists, future.


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


Teacher Worksheet

biolum-hero2Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students take responsibility for their own learning by watching a video on bioluminescence and completing a thinking routine.

The Flipped Lesson

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore/build their current knowledge, attitudes and values about bioluminescence. While working independently, students are to view the video and answer the questions on the student worksheet. Teachers will also gain insight from students’ responses which can be used to plan follow-up lessons.

This visual thinking tools can be useful in examining how and why student thinking has changed based on learning specific content information. It also helps to develop their reasoning abilities and to recognise cause and effect relationships.


The brilliance of bioluminescence - Leslie Kenna (

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How many different sources of natural light can you think of?

Before watching the video:



Have you seen any examples of bioluminescence? If yes, explain.

If no, think of some examples of bioluminescence.


Watch the video then answer the questions below:

The brilliance of bioluminescence - Leslie Kenna (


After watching the video:



In your own words describe bioluminescence:

What is one example of an animal using bioluminescence? How do they use it and how does having bioluminescence help this animal?

Can you list two reasons why bioluminescence is a 'clean' source of energy?

How are scientists using bioluminescence?


Can you think of another example of how we could use bioluminescence?


What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of using biolumi

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