Activity Introduction

Quick 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 explore the unique biodiversity of the ocean
  • Students look at adaptations and understand how structure relates to function
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

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 theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (ACSSU185)

Syllabus outcomes: SC5-14LW, SC5-15LW.

Time needed: 30 minutes.

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

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

Key words: Biodiversity, bio-luminescence, adaptation.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students take responsibility for their own learning by thinking about concepts of biodiversity using the Biodiversity PowerPoint Presentation. They then watch David Gallo's Ted Talk that shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures. Students are encouraged to think about the diversity of sea creatures and their unique adaptations.

The Flipped Lesson

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to be engaged in the topic of biodiversity and evolution through exploring the underwater world.

While working independently, students are to view the PowerPoint and Ted Talk, then complete the tables on the Student Worksheet.

Teachers will also gain insight from students’ responses which can be used to plan other activities.

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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What adaptations would you need to live in the ocean?

In your own time go through the biodiversity PowerPoint below. Record any definitions or critical pieces of content knowledge in your workbook.

As you can see biodiversity is critical to the health of the planet and our species. Let's take a look at the diversity of animals in the ocean. As you watch the video below, think about how biodiversity is different under the ocean and why animals may have evolved these specialised features.

David Gallo's Ted Talk Underwater Astonishment (

Brainstorm 8 questions about the unique adaptations of underwater animals. Use these question-starters to begin your questions:


How would it be different if...

What are the reasons...

Suppose that...

What if...

What if we knew...

What is

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