Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students explore the features of invertebrates using descriptive words (adjectives). They begin by thinking about how adjectives help us to explain and understand everyday objects, before applying descriptive words to images of invertebrates. They are then given a range of adjectives and are asked to invent an invertebrate based on these words. They create a 3D model of this invertebrate and share it with the class through a gallery walk format.

This lesson has been developed with generous support from the Ian Potter Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The Myer Foundation.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand what an invertebrate is
  • Students understand what an adjective is and how it can be used.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingTeam Work               

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Foundation English

  • Know how to read and write some high-frequency words and other familiar words (ACELA1817)
  • Explore the different contribution of words and images to meaning in stories and informative texts (ACELA1786)

Foundation Science

  • Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)
  • Engage in discussions about observations and represent ideas (ACSIS233)

Year 1 English

  • Explore differences in words that represent people, places and things (nouns, including pronouns), happenings and states (verbs), qualities (adjectives) and details such as when, where and how (adverbs) (ACELA1452)
  • Use visual memory to read and write high-frequency words (ACELA1821)

Year 1 Science

  • Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS029)

Year 2 English

  • Understand that nouns represent people, places, concrete objects and abstract concepts; that there are three types of nouns: common, proper and pronouns; and that noun groups/phrases can be expanded using articles and adjectives (ACELA1468)
  • Use knowledge of letter patterns and morphemes to read and write high-frequency words and words whose spelling is not predictable from their sounds (ACELA1823)

Year 2 Science

  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS042)

Syllabus outcomes: ENe-8B, EN1-9B, EN1-4A, STe-8NE, STe-4WS, ST1-10LW, ST1-4WS

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Foundation English achievement standards: Students read high-frequency words and blend sounds orally to read consonant-vowel-consonant words.

Relevant parts of Year 1 English achievement standards: When reading, students use knowledge of the relationship between sounds and letters, high-frequency words, sentence boundary punctuation and directionality to make meaning.

Relevant parts of Year 2 English achievement standards: Students read texts that contain varied sentence structures, some unfamiliar vocabulary, a significant number of high-frequency sight words and images that provide extra information.

Relevant parts of Foundation Science achievement standards: Students suggest how the environment affects them and other living things.

Relevant parts of Year 1 Science achievement standards: Students describe how different places meet the needs of living things.

Relevant parts of Year 2 Science achievement standards: Students represent observations and communicate ideas in a variety of ways.

Topics: Biodiversity, Sustainability.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: Investigating Invertebrates – Lower Primary.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in class discussion, assist students in reading words and applying words to inventing invertebrates.

Resources required:

Keywords: invertebrate, adjective, descriptive words, invent an animal.

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

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • … understand what an invertebrate is
  • Students understand what an adjective is and how it can be used.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … use adjectives to describe invertebrates
  • … creatively interpret adjectives to invent their own invertebrate
  • … create a 3D model of an invertebrate
  • … work independently and collaboratively
  • … participate in class and group discussion.

Teacher content information: Many of us get the heebie-jeebies about creepy crawlies. Maybe that’s because there are so many of them. In fact, as a group, insects (one group of invertebrates) are the most populous animals on Earth: it is estimated that there are 200 million insects for every human on the planet!!!

Fear not, the earth is not in danger of being overrun by invertebrates. Instead, they are actually vital to the healthy functioning of almost every aspect of our natural environment. They work as pollinators, as decomposers, they

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