Activity Introduction

Many of us get the heebie-jeebies about creepy crawlies. Maybe that’s because there are so many of them. But fear not, the earth is not in danger of being overrun by bugs, slugs and other 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 enrich and aerate the soil, and are a critical part of the food chain, serving as a source of food for all sorts of animals.

This activity is a great one to do together as a family. However, children will need support to complete this activity.

Ideal for: Primary Ages 8 to 10.


  • fresh air
  • be creative
  • investigate
  • think and connect

Time required: 30 to 40 minutes

Curriculum connections: Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Before heading outside, talk to your children about how to be careful around invertebrates. Some bite and some sting so it’s always best not to touch, and if you do get a sting or bite to tell an adult immediately. Be extra careful when removing bark from trees, lifting up logs or stones, or placing your hands in spots where you can’t see what you’re about to touch.

In addition, you should also explain to children that because of their small size, invertebrates are delicate, and are easily hurt by big blundering animals like ourselves. Working with children to develop a culture of awareness, appreciation and care for the littlest of creatures – including invertebrates – is a great way to help children connect to the natural environment. Focus your curiosity on observation rather than touch, and remember that when you disturb bark, stones and fallen branches you might be damaging an invertebrate home.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Curriculum codes:

Resources Required

  • Device with internet access
  • Drawing paper or a sketchbook
  • Animal Images
  • Pencil, eraser, and a ruler
  • Poster making materials – optional
  • Water, a hat, and some sunscreen.


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[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first type of resources are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages. The second type of resource is self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

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



Student Worksheet

Identifying Invertebrates - Activity Instructions

Part A: What are invertebrates?

Step 1. In this activity, you will be looking at invertebrates. You may already know what invertebrates are; if you don’t, that’s ok, you’re about to find out all about them!

Look at the two questions below and have a go at answering them in your workbook (it doesn't matter if you get the answers wrong; the aim is to just have a go):

  • What is an invertebrate?
  • What is a vertebrate?

Step 2. Watch the following clip:

Vertebrates & Invertebrates | What are Invertebrates? | What are Vertebrates? (

Step 3. Return to your original answers and make some amendments based on what you saw in the clip. How would you now describe invertebrates and vertebrates?

Step 4. Now think about the following question:

  • Are people vertebrates or invertebrates?

Explain your answer in your workbook.

Tip: Have a feel around under the skin of your head, your back and your arms - can

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