Activity Introduction

Activity details: In this activity, students are asked to research an animal species that lives in their area. They are to construct a mini Muir web that explains the integration between their chosen animal and other aspects of the natural and human influenced environment. Their diagram will show how this animal fits into its ecosystem, the impacts on the ecosystem, and what might cause it to become extinct.

Learning goals for this activity include:

1. Research in detail the integration of a chosen animal with all aspects of its environment showing how it is part of a larger ecosystem.

2. Create a mini ‘Miur web’ diagram that demonstrates student learning of ecosystems.

3. Demonstrate knowledge of how an animal influences an ecosystem and how humans can impact the animal.

Module: Biodiversity

Year levels: 9 and 10 

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Duration of activity: 45 mins

Learning areas addressed: Science, Geography, English, Sustainability, Arts.

Teacher input: Assist students in researching species and in creating the Miur web. Lead students in a class discussion.

Resources needed: Internet access, A3 paper, drawing materials, copy of ‘Activity sheet 1’ to show example of how a Muir web is set out.

Homework and extension opportunities: Parts of this activity can be completed as homework. This activity also has an opportunity for extension.

Keyword: biodiversity, ecosystem, conservation, research, Muir web, food web, food chain.

Australian Curriculum Link:

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)
  • Scientific understanding, including models and theories, are contestable and are refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE191)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-12ES, SC5-14LW

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


Teacher Worksheet


Just as humans rely on a network of goods and services, so too do all other living plants and animals in an ecosystem.

A Miur web (named after naturalist John Muir) shows the relationships between an animal's survival needs, and what is needed from an animal for other organisms to survive. It goes much further than a food web, showing how the ecosystem interacts as a whole. In a Muir web, each organism has links showing the things that influences the organism, and in turn what the organism influences. Students will create a mini Muir web. 'Activity sheet 1' demonstrates an example of a Muir web. It uses the example of a kangaroo and demonstrates its interactions with other organisms such as dingos, grasslands and a water source. 

Activity outline

In this activity students will create a mini Muir web of a native Australian animal of their choosing. It will show the relationships between what that animal needs to survive and what is needed from that animal for other orga

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Student Worksheet

Activity Sheet 1. Kangaroo Muir Web




My animal is 

Search your resources for information about your animal. Fill in the table below.

What does it need?

What needs it?

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