Activity Introduction

Module: Biodiversity

Year levels: 7 and 8

Activity details: Small groups of students have ten minutes to research what the most common plants and animals are in some of Australia’s most common ecosystems.

Learning goals for this activity include:

1. Link ecosystems with plants, animals, physical and climatic features.

2. Build on concepts of species and ecosystem diversity.

3. Using search engines to locate required information efficiently.

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Duration of activity: 20 mins+

Learning areas addressed: Science, Geography, ICT.

Teacher input: Bring students together at the end of the activity to compare ecosytems.

Resources needed: Internet access, writing materials and activity sheet or tablets.

Homework and extension opportunities: None

Australian Curriculum Link:

Year 7 Science:

  • There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (ACSSU111)
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS130)

Year 7 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)

Year 8 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734)

Year 8 Science:

  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships, including using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS144)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-7WS, SC4-14LWEN4-2A

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


Teacher Worksheet

 Activity outline

Small groups of students will be given ten minutes to research and describe one example of a common Australian ecosystem.

Students must describe the physical and climatic conditions of the ecosystem. Then they list some of the most common plants and animals (including invertebrates) that they would find in that particular ecosystem. If students cannot provide the actual species name, a short description and general name will be fine, e.g., very tall eucalypts.

Students will need to use their ten minutes very efficiently and target their searches to make use of their time.

After providing groups with their ecosystem, discuss different ways students could conduct their searches to maximize the information they need to fill in their activity sheet


  • Southern mountain forests
  • Rainforests
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Southern coastal rock pools and rocky shores
  • Southern grasslands
  • Tropical Savannah
  • WA southern heathlands
  • Murray River
  • Barmah Forest
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Student Worksheet

Activity instructions: 

In small groups, research and describe the physical and climatic conditions of a common Australian ecosystem. List some of the most common plants and animals (including invertebrates) that live in the ecosystem. Fill in the student worksheet.

  Our Australian Ecosystem
Climatic conditions
Physical conditions
Types of animals (include invertebrates)
Types of plants (include ferns and fungus if present)

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