Quick summary: During this lesson students head outside to collect and analyse data about the biodiversity in their schoolyard and consider the implications of population sampling. They are asked to compare the biodiversity index of their area with other areas and calculate a total average for the schoolyard. Finally, they are asked to reflect on the task and consider how to increase the biodiversity of their school.
This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, students are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.
We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.
- Students identify situations where data can be collected by census, and those where sampling is a more appropriate means of data collection.
- Students recognise that sample properties can be used to predict characteristics of the population.
- Students understand how to use displays of data to explore and investigate effects.
- Students recognise the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 8 Mathematics
- Investigate techniques for collecting data, including census, sampling and observation (ACMSP284)
- Explore the practicalities and implications of obtaining data through sampling using a variety of investigative processes (ACMSP206)
- Explore the variation of means and proportions of random samples drawn from the same population (ACMSP293)
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Numeracy.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.
Relevant parts of Year 8 Mathematics achievement standards: Students explain issues related to the collection of data and the effect of outliers on means and medians in that data.
Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.
Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.
Time required: 90-100 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion.
Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Biodiversity Index – Practice Worksheet for individuals or pairs. Biodiversity Index – Data Collection for groups. Biodiversity Index Data Analysis – Your School for each student.
Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.
Keywords: Data, statistics, biodiversity, schoolyard, Biodiversity Index, outdoor learning.
Cool Australia would like to thank the Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.