Activity Introduction

cc-primary13-heroQuick summary: During this lesson students learn the value of giving and receiving constructive feedback in order to develop and improve their artworks. They begin by exploring the range of leaves found in their school yard while discussing the value of trees. Using the Austin’s Butterfly technique for creating and improving artworks, students create a scientific drawing of a leaf as their contribution toward a display or gallery exhibition to educate others.

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.


Essential questions:

  • Why are trees important?
  • Why is it important to receive feedback about artworks?
  • How can you give feedback to others in a truthful but kind manner?
  • How can you use feedback to improve the quality of your artworks?
  • What are the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside?

21st century skills:

lively leaves skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Years 5 & 6 Visual Arts

  • Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115)

Syllabus outcomes: VAS3.2.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 Arts Visual Arts achievement standards: Students use visual conventions and visual arts practices to express a personal view in their artworks. They demonstrate different techniques and processes in planning and making artworks.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – the teacher reads a picture book, leads and guides discussions and gives feedback to students.

Resources required: Printed cut outs of Austin’s Butterfly – Flashcards. A Leaf Can Be … by Laura Purdie Salas. Scrap paper, pencils, erasers and clipboards. Art paper (optional). Watch, timer, stopwatch or clock app (optional). Device capable of taking photos (optional). Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Scientific drawing guidelines.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Sustainability, nature, outdoor, art, design, sketching, sketch, draw, drawing, feedback, outdoor learning.

Cool Australia would like to thank The Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

Youngman Trust Logo

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


Teacher Worksheet

cc-primary12-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand how constructive feedback from their peers can be incorporated into their own artworks in order to improve both their artworks and their own art-making process. Students recognise that creating scientific illustrations involves a particular set of skills and techniques. Finally, students recognise that leaves come in different shapes, sizes and colours and that trees serve an important role in nature and for humans.

Outdoor learning information:

Outdoor Learning Series:


To help guide teachers through suggested activities in this lesson, we have developed a series of icons designed to show what types of activities are involved and where these activities may take place (see Learning Activity Key below).

learning activity icons key updated-v3

This lesson is

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Why is feedback important?


Think about what you explored in this lesson and answer the following questions:




- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.