Activity Introduction

cc-primary10-heroQuick summary: During this lesson students learn about mapping and the value of natural elements within their immediate environment. They work with a partner to create a map of the playground, which others use as a guide in order to find natural ‘treasures’ within the space.

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 natural elements important to the environment?
  • What natural ‘treasures’ do we have at our school?
  • How can you create a map?
  • How can we use maps to give directions?
  • What are the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside?

21st century skills:

natural treasure skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 3 Mathematics

  • Create and interpret simple grid maps to show position and pathways (ACMMG065)

Year 4 Mathematics

  • Use simple scales, legends and directions to interpret information contained in basic maps (ACMMG090)

Syllabus outcomes: MA2-17MG, MA2‑2WM.

General capabilities: Numeracy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 3 Mathematics achievement standards: Students match positions on maps with given information.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Mathematics achievement standards: Students interpret information contained in maps.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – the teacher facilitates discussions, acts in character, demonstrates new concepts and assists students as necessary.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of displaying a website. One copy of the Treasure Map Story (for teacher use). One copy of the Map Grid Demo printed at A3 size (for teacher use). One copy of the Nature Treasures – Map Grid and Map Directions for each pair of students.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Sustainability, nature, outdoor, math, maths, mathematics, maps, mapping, treasure, 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-primary5-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand how to create and interpret simple grid maps and how to apply 2D objects to simple grid maps. Students will recognise the need for clear instructions when creating directions for interpreting maps. Finally, students will understand that nature is full of treasures and that these treasures can be found in the school yard.

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 designed to support students and teachers undertaking the Outdoor Learning Unit. Click he

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is your most precious treasure?

Describe three natural objects that you think of as treasures, and explain why these are treasures:

Natural treasures

Why have you chosen this as a treasure?




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