Activity Introduction

cc-secondary9-heroQuick summary: During this lesson students collect data on the trees in their schoolyard. They compare results and discuss possible reasons for different results taken from the same population. They take their learning outside and collect authentic data that they can draw real conclusions from.

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.


Learning goals:

  • Students understand how to record categorical data using a tally.
  • Students understand how to display their data using a dot plot.
  • Students recognise how to analyse numerical data.
  • Students recognise the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside.

21st century skills:

tree tally skills cc

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Mathematics

  • Identify and investigate issues involving numerical data collected from primary and secondary sources (ACMSP169)
  • Construct and compare a range of data displays including stem-and-leaf plots and dot plots (ACMSP170)

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Mathematics achievement standards: Students calculate mean, mode, median and range for data sets. They construct stem-and-leaf plots and dot plots.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 60 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. One copy of Tree tally sheet for each student/group. One copy of Tree Tally – Dot Plot and Tree tally – Analyse the class data for each student.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Data, statistics, primary source, 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-secondary8-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this lesson students will understand how to record categorical data using a tally and how to display their data using a dot plot. Students will also recognise how to analyse numerical data. Finally, students recognise the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside.

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 here to view the Unit Outl

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What if all the trees in the world were small?


When different people collect data there is often differences in their results: Why do you think the class results were different?

Do you think the process of collecting data you used in this lesson is a useful way of collecting data about the environment? Why or why not?

What was the most frequently observed tree size?

Trees form an important part of our environment. They provide us with shade in the schoolyard but they are also home to many creatures. How can you use the information you gathered the help increase the number of trees around your schoolyard?

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