Activity Introduction

regen lesson frame

Quick summary: In this science lesson, students first learn about the land/country where their school or home is located. Working in groups, students devise a classification system using the leaves from local plants. ‘Capturing’ local fauna with their phone cameras students build up a database of species and populations. Finally, students make a plan of action to Regenerate Australia with their newfound knowledge of local flora and fauna.

Subjects: Science 

Year Levels: 7 & 8

Topics: Sustainability, critical and creative thinking, experiment, native plants, exotic plants.

Teaching Time: 140 mins (best spread over two lessons).

21st-century skills: 

  Critical Thinking Creative Thinking  CommunicatingProblem SolvingSocial Skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Science:

  • Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms (ACSSU111)
  • Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE223)
  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence-based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133).

Year 8 Geography:

  • Strategies used to enhance the liveability of places, especially for young people, including examples from Australia and Europe (ACHGK047)
  • The influence of social connectedness and community identity on the liveability of place (ACHGK046).

Year 8 Science:

  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)
  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS140)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS144).

Syllabus outcomes Year 7: SC4-14LW, SC4-17CW, SC4-6WS, SC4-9WS, SC4-11PW, SC4-5WS, SC4-7WS.

General capabilities: Literacy, Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Intercultural Understanding and Personal and Social Capability

Cross-curriculum priority:  Sustainability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards:

Students predict the effect of human and environmental changes on interactions between organisms and classify and organise diverse organisms based on observable differences. Students describe situations where scientific knowledge from different science disciplines and diverse cultures has been used to solve a real-world problem. They explain the possible implications of the solution for different groups in society.

Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards:

Students construct representations of their data to reveal and analyse patterns and trends and use these when justifying their conclusions.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Will need to discuss the concept of Country, Classification and basic use of a spreadsheet.

Resources required:

  • Butchers paper (1 sheet per group)
  • Marking pen (1 per group)
  • Sticky tape dispensers (1 per group)
  • Student worksheets – one copy per student
  • Video access to the film Regenerating Australia.

Keywords: Regenerating Australia, transpiration, sustainability, regeneration, experiment, native, exotic, Australian, plants.

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


Teacher Worksheet

regen lesson frameTeacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • what traditional lands, or what language group, clan or nation, their home/school is located on
  • ...learn about classification by participating in a lego brick and a leaf classification activity
  • ...hunt for fauna in their school and tabulate the data
  • ...research the diversity of local fauna and flora prior to development
  • ...devise a plan to bring back native flora and fauna in order to regenerate Australia.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ...recall the name of the Country they reside
  • ...produce a dichotomous key classification system for leaves
  • ...collect and collate data and record on a spreadsheet
  • ...research historical information regarding flora and fauna in the local area.

Teacher content information:

Understanding Custodianship from an Aboriginal perspective:
In this article in The Conversation, Aunty Munya Andrews explains that, “Many Indigenous peoples the world over generally d

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: Imagine if you could transport yourself back in time 500 years to the land which you call home now – what sort of plants and animals would you see in abundance?


1. What is Country?

2. Research and find out what Country your local area is situated on:

How to conduct research? Refer to the link of the map of Australia featured on The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander website ( to discover what traditional lands your home or school is located on.

3. Write your own unique acknowledgment of your Country. There is a useful template for planning an Acknowledgement of Country on the Creative Spirits website (


Copy your dichotomous key into the space below and sketch your leaves.



What animals did you find in th

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