Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students work in small groups to choose a plant or animal to represent through a role play. Through this role play, students will explain what needs to be improved in their school grounds to make it a better wildlife habitat for their plant or animal. 

Learning goals: 

  • Students learn that people can manage the environment around them to improve plant and animal habitat.
  • Students learn that each species of plant and animal has its own habitat requirements.   

21st century skills:

role play habitat meeting skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 3 Science

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)

Year 3 English

  • Listen to and contribute to conversations and discussions to share information and ideas and negotiate in collaborative situations (ACELY1676)
  • Use interaction skills, including active listening behaviours and communicate in a clear, coherent manner using a variety of everyday and learned vocabulary and appropriate tone, pace, pitch and volume (ACELY1792)
  • Plan and deliver short presentations, providing some key details in logical sequence (ACELY1677)

Year 4 Science

  • Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)

Year 4 English

  • Use interaction skills such as acknowledging another’s point of view and linking students’ response to the topic, using familiar and new vocabulary and a range of vocal effects such as tone, pace, pitch and volume to speak clearly and coherently (ACELY1688)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations incorporating learned content and taking into account the particular purposes and audiences (ACELY1689)

Syllabus outcomes: ST2-10LW, ST2-11LW, EN2-6B, EN2-1A.

General capabilities: Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 3 Science achievement standards: Students group living things based on observable features and distinguish them from non-living things.

Relevant parts of Year 3 English achievement standards: Students listen to others’ views and respond appropriately using interaction skills.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Science achievement standards: Students describe relationships that assist the survival of living things and sequence key stages in the life cycle of a plant or animal.

Relevant parts of Year 4 English achievement standards: Students make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, varying language according to context.

Topic: Biodiversity

Time required: 60 mins (plus 30 minutes if student makes face masks).

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium.

Resources required: Information about the plants and animals chosen by the students, art material if students make face masks. About The Thinking Hats.

Keywords: role play, animals, school, habitats, biodiversity.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this lessons, students will understand that people can manage the environment around them to improve plant and animal habitat. They recognise that each species of plant and animal has its own habitat requirements. 

Teaching sequence

In this role play students pretend to be animals and plants that could and should be living in the school grounds. They will advocate the needs of the plants and animals and suggest how the school can improve the plant and animal habitats.

The students not presenting will be the audience at the meeting.

This activity is designed to cover most of de Bono’s six thinking hats (About The Thinking Hats). Use the hats to guide discussion following the presentations.

Getting started – choose a plant or animal

Explain what role play is. Students will take the role of an animal or plant at a meeting. Their role is to represent the plants and animals and to tell the meeting how the school groun

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