Quick summary: In this lesson, students will explore the ways in which various actions or occurrences can impact an environment. They will begin by engaging with the story The Great Kapok tree and consider the way in which people, animals and plants interact within an environment. They will then engage with an activity to explore different kinds of habitats and environments, and consider the impact different occurrences would have on them.
This lesson can be implemented as a stand alone lesson; however to strengthen understanding of these concepts and inspire student action it is best taught as a component of the Roots and Shoots Lower Primary unit of work.
This lesson has been developed in partnership with Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program. Roots & Shoots is a global youth-led program of young people taking action to improve our world. By participating in this lesson, you and your students will be joining thousands of young people and teachers working to make positive change in our world.
- Students understand that an animal’s habitat provides for its basic needs.
- Students understand that man made and other changes to a habitat can have devastating consequences.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)
Year 1 Science
- Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017)
Year 2 Science
- Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211)
- The representation of the location of places and their features on simple maps and models (ACHASSK014)
- Draw simple conclusions based on discussions, observations and information displayed in pictures and texts and on maps (ACHASSI008)
- Reflect on learning to propose how to care for places and sites that are important or significant (ACHASSI009)
Year 1 HASS
- The natural, managed and constructed features of places, their location, how they change and how they can be cared for (ACHASSK031)
- Draw simple conclusions based on discussions, observations and information displayed in pictures and texts and on maps (ACHASSI025)
- Reflect on learning to propose how to care for places and sites that are important or significant (ACHASSI026)
Year 2 HASS
- The way the world is represented in geographic divisions and the location of Australia in relation to these divisions (ACHASSK047)
- Draw simple conclusions based on discussions, observations and information displayed in pictures and texts and on maps (ACHASSI041)
- Reflect on learning to propose how to care for places and sites that are important or significant (ACHASSI042)
- Understand the use of vocabulary in familiar contexts related to everyday experiences, personal interests and topics taught at school (ACELA1437)
- Share feelings and thoughts about the events and characters in texts (ACELT1783)
- Identify some features of texts including events and characters and retell events from a text (ACELT1578)
- Listen to and respond orally to texts and to the communication of others in informal and structured classroom situations (ACELY1646)
- Use interaction skills including listening while others speak, using appropriate voice levels, articulation and body language, gestures and eye contact (ACELY1784)
- Use comprehension strategies to understand and discuss texts listened to, viewed or read independently (ACELY1650)
Year 1 English
- Understand the use of vocabulary in everyday contexts as well as a growing number of school contexts, including appropriate use of formal and informal terms of address in different contexts (ACELA1454)
- Respond to texts drawn from a range of cultures and experiences (ACELY1655)
- Engage in conversations and discussions, using active listening behaviours, showing interest, and contributing ideas, information and questions (ACELY1656)
- Use interaction skills including turn-taking, recognising the contributions of others, speaking clearly and using appropriate volume and pace (ACELY1788)
- Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning about key events, ideas and information in texts that they listen to, view and read by drawing on growing knowledge of context, text structures and language features (ACELY1660)
Year 2 English
- Understand the use of vocabulary about familiar and new topics and experiment with and begin to make conscious choices of vocabulary to suit audience and purpose (ACELA1470)
- Compare opinions about characters, events and settings in and between texts (ACELT1589)
- Listen for specific purposes and information, including instructions, and extend students’ own and others’ ideas in discussions (ACELY1666)
- Use interaction skills including initiating topics, making positive statements and voicing disagreement in an appropriate manner, speaking clearly and varying tone, volume and pace appropriately (ACELY1789)
- Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning and begin to analyse texts by drawing on growing knowledge of context, language and visual features and print and multimodal text structures (ACELY1670)
NESA and VCAA: Click here for NESA and VCAA curriculum links for this lesson.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.
Relevant parts of Science achievement standards:
Foundation – They suggest how the environment affects them and other living things. Students share and reflect on observations, and ask and respond to questions about familiar objects and events.
Year 1 – They describe changes in their local environment and how different places meet the needs of living things. Students respond to questions, make predictions, and participate in guided investigations of everyday phenomena. They follow instructions to record and sort their observations and share them with others.
Year 2 – Students describe changes to objects, materials and living things. They identify that certain materials and resources have different uses and describe examples of where science is used in people’s daily lives. Students pose and respond to questions about their experiences and predict outcomes of investigations. They use informal measurements to make and compare observations. They record and represent observations and communicate ideas in a variety of ways.
Relevant parts of HASS achievement standards:
Foundation – Students describe the features of familiar places and recognise why some places are special to people. They recognise that places can be represented on maps and a globe and why places are important to people. They recognise that places can be represented on maps and a globe and why places are important to people. Students observe the familiar features of places and represent these features and their location on pictorial maps and models.They share and compare observations in a range of texts and use everyday language to describe direction and location. Students reflect on their learning to suggest ways they can care for a familiar place.
Year 1 – Students identify and describe the natural, managed and constructed features of places at a local scale and identify where features of places are located. They recognise that people describe the features of places differently. Students identify changes in features and describe how to care for places. Students respond to questions about familiar and unfamiliar places by locating and interpreting information from sources provided. They represent the location of different places and their features on labelled maps and present findings in a range of texts and use everyday language to describe direction and location. They reflect on their learning to suggest ways that places can be cared for.
Year 2 – Students describe a person, site and/or event of significance in the local community. They pose questions about the past and use sources provided to answer these questions and to identify a point of view. They recognise that the world is divided into geographic divisions. They compare objects from the past and present. Students develop a narrative about the past using a range of texts.
Relevant parts of English achievement standards:
Foundation – Students use predicting and questioning strategies to make meaning from texts. They recall one or two events from texts with familiar topics. They use appropriate interaction skills to listen and respond to others in a familiar environment. In informal group and whole class settings, students communicate clearly.
Year 1 – They make connections to personal experience when explaining characters and main events in short texts. They describe characters, settings and events in different types of literature. They recall key ideas and recognise literal and implied meaning in texts. They listen to others when taking part in conversations, using appropriate language features and interaction skills. They create short texts for a small range of purposes. They interact in pair, group and class discussions, taking turns when responding. They make short presentations on familiar topics.
Year 2 – They identify literal and implied meaning, main ideas and supporting detail. Students make connections between texts by comparing content. They listen for particular purposes. When discussing their ideas and experiences, students use everyday language features and topic-specific vocabulary. They explain their preferences for aspects of texts using other texts as comparisons. They use a variety of strategies to engage in group and class discussions and make presentations.
Topic: Sustainability, Biodiversity, Climate Change
Unit of work: Roots and Shoots – Lower Primary
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Support students to think critically about what the potential impact would be in different scenarios.
Resources required: Device capable of displaying websites (including videos) to the class. The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry (or online version: The Great Kapok Tree). Habitat Cards (printed A4 and colour). Habitat Disturbance Cards. Habitat Disturbance Presentation.
Keywords: World, Earth, resources, community, environment, sustainability, natural, managed, constructed, animals, people, natural disaster, action, choice, Jane Goodall, Roots and Shoots.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.