Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students explore the plants in a park or in their local area. To begin this lesson, students consider what plants are, where they are found and how important they are to people and the environment. They then conduct a safety briefing before heading to an outdoor learning space. Students are then asked to investigate variations in the leaf structures of the plants in their area, with older students speculating about some the reasons for these variations in terms of adaptation. Students will then think about the way plants interact with other elements of nature in their area, including animals or the wind. They will then participate in a circle-writing activity to create a short story based around the plants in their area, and will share this story with the class. Finally, students are asked to reflect on their experiences of investigating the plants their area.

parks-victoria-and-vic-gov-horizontal-logoThis lesson is produced in partnership with Parks Victoria and is designed to be taught in a natural or outdoor setting. Before conducting this lesson, teachers will need to locate a park or areas of bushland close to, or within, their school grounds. Contact your local council or parks department to find a park near you.

 

Learning Intentions:

  • Students understand that Australia has diverse and unique flora.
  • Students will recognise variations in leaf structure.
  • Students understand how to write a short story in a group.
  • Years 5 & 6 – Students will understand how plants have adapted to enable them to grow in their environment.

21st century skills:

criticalthinkingteamworkpersonalandsocialskillsdigitalliteracy

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Content descriptions:

Year 4 Science

  • Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
  • With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on prior knowledge (ACSIS064)

Year 4 Geography

  • The importance of environments, including natural vegetation, to animals and people (ACHASSK088)
  • Locate and collect information and data from different sources, including observations (ACHASSI074)
  • Draw simple conclusions based on analysis of information and data (ACHASSI079)

Year 4 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features (ACELY1694)
  • Re-read and edit for meaning by adding, deleting or moving words or word groups to improve content and structure (ACELY1695)

Year 5 Science

  • With guidance, pose clarifying questions and make predictions about scientific investigations (ACSIS231)
  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043).

Year 5 Geography

  • Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources (ACHASSI095)
  • Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI102)

Year 5 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)
  • Re-read and edit student’s own and others’ work using agreed criteria for text structures and language features (ACELY1705)

Year 6 Science

  • With guidance, pose clarifying questions and make predictions about scientific investigations (ACSIS232)
  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)

Year 6 Geography

  • Examine primary sources and secondary sources to determine their origin and purpose (ACHASSI126)
  • Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI130)

Year 6 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)
  • Re-read and edit students’ own and others’ work using agreed criteria and explaining editing choices (ACELY1715)

Syllabus outcomes: ST2-2VA, ST2-4WS, ST2-11LW, ST3-2VA, ST3-4WS, ST3-10LW, GE3-4, GE2-4EN2-2A, EN3-2A.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2, OI.9.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Science achievement standards: Students describe relationships that assist the survival of living things.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Geography achievement standards: Students develop questions to investigate. They locate and collect information and data from different sources, including observations to answer these questions.

Relevant parts of Year 4 English achievement standards: Students create structured texts to explain ideas for different audiences. They re-read and edit their work to improve meaning.

Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how the form of living things enables them to function in their environments.

Relevant parts of Year 5 Geography achievement standards: Students develop questions for an investigation. They locate and collect data and information from a range of sources to answer inquiry questions.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives. They edit their work for cohesive structure and meaning.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students describe and predict the effect of environmental changes on individual living things.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Geography achievement standards: Students develop appropriate questions to frame an investigation. They locate and collect useful data and information from primary and secondary sources.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. They explain editorial choices based on criteria.

Topic: Student Rangers, Outdoor learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Student Rangers Unit – Upper Primary.

Time required: 120 minutes (not including travel time to and from the park or bushland)

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Lead students in activities and discussion, ensure students understand and follow safety procedures, supervise students in a outdoor setting.

Resources required: Map of the area you will be visiting (contact your local council or parks department for more information). Victorian-based teachers can utilise the following link from Parks Victoria to locate parks: Park locator map. Alternatively, Google Earth can also be used to explore your local area.

Personal protective equipmentActivity equipment

All Students:

  • UV protection (hat, sunscreen, long sleeves)
  • Polarised sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Sturdy closed toe shoes
  • Drinking water

Teacher:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Mobile phone
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Protective gloves
  • Bag for rubbish
  • Data projector or interactive whiteboard
  • Internet connection 
  • Watch, stopwatch or phone with a stopwatch app

One per student:

One per 2-4 students:

  • Computer or tablet with internet connection

One copy per 30 students:

To be projected for the whole class:

Keywords: Student Rangers, plants, leaf, adaptations, park.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

rl_kids_forest_trees_otways_photoframeTeacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students understand that plants come in many different shapes and sizes for different purposes.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... understand that plants have different adaptations.
  • ...  identify the variations in structure of a variety of leaves.
  • ...explain reasons why plants are critical to the health of our environment.
  • ... record and draw observations.
  • ... create a short story.

rl_learning-intentions-tip

Teacher content information: All around Australia you can find a wide variety of parks, reserves and waterways that are managed for conservation, recreation and other uses.

Parks, in particular national parks and conservation reserves, are important for protecting and conserving biodiversity (i.e. ecosystems, species and genes) and our heritage places. They provide many of the essential ‘ecosystem services’ that we rely on, including clean water and air, pollination, and protection of coastlines, as well as help to regulate our climate. And in man

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What plants have you discovered today?

Reflection

Work independently to answer the following questions:

Do you think it is important to visit parks and other natural environments? Explain your answer.

Do you think it is important to learn more about the things that live in parks and other outdoor places? Explain your answer.
Do you think it is important to look after our local parks and other outdoor places? Explain your answer.
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