Activity Introduction

rl_girls-wetland-dip-nets_istock-79337228_photoframeQuick summary: Students investigate wetlands and the invertebrates that live there. To begin this lesson, students reflect on what a wetland is and what types of species they might find in a local wetland. They then conduct a safety briefing before heading to a local wetland to investigate aquatic invertebrates. They then work as a class to examine water samples from a wetland, identifying invertebrates and drawing conclusions about the quality and health of the wetland they are investigating.

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 need to locate a wetland close to their school grounds. Contact your local council or parks department to find a wetland near you.

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand that wetlands are vitally important ecosystems to a range of animals, including invertebrates.
  • Students understand that we can all help to look after wetlands.

21st century skills:

critical-thinking_team-work_personal-and-social-skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

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 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 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)

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

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 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 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.

Topic: Student Rangers, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Student Rangers Unit – Upper Primary.

Time required: 120 minutes (not including travel time to and from the wetland)

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – lead students in activity and discussion, ensure safety of students at all times.

Resources required: Map of the area you will be visiting (contact your local council or parks department for more information). Victorian-based teachers can utilse 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 equipment Activity equipment

All Students:

  • UV protection (hat, sunscreen, long sleeves)
  • Polarised sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Closed toe shoes that can get wet
  • Drinking water

Teacher:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Mobile phone
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Protective gloves
  • Bag for rubbish

One per student:

  • Minibeasts Worksheet
  • Pens/pencils
  • Student Worksheet
  • Clipboard or book to lean on
  • Chart of Aquatic Invertebrates – you are encouraged to alter this worksheet to reflect the local species in your area. Google your local Water, or Catchment Management Authority, for this information. You can take photos of the species that you find during this field trip, and add these images to the worksheet for use in subsequent years’ teaching. 

One between 3-4 students:

  • Dip net
  • White tray
  • Ice cube tray
  • Plastic spoon
  • Magnifying glass
  • Microscope (only if available)

Keywords: Student Rangers, wetlands, invertebrates, minibeasts.

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_minibeasts-wetland-dip-nets-kids_junior-rangers-11_photoframeTeacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will understand that wetlands are vitally important ecosystems to a range of animals, including invertebrates. Students use a sample of wetland invertebrates as a measure of wetland health. Students will know what we can all do to help look after wetlands.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • ... explain in their own words, why wetlands are an important ecosystem.
  • ... identify a range of invertebrates (and other species) that live in wetlands.
  • ... understand how a selection of species can be used to gauge the health of a wetland. 
  • ... source and use water samples and water sampling equipment.
  • ... use microscopes or magnifying glasses.

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 biodiver

...
 
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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “Look closely at nature. Every species is a masterpiece, exquisitely adapted to the particular environment in which it has survived” - E.O. Wilson

Reflection

Work independently to answer the following questions:

What did you learn about aquatic invertebrates that you didn’t already know?
What did you find surprising or interesting about the invertebrates you found?
What questions do you have about the invertebrates you found?
...
 
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