Quick summary: Students become wildlife detectives by using their senses to explore a local park. To begin this lesson, students consider how we use parks and why they are important. They then research the local animals in the area, creating a scavenger hunt-style list of wildlife clues, before heading outdoors to identify and record evidence of these animals. To close the lesson, students share their findings and reflect on their experiences as a wildlife detective.
This 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.
- Students will understand how they can use their senses to explore the world around them.
- Students will recognise how they can contribute to conservation and land management by becoming a wildlife detective.
- Students will understand how animal’s adaptions help them survive and thrive in their environment.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
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)
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, ICT Capabilities, 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: 140 mins (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). Adaptation Factsheet (if required). Victorian-based teachers can utilse the following link from Parks Victoria to locate parks: Park locator map. Alternatively, Google Earth can be used to explore your local area. Local councils’ education or sustainability-based staff are also a useful resource, worth contacting for guidance.
|Personal protective equipment||Activity equipment|
One per 2-4 students:
One per student:
Keywords: Student Rangers, park, outdoor learning, nature, wildlife, detective, environment, senses.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.