Activity Introduction

rl_kids-tree_autumn-nature-trail-7_photoframeQuick 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.

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 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:

critical-thinking_team-work_personal-social-capability_digital-literacy_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, 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 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 

One per 2-4 students:

  • Computer or tablet with internet connection

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.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

rl_kids_forest_trees_otways_photoframeTeacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will know how to identify evidence of living things in parks by becoming wildlife detectives. They will then investigate how these living things interact with their environment. They will understand how to protect their local park and the animals that call it home. 

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... look for clues of living things.
  • ... use their senses to explore the environment.
  • ... take action to protect their local parks and wildlife.
  • ... follow safety procedures and work safely in a group.

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, inc

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Can you detect any wildlife in your own backyard?

Reflection 

Think about what you did and found in this lesson and work independently to answer the following questions:

QuestionYour answer
How are the ideas and information presented in this lesson connected to what you already knew?
What new ideas did you get that extended or pushed your thinking in new directions?
What is still challenging or confusing for you? What questions do you now have?
...
 
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