Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students use their observation skills in a structured way to explore our environment. Your class will explore some of the amazing colours, shapes, patterns and textures that can be found in nature, especially in trees. The class will take a nature walk around the school or a nearby park, spotting as many colours as they can, observing the different shapes and patterns found along the walk, and feeling the different textures of a variety of objects along the walk. 

Following this lesson is an ideal way for students to participate in Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day – the largest nature-care event in Australian schools. You and your students will join thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference, fostering a child’s love of nature and creating positive environmental change. So, get growing! It only takes a minute to register for Schools Tree Day.


Learning goals:

  • Students use observation skills and the senses
  • Students describe, compare and sort colours, shapes, textures and pattern of natural objects
  • Students connect with nature and be inspired to increase the biodiversity of the local area.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Numeracy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content descriptors:

Foundation Science

  • Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)

Foundation Mathematics

  • Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications. Copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings (ACMNA005)

Syllabus OutcomesSTe-8NEMAe‑1WM, MAe‑2WM, MAe‑3WM, MAe‑8NA

Topic: Schools Tree Day, Biodiversity.

Time required: 60 mins

Resources required: One average size shopping bag, Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: See, think, hear, feel, senses, nature, biodiversity.

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

This activity is adapted from Sharing Nature with Children.*


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By encouraging students to use their observation skills and the senses in nature it hoped that students find ways to connect with nature and be inspired to increase the biodiversity of the local area.

Teacher content information: There has been a dramatic shift in childhood activity from outdoor play to indoor activity in the space of one generation. Planet Arks 'Climbing Trees' research found that 1 in 10 children today play outside once a week or less. There is an emerging body of local and international research linking childhood contact with nature with a range of health and wellbeing benefits, including:

  • Positive mental health outcomes
  • Physical health benefits 
  • Enhanced intellectual development
  • A stronger sense of concern and care for the environment in later life.

This activity is all about getting students outside to connect with nature in a fun and engaging way. They will build skills in classification by sorting n

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Where does nature start and finish?

Walk around the schoolyard and look for different colours, shapes and textures that you can find in nature. Stop, observe, touch and feel objects along the way. Be careful not to touch any dangerous items.

Identify natural objects of interest

What kinds of shapes, patterns and textures can you find? 


What colours did you see?


How did things feel?


What textures, colours and shapes can you identify in the picture below?

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