Activity Introduction

Activity details: Students use this prior learning activity to suggest differences in species diversity between two photos of different ecosystems.

Learning goals for this activity include:

1. Recall prior learning of species and ecosystems.

2. Link species they are familiar with to a specific ecosystem.

Module: Biodiversity

Year levels: 7 and 8

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Duration of activity: 10 mins  

Learning areas addressed: Geography, Science.

Teacher input: Assist students in recalling prior learning.

Resources needed: Writing materials, tablets if available, photos viewed on a smartboard, digital projector, computer screen.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: Biodiversity, ecosystems, rainforest, marine.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 7 Science:

  • There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (ACSSU111)

Syllabus Outcomes: SC4-14LW

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


Teacher Worksheet


Prior learning activities help students value their prior knowledge. It helps teachers to find out what students already know and may identify misconceptions. Students could revisit the work they did on this activity and add to it at the end of the unit of work to find out what they learned.

Activity outline

Two photos are provided. One is of a coral reef and the other is of a rainforest. Get students to imagine what these ecosystems might look, sound and feel like. Students should then record the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the differences between the two ecosystems?
  • What types of plants would you find in each ecosystem?
  • What types of animals would you find in each ecosystem?

If you have a smartboard or use a white board or blackboard ask students to contribute their ideas.

Keep their written work if you will be using them as part of your assessment.

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Student Worksheet

Student Instructions:

What’s the difference between a rainforest and coral reef ecosystem? Use the photos to help you to envision how the ecosystems are different and what kind of plants and animals might be found in an Australian rainforest or coral reef.


What makes the ecosystems different?:



Coral Reef

What makes the ecosystems different?:



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