Investigating biodiversity and the environment through local insects. 

Since 2010, Bush Blitz (Australia’s largest nature discovery program) has discovered more than 1700 new species and has added thousands of species records to what is already known, increasing our scientific knowledge to help us protect our biodiversity for generations to come.

There are many plants and animals still to be discovered by science. There are an estimated 580,000-680,000 species in Australia, but three-quarters of this biodiversity is yet to be identified. Forty-five per cent of continental Australia and over 90 per cent of our marine area have never been comprehensively surveyed by scientists.

Check out the resources for your school levels, and find out about our great Professional Development course too!




Professional Development: Teaching Science Inquiry in the Primary Classroom

In this course, you will experience a framework that will drive your students’ desire to participate in science lessons. You will build your confidence and skills by learning:

  • How to teach the Science Inquiry Skills strand of the curriculum.
  • How to involve your students in interesting science investigations.
  • How other teachers use science inquiry in their classroom.
  • How to download science lesson plans and worksheets for the year level/s you teach.

The course will take around 2 hours to complete and is available for $39.95. Once you have purchased this you will have ongoing access and can finish at your own pace. Head to the course and get started today!


Primary – Years 5 & 6

This unit uses the species discovered through the Bush Blitz program to inspire and engage students. The lessons in this unit are designed to meet the principles of place-based learning. Place-based learning takes advantage of geography to create meaningful, authentic and engaging personalised learning activities for students.

Exploring Habitats
English, Science, Hass, HPE

Exploring The Ethics Of Entomology
English, Science, Hass

Collection Methods
English, Science

Microhabitats In The Schoolyard
English, Science

Students will explore habitats in their local backyards, focusing on their school grounds. They will begin by looking at the word ‘habitat’ and how this relates to the concept of home. Students will investigate insect habitats and the ethics of studying insects. They begin by developing their mapping skills and thinking about how maps can be used to convey information. Students will consider the role of entomologists, and the need to catch insects in order to study them. They will research and analyse various insect collecting methods, before making and creating an insect collection device.
Students will have identified concerns related to waste & recycling practices & habits, then surveyed their school & community. They begin to develop their idea by creating prototypes.

Understanding Different World
Views In Insect Identification

English, Science

Pollinators And Decomposers
English, Science, Drama

Looking Closer At Species
English, Science

Drawing Insects
English, Science, Visual Arts

Students will consider Indigenous and Western world views of the species in their backyard. They will learn about classification systems and consider looking at the natural world through differing perspectives. Students explore the roles of decomposers and pollinators. Students explore the processes of decomposition and pollination, and devise their own small role-play activities to demonstrate these processes.   In this lesson, students will look at parasitic insect species and their lifecycle in all their gory glory. Students look at the Bush Blitz program before being introduced to some of the species uncovered through Bush Blitz. 
Students will create artworks based on the Bush Blitz species and their habitats. They begin by creating a 3D model of one species before applying their learnings from this activity to create a 2D scientific drawing.

back to top


Secondary – Years 7 to 9

This unit uses the species discovered through the Bush Blitz program to inspire and engage students. 

Identification Keys
Year 7

Year 7

Ecosystem Interactions
Year 7

Schoolyard Bush Blitz
Year 7

Students will think about how we group animals using common features. They will be guided on how to interpret worded information to be able to use a dichotomous key.

Students will explore the difference between common and scientific names of organisms and why scientists use a standard classification system.  They will then create a picture book page displaying the system of classification. Students will review trophic levels and interactions between species. They will create a habitat display proposal for a newly discovered subspecies, including information about its interactions, a food chain and the consequences of a human impact on the ecosystem.
Students will learn about the importance of insects by watching a clip and participating in a brainstorming activity. They will then conduct a schoolyard Bush Blitz, where they find insects and plants in the schoolyard and draw pictures of them.

Important Roles In An Ecosystem
Year 9

Year 9

Adopt An Insect
Year 9

Events Impacting Biodiversity
Year 9

Students will consider how competition for resources influences the ecological role an organism plays in an ecosystem. They will then research a subspecies and explore its role in an ecosystem . Students brainstorm traits that help organisms survive in their environment, identifying them as structural, behavioural or physiological. They then explore how adaptations only help an animal thrive in their particular habitat.   In this lesson, students will explore how they view different kinds of animals (e.g. mammals versus insects). They will discover that all animals are important in an ecosystem, not just cute or majestic ones. In this lesson, students will learn about biodiversity and the role keystone species play in the health of an ecosystem. They will then research the Black Summer Australian bushfires as a case study.


With thanks to our Partners

Bush Blitz is Australia’s largest nature discovery program run by EarthWatch who kindly provided the images in these lessons. Thank you to the Ian Potter Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The Myer Foundation for generously supporting the development of these lessons.


Cool Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise the continuing connection to land, water and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.