Teacher Resources


Biodiversity project implementation toolkit

A toolkit designed for teachers and educators to assist with implementing a biodiversity project in their school, and how to go about local partnerships with different organisations.

Primary School

Years F,1-2 | I wonder what lives here?

Students will become Earthwatch Explorers by using their senses to explore sections of the school using science equipment and techniques. They will capture images of what they see in their chosen “exploring spot” on the school grounds, and create a collage using natural materials found in and around that spot. Students will research their insect/bug/creature and create a booklet with facts and information about it. They will then present their booklet and collage to others in a classroom exhibition event.

Year 1 | Schoolyard Safari Bug Study

Students brainstorm what they think they know about small animals living in different places where their needs are met. Students will then investigate a selected habitat e.g. school compost, vegetable garden, garden bed or tree lot. They’ll explore features, behaviour and habitat of different small animals. Students at this age can usually readily name common larger animals such as birds and lizards residing in playground environments but don’t generally have broader conceptual understandings of insects and other invertebrates living in the same habitats, in particular, their features and reasons for different behaviours.

These lessons works well if an area of the school containing several habitats can be investigated by teams at once. If not, have students’ complete investigations of different habitats over several sessions so adequate supervision of the class can be maintained. Lesson 4 will need to be done over several sessions to allow for quality work.

Year 1-3 | Biology | Plant collection & preservation

We are checking in to see that students understand if things are living or non-living. The idea of “product of
a living thing” or “once living” could be mentioned but not necessary. We would explore the school yard for
living and non-living things.

Year 3 | Science | How my lunch affects my world

Students will work to understand their impacts on the world and evaluate their footprint in terms of plastic recycling. They will look at alternatives to their use of plastic and investigate alternative pathways for the plastic which they produce by way of their school food choices. Students will work to inform their year level and school about the project which will introduce soft-plastics recycling at school by researching the resources, routines and support needed.These lessons works well if an area of the school containing several habitats can be investigated by teams at once. If not, have students’ complete investigations of different habitats over several sessions so adequate supervision of the class can be maintained. Lesson 4 will need to be done over several sessions to allow for quality work.

Year 4-5 | Taxonomy| Specimen collection, classification, scientific nomenclature and ethics in science

This series of lessons provides students the chance to collect, preserve and store samples in a scientific way.
They then try and identify the species they have collected and label them as such.

Year 5-6 | Science & Geography| Backyard Bush Blitz

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.


Year 7 | Science | Backyard Bush Blitz

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

Year 7 | Taxonomy | Science - what is that? Learning to use keys

By the end of Year 7, students classify and organise diverse organisms based on observable differences. Students draw on evidence to support their conclusions. They communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.

Year 7 | Science | A Tragedy of the Commons

The first of these two lessons provides an introduction to the human impact on food webs while incorporating Indigenous perspectives and knowledge. The second activity is designed to allow students to experience and investigate Hardin’s (1968) tragedy of the commons phenomenon. It addresses the misconception that there is an unlimited amount of fish in the world’s oceans; when in fact fish are a renewable resource only if appropriate numbers remain to reproduce and fulfill a given species role in a food web.

Year 7 | Taxonomy | Classification of organisms

To introduce students to classification keys and the reason we classify organisms. Students will create a new branch onto an existing classification key, and create an organism that has all of the required traits (based on the existing dichotomous key) and the new trait from the added branch.

Year 7 | Taxonomy | Taxonomy and Food Chain

This lesson has been designed in the context of a small class (10-15) of year 7’s situated in the Adelaide
Hills (a bushy area with pine forests, native parks, etc.)

Year 7-8 | Science | Land: A vital resource

Natural vegetation has been removed to make way for a variety of land uses including agriculture, forestry, mining and urban development. Some natural ecosystems have been more heavily impacted than others.This will have implications for biodiversity. Through this lesson, students will develop an understanding of changed in land usage in south-west Western Australia. This activity could be altered to suit other regions of Australia.

Year 7-8 | Science | Understanding some of our creatures

Students will have the opportunity to learn about animals that have been impacted by the change land usage in the south west of Western Australia. Through this, they will also learn about conservations status levels, appreciate the importance of the red list, and develop and understanding if conservation programmes are in place or not, that assist the species under study.

Year 7-8 | Science | Citizen science: giving service and having fun!

In these two lessons, students will understand what is meant by ‘Citizen Science’, research the breadth of Citizen Science opportunities, and understand how these also provide an opportunity for travel. They will be asked to contribute to effective involvement in a collabortative and co-operative team, to deliver a quality presentation.

Year 7-8 | History | Steam- Natural History Illustrations

This lesson introduces the concept of scientific illustration through Beatrix Potters’ own journey. Students
then explore their school yard considering what they often ignore and observing nature. Students will be
required to keep a folio over the course of this topic. 

Year 7-10 | Science & Geography | ClimateWatch

ClimateWatch has partnered with Cool Australia to build lessons in the areas of mathematics, geography, and science. The lessons focus on phenology, climate change and citizen science and are all linked to the Australian Curriculum and syllabus.

Year 8 | Geography | Biodiversity and species

A sequence of four lessons. The first lesson provides the foundational knowledge and understanding required by students to meaningfully participate in the remainder of the lessons. In this lesson, students will discover the answer to the questions: What is biodiversity? What are species? In the second and third lessons, after learning what species are and the importance of biodiversity, students will discover the species of plants and animals that are present within their school grounds. In the last lesson, they will represent the data visually (e.g. pie charts, column graphs) using digital technologies.

Year 9 | Science | Backyard Bush Blitz

It is estimated there are 435,000-510,000 undiscovered species in Australia. 45% of the land and over 90% of our marine areas have never been comprehensively surveyed by scientists, leaving a massive gap in our knowledge of Australia’s biodiversity and the impacts of land use. Bush Blitz is a project aiming to categorise as many plant and animal species as possible to protect our biodiversity by fostering sustainable land management.

Year 9 | Science-Marine Biology | Backyard Bush Blitz

This lesson introduces marine ecosystems, in particular a soft sand ecosystem and takes students through
the process of collecting species for examination.

Year 9 - 12 | Science | MangroveWatch

The MangroveWatch citizen science program provides tools, methods and training to assist students and the wider community help scientists gather data on the extent and health of Australia’s mangroves and salt marshes, known collectively as tidal wetlands. 

Useful Websites and Apps for Teachers

Click here to access an interactive pdf with links to great websites and resources to use in your classroom! We will update this as new resources are identified.

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