In this practical and hands-on activity students complete a biodiversity assessment of their school. They begin by creating definitions for habitat terms, and then calculate the habitat percentage cover of different cover types (tree cover, roof cover, soft surfaces/grass, and hard surfaces) using a map of the school grounds. Through authentic learning experiences students assess the schools natural resources and where there is opportunities for further actions. Students create a biodiversity improvement development plan.
- understand that there are a range of habitats at their school.
- understand how to use maps to calculate the percentage of cover types at their school.
- recognise how their biodiversity at their school can be improved.
- create action plans to address natural resource management issues and increase local biodiversity.
Lesson guides and printables
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
Science Year 7:
- There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (ACSSU111)
- Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs; human activity can affect these interactions (ACSSU112)
Mathematics Year 7:
- Find percentages of quantities and express one quantity as a percentage of another, with and without digital technologies. (ACMNA158)
Geography Year 7:
- Collect, select and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS048)
- Represent the spatial distribution of different types of geographical phenomena by constructing appropriate maps at different scales that conform to cartographic conventions, using spatial technologies as appropriate (ACHGS050)
Science Year 8:
People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE136)
Geography Year 8:
- Collect, select and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS056)
- Present findings, arguments and ideas in a range of communication forms selected to suit a particular audience and purpose, using geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS061)
- Reflect on their learning to propose individual and collective action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge, taking account of environmental, economic and social considerations, and predict the expected outcomes of their proposal (ACHGS062)
Geography Year 9:
- Collect, select, record and organise relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS064)
- Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms, selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose; using relevant geographical terminology, and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS070)
Geography Year 10:
- The human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
- The application of geographical concepts and methods to the management of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK074)
- Collect, select, record and organise relevant data and geographical information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS073)
Cross curriculum priorities
Sustainability OI.1 – The biosphere is a dynamic system providing conditions that sustain life on Earth. O1.2 – All life forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival.
Critical and creative thinking, Numeracy
** Syllabus Outcomes: GE4-7, GE4-8, GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-4, GE5-5, GE5-7, GE5-8, SC4-14LW, SC4-15LW, SC4-13ES.
Connecting lessons:** Native animal identification – must be completed as a compulsory action.
This lesson can be used when working on the Biodiversity Module of ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Certification. By completing this lesson you will have completed the following actions:
- A1 – Have you completed biodiversity assessments for your school’s grounds, including the identification and recording of:
- Indigenous/native plants and animal habitat quality e.g. trees, understorey, ground cover weeds and soil management?
- Linkages of school vegetation and habitats with surrounding areas?
- A1 – Has your Habitat Quality Assessment score been entered as your baseline data?
Checklist data goals:
- To estimate a ‘habitat quality score’ as well as the percentage of different elements in the school ground e.g. percentage of school grounds covered by buildings, asphalt, oval/lawn etc.