Beyond the Bushfires - Desert Rain

Beyond the Bushfires - Desert Rain

Lesson 4 of 9 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 3 - 6
  • Science
  • The Arts
  • Environmental
  • Climate Change
  • Conservation
  • Disaster resilience
  • Economic
  • Risk Management
  • ...

Lesson summary

Rain is a crucial element to the lifecycle of many species living in the Australian desert. In this wide-ranging lesson, students explore how desert species flourish in the advantageous conditions present after a rainfall, and, conversely, how they have adapted to survive long periods of dry weather. Older students explore the interconnectedness of desert species through a food chain, and how rain can indirectly impact predators that live on the top of the food chain.

Learning intentions:

Students understand...

  • how the survival of some native Australian desert species is linked to the cycle of rainfall
  • how the survival of some native Australian desert species is linked to the lifecycles of other desert species.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • communicate through artwork the impact of rain on the habitat and fauna of the desert.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 4 Science:

  • Living things have life cycles (ACSSU072)
  • Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)

Year 6 Science:

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)

Years 3 & 4 Visual Arts:

  • Present artworks and describe how they have used visual conventions to represent their ideas (ACAVAM112)

Extended Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Science:

  • Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities, can be represented by food chains and food webs (ACSSU112)

Syllabus outcomes: ST2-10LW, ST2-11LW, ST3-11LW, SC4-15LWVAS2.1, VAS2.2

General capabilities: LiteracyCritical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 4 Science achievement standards: Students describe relationships that assist the survival of living things and sequence key stages in the life cycle of a plant or animal

Relevant parts of Year 3 & 4 Visual Arts achievement standards: Students use visual conventions, techniques and processes to communicate their ideas

Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students describe and predict the effect of environmental changes on individual living things

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students predict the effect of human and environmental changes on interactions between organisms and classify and organise diverse organisms based on observable differences

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: Beyond the Bushfires – Primary

Time required: 50 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – facilitate class discussion, support students in their independent research and artwork

Resources required

  • Art supplies – coloured pencils and textas
  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student
  • Whiteboard
  • White Paper


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking

Additional info

In partnership with The Conversation, the Beyond the Bushfires series brings the words of scientists who are actively involved in research and science communication into classrooms throughout Australia. Students will explore evidence-based research embedded in the context of real-world practice.

Additional thanks to the Ian Potter Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The Myer Foundation, for generously supporting the development of these lessons

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