Koalas and Water

Koalas and Water

Lesson 3 of 8 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 4
  • Science
  • Earth and Space
  • Environmental
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students will explore how koalas are an indicator species for the health of the water cycle. They will investigate First Nations stories that identify koalas as indicator species for water health. They will look at how living things impact Australia’s water cycle and why biodiversity is important for keeping the water cycle healthy.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • explore how living things interact with the water cycle.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • explain how biodiversity creates a healthy water cycle
  • take action to support koalas and biodiversity.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Koalas and Water Visual Explainer

Lesson details


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

  • critical thinking
  • curiosity
  • reflection

Curriculum Mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content description:

Year 4 Science:

  • identify sources of water and describe key processes in the water cycle, including movement of water through the sky, landscape and ocean; precipitation; evaporation; and condensation (AC9S4U02).
  • examine how people use data to develop scientific explanations (AC9S4H01).

Relevant parts of Year 4 achievement standards: Students identify key processes in the water cycle and describe how water cycles through the environment.  They explain the role of data in science inquiry.

NSW Syllabus outcomes: ST2-10ES-S

  • investigates regular changes caused by interactions between the Earth and the Sun, and changes to the Earth's surface

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, Sustainability

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UNSDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

  • Target: 15.3: By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world

Resources Required

  • Koalas and Water - Visual explainer

Additional Info

This lesson has been created in partnership with WWF-Australia and made possible thanks to its proud supporter, Australia Post.

In 2022, koalas on Australia’s east coast were officially listed as an endangered species, after dramatic population decline. Habitat destruction, climate change and extreme weather events including bushfires and floods have had a significant impact on koalas.

As one of Australia’s most trusted conservation organisations, WWF is working tirelessly to turn this tragedy around with Australia Post joining them in their mission to double koala numbers across eastern Australia by 2050.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High - explicit instruction

Related Professional Learning

Meet the NQS by Caring for the Environment

Education and care settings are places where children learn about self, others and the world. National Quality Standard (NQS) Element 3.2.3 requires every early childhood service to care for the environment and support children to become environmentally responsible.

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