Koalas: Fit for Australia

Koalas: Fit for Australia

Lesson 4 of 8 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 5
  • Science
  • Biology
  • Environmental
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students will examine how particular structural features and behaviours of living things enable their survival in specific habitats by first investigating koala adaptations and threats, and then using this information to design their own animal with adaptations to suit Australia's changing environment. 

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • investigate how koalas have survived for so long in Australia. They will then design their own animal with specific adaptations that will help it survive in a changing Australian environment into the future.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • describe both physical and behavioural adaptations 
  • identify the threats facing koalas and other species
  • understand that they can help protect biodiversity.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Design Your Own Animal Worksheet
Koala Adaptations and Threats Visual Explainer

Lesson details


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

  • creative thinking
  • communication
  • curiosity
  • empathy
  • ethical understanding

Curriculum Mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content description:

Year 5 Science:

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043).

Relevant parts of Year 5 achievement standards: Students analyse how the form of living things enables them to function in their environments. 

NSW Curriculum: ST3-4LW-S

  • examines how the environment affects the growth, survival and adaptation of living things

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability 

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG 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 15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species

Resources Required

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 - teacher to deliver slide deck to students and facilitate class discussion.

Related Professional Learning

Investigate How Animals are Impacted by Their Environment

Almost 70% of 7-12 year olds have heard about climate change. This course will help inspire your students to feel optimistic about their future by investigating how animals adapt to climate change. You’ll discover how to teach curriculum-aligned lessons using WWF-Australia’s Earth Hour.

lesson saved in resources




More from this unit

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  • Lesson 3 of 8
  • ...

Koalas and Water

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