Ideas for On-site activities Emphasis on: Planet Earth, Living Things and Their Relationships.
The suggested activities reflect these topic areas.
During the visit to ErinEarth students will examine a number of different topics, bring back to the whole group their findings and then reflect on their experiences.
- To explore living things, their diversity and their relationships and interdependencies.
- To become aware of the impact of human activity on the planet and in our own backyards.
2. Preparation for activities:
Composting material needs to be available around the site for children to collect in order to construct a compost heap. These include kitchen waste, chook poo, cuttings/plant material (grass) etc.
- Have wheel barrows available in the vegie garden for the students to make their collections.
- Card, scissors and glue.
There are two sets of activities suggested. One for plants another for animals.
A. Plant Research
The class can be divided into four groups. Each group will examine a different topic as follows:
Group 1: Looking at plant characterisitics
- Collect data on drought resistant plants and their characteristics.
- Make a list of bird attracting plants.
- Students may wish to use a digital camera for recording purposes.
Group 2: Making a compost pile
- Teacher led group.
- Visit the vegetable garden and look at the composting area.
- Make a list of all the groups of materials that you can see being used.
- Locate areas in the garden that help to build up the compost heap.
- Students can make a collection of all the materials that can be used in the composting process.
- Look at the final product and consider its value of and its uses.
- Construct a flow chart to demonstrate the process from beginning to the final product.
Group 3: Looking at diversity within a plant group
- Looking at plant diversity within a single genera - using wattles as an example.
- Students to explore the garden and identify and list all the different kinds of wattle they can find.
- Using a digital camera and/or drawings, the students can examine the different seeds and seed pods on the different species of wattles. They can also note other characteristics that make each variety unique.
Group 4: Looking at different "wet" habitats
- Group looks at two different areas; the wetlands and the dam area.
- Students examine the plant life of each area, noting the types of plants, the nature of the water and the physical surroundings.
- They then have to determine and list the kinds of animals that each habitat might attract.
(A further part of this project might include the collection and examination of insect life in these or similar areas near the school. This would also elaborate on the habitat and food chain of frogs.)
Reconvene plant group
Advise children that the data they have collected will be taken back to school and used as a basis for a presentation on their topic for the rest of the class.
- Lead general discussion on the students’ discoveries. Encourage students to reflect on what they have learnt and what it is that they still need to find out.
B. Animal research
Organise children into working pairs.
- Assist students to identify habitats in the garden in which they are likely to find animals/insects. eg. Under logs, in tree bark, in a small area of grass, in leaf litter and in water (Tadpoles/ducks).
- Using a magnifying glass students can draw the creatures they have found.
Reconvene animal group
Have scissors available for students to cut out their insects.
- Classify insects in terms of habitat and mount these on card under the appropriate headings (tree bark, leaf litter tec.)
- Draw students attention to the variety of habitats that the insects used and the variety of insects found.
- Try to draw from the students the possible reasons why their insect has chosen a particular habitat. (This activity focuses the students attention on biodiversity, habitat, interdependencies and classification).
- A digital camera may also be used to take data back to the classroom for further activities.
Back to For Teachers, Stage 2 Programme