In this lesson students explore ways to improve the biodiversity of the biological habitats in the school grounds.
Inform students that during this lesson they will be showing Atto how to improve the biodiversity of a habitat.
Review the terms ‘biodiversity’ and ‘habitat’. Explain to students that in order to improve biodiversity, it is necessary to understand the current conditions of the area you would like to improve. Discuss how there are relationships between the plants in an environment and the animals that live in that environment.
Revisit the living thing audit carried out in Lesson 2.
Conduct a simple compare and contrast activity (such as a Venn diagram or table) to identify similarities and differences between the two areas. Identify and choose the area that requires intervention to improve its biodiversity.
- Ask students to make suggestions about ways they could improve the biodiversity of the chosen area. List responses and nominate actions before prioritising them.
- Invite a guest speaker such as the school’s officer or gardener to offer suggestions about plant species that may provide for improved biodiversity.
- Distribute the worksheet Atto’s digital communicator – lined (PDF, 89 KB) for the students to write down the actions that will be taken to improve biodiversity of the chosen area.
- Inform students that they are going to set up a ‘nurse log’ in an area in the school grounds that will provide shelter and a food source for a number of small creatures and plants such as mosses and lichens. Visit the chosen area and place the nurse log in the best situation. Photograph the area before and after the placement of the nurse log.
Teacher note: This activity will take forward planning preparation well before the lesson. For details on setting up a nurse log see Background information (PDF, 1.2MB). Organise for future photographs to be taken to observe the progression of the nurse log.
- Have students make real-life connections to the work they have been doing by having them make recommendations to the school’s officer and principal about what they could do in the school grounds. Explain to students that some of the actions may require permission to be carried out and assistance from other staff to be completed and that is why it is important to inform all the involved parties of the proposal.
- Inform students they will write a letter to the principal detailing their work over the unit and explaining the strategies chosen to improve the biodiversity in the chosen schoolyard area.
Inform students that Atto is now ready to return to his home planet with the reports they have completed for him. Collate and compile all of the students’ work over the unit. Include any digital products of the plants and animals studied. Prepare a display or presentation for other students and staff to inform them of the work the class has been doing.
Teacher note: Place information in an area where other students and staff can access for future reference, such as a library display or on a shared drive on the computer.