Teaching sequence

Lesson objective

In this lesson students explore factors that affect living things in their habitats.


Explain to students that in order for Atto to understand more about living things on Earth, it is important for him to understand that living things are affected by a number of environmental factors. Ask students to think about the plants and animals they have been observing and to make suggestions about what factors may have affected how these have grown.

List responses and ask students to select those factors most likely to affect living things.

Explain that the main factors that affect living things are temperature, water and human activity. Discuss ideas such as extremes in temperature, sun or wind exposure, overabundance or lack of water and overactivity by humans. Explain that living things in habitats interact with, and are affected by, each other.

Inform students that this activity has them examining the relationship between environmental factors and living things.


  1. Inform students that they will be revisiting various schoolyard areas to identify factors that might be affecting the living things in each area. Explain to students that they are to look for areas that show evidence of strong sun exposure, lack of water or overactivity.
  2. Revisit each schoolyard area and guide students to identify the factors that are affecting the living things in each area.
  3. Have students take photographs to assist in documenting these factors for Atto. Have students nominate the factors that they identified and select the key factors for each area.
  4. Ask students to write a report for Atto to include in his mission report. Distribute the worksheets Atto’s digital communicator – blank (PDF, 72 KB) and Atto’s digital communicator – lined (PDF, 89 KB) for students to document their findings. Remind students to describe any of the relationships between the living things and the environmental factors they have found.


Expand on students’ ideas about factors that affect living things by working through a series of learning objects about interactions in habitats:

L907 The night of the bilby: get home alive. NDLRN

L908 The night of the bilby: safe habitats, NDLRN

L896 The night of the bilby: find food, NDLRN


Lesson Resources


Useful links

L24 Who lives here?  NDLRN, Learning object

L25 Who’s for dinner?  NDLRN, Learning object

L1471 The place that’s right for me  NDLRN, Learning object