Teaching sequence

Lesson objective

In this lesson students learn about the different types of landscapes from examples in the school grounds. They recognise that natural landscapes existed before managed and constructed landscapes and they describe the cause of changes from one landscape type to another. They identify local evidence of natural events that have changed the landscape in some way.


Briefly review the class science journal from the last lesson. Discuss weather recordings and weather changes over the week and decide if it was a good week weather-wise for someone to visit your local area.

Recall discussion of special features of the students’ school and local area. If possible, display a local travel brochure to highlight how significant features are used to encourage people to visit your area. Display a travel brochure from your city or state or territory. Explain that this lesson is about the different types of places or landscapes in our area and how these can change.


  1. Explain that Australia is a very big country with many different and beautiful places. These can be grouped into three types of landscapes. Take students on a field walk in the school grounds to locate examples of landscapes that demonstrate constructed, managed and, if possible, natural landscapes. Use the following questions to scaffold the inquiry.
    • Why would we describe this as a constructed or managed or natural landscape?
    • What do you think used to be in the place where the buildings or playground or oval or garden have been built? (Prompt for a natural landscape.)
    • What sort of natural landscape do you think it might have been? Can we tell by looking at the other natural areas in or around the school?
    • Do you think it was hilly or mountainous or steeply sloping or was it flat? What sort of plants might have been growing?
      Teacher note: For more information on the three types of landscape see Background information
  2. Take students to an area of the school grounds where the weather has changed the landscape. Identify the landscape type and ask how we know this area has been changed by the weather (evidence or recalling a past event). Lead students to find more examples, stopping to label and discuss where appropriate. Return to class.
  3. Display the PowerPoint presentation Changes to the landscape. Use slides 1–11 to discuss how landscapes can change and to emphasise that before constructed or managed landscapes were made, a natural landscape existed. Identify the cause of the change in each pair of images as natural or human action. Consider how much human change is acceptable.
  4. Use slide 12 to identify special Australian places and landscape types. Explain that there are many areas of Australia that are very beautiful and should always remain natural. Tell the students that apart from being beautiful, many places are extremely important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Explain that you are going to show a video and the students are to watch closely to see why many places are important to these people. Take students to the website Dust echoes: Ancient stories, new voices embedded in slide 13 and select some animated stories to watch.
  5. Discuss the importance of the features of the land and skies as being the ancestors of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. Show slides 14–16 with the artwork depicting the connections with ‘country’. Discuss the features of land and skies the students can see.
    Teacher note: For information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ beliefs about the land and sky see Background information


Display slide 17, ‘Types of landscapes’ to the students.

Explain they will use what they learnt outside in the school grounds to circle the pictures on a worksheet, Types of landscapes

Demonstrate with mouse clicks on the PowerPoint slide to show circling using different colours. Leave this slide displayed and hand out worksheets.

Lesson Resources


Student activities

Digital resources

Changes to the landscape, PowerPoint presentation (PPT, Note: 25.5 MB)

Dust echoes: Ancient stories, new voices, ABC, Animated stories


Types of landscapes 1 (PDF, 916 KB)

Useful links

Cultures, Australian Museum Cultural Collection. Images and information 

R7708 5 Seasons, 2004: Everything has a cycle, NDLRN. Video (1:39 min)