Year 5 Science Lesson. Part 1. Field trip to survey the native and the non-native organisms at the school.

Inquiry question: What are the native and non-native flora and fauna within the school grounds?

Before the field trip.

  • Determine a number of areas or locations within the school for a visual survey of animal and plant life.
  • Pose the inquiry question, What are the native and non-native flora (plants) and fauna (animals) within the school grounds?
  • Let students know that they will work like scientist and in teams to conduct a survey of parts of the school grounds to identify native and non-native plants. Discuss how the results of the survey will be recorded and shared. For example, with photos and or videos showing the native and non-native plants are presented to an audience of other year levels.

Access the Bush Blitz website, http://bushblitz.org.au/gallery.php. View the photos with the gallery section of scientists conducting surveys in the field.

  • Discuss what is meant by native and non-native (introduced) species. Create a shared definition and display in the room.
  • Allocate students into small teams for their plant or animal survey.
  • Within their field trip team students discuss and list examples of native and non-native species they know of.
  • Before going outside to survey designated areas ask student how they will remain safe. Share with students the risk assessment or safety issues and ways to keep safe.
  • Discuss photographing or videoing observed plants and animals and where electronic versions will be stored on return from the field trip.
  • Discuss what is required in the photos and or videos, eg. all of the plant and specific features, for example, flowers. If videoing students include a commentary, this could include a description of the location, a description of the plant and animal and its common name.
  • A team member will also take paper and a pencil for recording purposes.
  • Ensure students are safely ready for the field trip and have a device to take photographs or video plus pencil and paper.

 During the field trip.

  • Students in teams conduct a field trip recording native and non-native plants or animals.

 After the field trip.

  • Students save electronic versions of photographs (eg. in a PowerPoint photo album) and videoing.
  • Teams discuss how they will present their results and allocate jobs to complete the presentation.
  • Allocate time for students to work on native and non-native plants or animals presentation.
  • Students could return to their survey site to also take specimens of leaves and flowers which can be pressed and mounted.