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Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

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Living world

Living World

Stage 2 Science and Technology


Blackbutt Reserve 

Program overview

This program focuses upon the classification, life cycles and survival of living things. Using the remnant eucalypt forest of Blackbutt Reserve as a backdrop, students investigate and classify a range of plant species, recognise the interdependence of plants and their insect pollinators, design and produce an experimental system to monitor the growth of plants from seed and examine the critical role plants play as a habitat for a wide variety of animals. Students will be equipped with a field journal, allowing a range of measurements and observations to be collected for further examination and use back in the classroom.

Inquiry and focus questions

  • How can we group living things?
  • What are the similarities and differences between living things?
  • How are environments and living things interdependent?
  • How do we create food and fibre products from plants and animals?

Learning experiences  

Life cycles of plants

Students investigate the relationship between plants and bees, exploring the role pollination plays in the formation of fruit and seeds. Students examine different fruiting structures from a range of plant species, and conduct sketches to document the variety of structures which exist in nature.

Seed experiment

Students are led through the design and production of a ‘bag garden’, which will be taken back to school. This experiment will allow the students to observe and measure the germination and growth of a plant in the classroom, and log their findings within their field journal.

Flower dissection

Working in a small team, students will follow a procedure to dissect a flower into its’ core components. This allows each of the structures to be observed and the role in which the play for germination will be explained.

Plant identification and classification

Students will utilise a key to identify, classify and compare a range of plant species, based upon leaf shape and structure

Dip netting - insect life cycles

Students are provided with dip nets and bug catchers which they use to collect, observe and care for freshwater invertebrates for investigation and identification. The life cycles of these animal is carefully explained by IEEC teachers eg, mudeye into dragonfly, tadpole to frog etc.

Plants as habitat

The role of old growth eucalypts is explored on a bushwalk throughout Blackbutt reserve, examining nesting hollows and the resident bat colonies to demonstrate the role of plant to form habitat for animals.

Key syllabus outcomes

Science K-6

S2 - Living World

A student:

  • collect data and identify patterns to group living things according to their external features, and distinguish them from non-living things (ACSSU044)
  • identify that living things have life cycles (ACSSU072)
  • conduct an investigation into the life cycle of plants and/or animals (ACSSU072)
  • describe how living things depend on each other and the environment to survive, for example: bees and flowers (ACSSU073)