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Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 4237 6100

The Earth's environment

The Earth’s Environment

Stage 2 Geography

The Earth's environment


Mt Keira Scout Camp

Special notes

Dates for bookings are limited by scout camp availability.


Program overview

This program capitalises upon the magnificent stand of temperate rainforest growing across the Illawarra Escarpment and Mt Keira. Students explore and investigate the climate, natural vegetation and native animals  which shape the ecosystem and provide range of natural resources. The program aims to examine the features and characteristics of the rainforest, whilst investigating the many sustainable resources the rainforest provided for Aboriginal People.

Inquiry and focus questions

  • How does the environment support the lives of people and living things?
  • How do different views about the environment influence approaches to sustainability?
  • How can people use places and environments more sustainably?

Learning experiences 

Plants and animals of the rainforest

Plant survey - students work in pairs to undertake a study of a specific plant to record its name and physical features such as height, diameter, leaf shape, leaf colour, bark shape and colour, area of a leaf and uses of the plant by people. Discuss the use of some of the plants eg Red Cedar, Cabbage Palm, Lilly Pilly, Crab Apple etc

Leaf litter survey - students work in small groups to undertake a leaf litter survey. Equipment used includes sieves, ID cards, paint brushes and specimen bottles for safe handling of invertebrates. Discuss feeding relationships such as food chains and food webs and their importance within ecosystem functioning.

Chapel bushwalk and nature mapping

Students are led to the rainforest chapel, examining the importance of natural vegetation to Aboriginal Peoples, animals and the functioning of the environment. Students are shown the process of constructing a ‘nature map’ of the chapel area from natural materials and the use of a variety of tokens to conduct a treasure hunt game based upon the detail shown in their map.

Measurement of physical factors

Using a range of equipment including thermometers, soil probes, anemometers and light meters, students examine the physical conditions of two different ecosystems, rainforest and grassland. Their data is collated and collected for further graphing and mathematical exercises in class to assist in comparing the climatic data of Australia with another country in Asia.

Key syllabus outcomes

Geography K-6

S2 - The Earth’s Environment

A student:

  • Examines features and characteristics of places and environments GE2-1
  • Describes the ways people, places and environments interact GE2-2
  • Examines differing perceptions about the management of places and environments GE2-3
  • Acquires and communicates geographical information using geographic tools for inquiry GE2-4