34 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Learning and teaching in
science and technology
When determining learning experiences there self-esteem but will also promote an
is a need to consider the principles of learning, appreciation of other cultures and their
the nature of the learner, and learning achievements.
experiences as they apply to this key learning
Effective learning involves . . .
Learning principles interacting
The learning principles that underpin this Students learn by interacting with the social
syllabus are common to other K-6 Key and physical environment. The family, the
Learning Areas Syllabuses. These common community, other teachers and the students
learning principles are listed below with their themselves should be regarded as resources in
implications for learning in this Science and science and technology. Students can be
Technology Key Learning Area. provided with opportunities to interact in a
variety of ways with people and the
environment. Opportunities for interaction
Students learn when they are can occur when schools include guest speakers,
recognised and valued as . . . parent helpers, visitors or excursions in their
programs. Teachers should also provide
opportunities for students to interact with
individuals learning materials and equipment.
Students learn when their individuality is
recognised and valued. Individuals learn in connecting
different ways and at different rates according Students learn by connecting current learning
to their maturity, prior understanding and experiences to their existing understandings
membership of particular groups. Teachers and prior experiences. This is true in the area
can cater for the favoured learning styles of all of Science and Technology where they relate
students by employing a wide range of teaching scientific and technological concepts to their
and learning strategies. In addition teachers own experiences and needs. When students
may take into account the earlier experiences describe, explain or report what they are doing
of students engaging in this learning area. and thinking, they clarify and develop their
Earlier experiences of many students may not own thoughts and communicate these to the
have included using the language, tools and teacher and their peers.
equipment associated with science and
technology. When students are exposed to concepts that
are too difficult for their level of cognitive
social beings development they may make connections that
Students learn when their membership of are incorrect. Teaching which provides
various social groups is recognised and students with a wide range of developmentally
valued. These groups may be based on gender, appropriate learning experiences will lead
ethnicity and cultural background. them to refine their scientific and technological
Teachers can encourage students to be aware
of the diverse range of contributions made to investigating
science and technology by members of all Students learn by investigating ideas,
socio-cultural groups. Learning in this context and issues. When investigating, students
will not only increase individual students’ interpret their observations in the
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 35
light of their experience and their current Learning is enhanced by
capacities. They clarify the tasks to be
learning activities which are…
undertaken, organise and use the data, and
gather information from a range of sources purposeful
in order to find solutions. Students can be
Learning is enhanced when students
encouraged to think independently and be
understand the purpose of learning activities.
provided with opportunities to negotiate their
Designing and making and investigating
learning with the teacher and other students.
need to address the issues and problems of
communicating the wider world if students are to experience
Students learn by using language and other
forms of communication to construct and appropriate
explore meanings. They need to use a variety
Learning is enhanced when learning activities
of writing forms and methods of accessing
are appropriate to students’ personal, social
information. Students need also to use specific
and cultural qualities and needs. Learning
scientific and technological terminology and
experiences should be appropriate to each
understand its meaning. Teachers should build
student’s level of development and previous
on students’ existing competence in the
experiences and understanding. Students may
technical language of science and technology.
be provided with opportunities to relate their
It may be necessary, in some cases, to use a
scientific and technological learning
student’s first language as this will support
experiences to their personal interests.
ongoing conceptual development. Science and
technology education provides a rich source of The planning stage is particularly important.
both conceptual and language development Learning activities may require adaptation in
for students. It is essential that science and different classrooms as some areas of inquiry
technology lessons be used to further develop may be regarded as inappropriate to students’
students’ language acquisition. beliefs or value systems.
Activities should include resources from a
designing and making range of cultures. They also need to be gender
Students learn by designing and making in inclusive and, as far as possible, cater for the
a variety of ways. Designing is a core process wide range of student ability.
of science and technology education through
which students try to identify needs and challenging
propose practical means by which these needs Learning is enhanced when students’ current
can be addressed. perceptions are challenged by learning
activities that involve meaningful problems.
doing Learning activities should be designed to
Students learn by active participation and provide students with personal challenges
first hand experiences. Learning in science and enjoyable experiences. In order for
and technology is promoted when students are students to maintain high self-esteem the
actively engaged in investigating and designing challenges presented by scientific and
and making. technological activities need to be achievable
goals. Therefore, students must be encouraged
reflecting to strive for personal achievement rather than
Students learn by reflecting upon what they compete with their peers.
have been learning and how they have been
learning. Through reflection students are able cooperative
to modify their future attempts at Learning is enhanced when learning activities
investigating, designing and making and using require cooperation and collaboration as well
technology. Reflection should occur as individual endeavour. Students can
throughout the learning processes. By cooperate in investigative and designing and
reflecting, students identify the processes they making activities. This allows students to
have used and apply this knowledge to new
36 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
develop confidence and competence in using structured
subject-specific language and in the Learning is enhanced when the learning
manipulation of tools and materials. environment is designed to promote the
processes of investigating, designing and
rewarding making and to facilitate students’ use of
Learning is enhanced when students achieve appropriate technology. In this Key Learning
success in investigating activities, designing Area students will need many opportunities
and making activities and their choice and use to learn through interaction with materials
of technologies. Students learn most effectively and equipment as well as with their teacher
when the positive features of their work are and peers.
recognised or rewarded. Students who do not
value themselves or their work because of interesting
prior failure may need non-competitive Learning is enhanced by interesting and
activities to help restore their self-esteem. attractive learning environments. Stimulating
Many students require a high level of environments promote students’ curiosity and
reassurance in their learning environment if desire to understand the world around them.
they are to continue to develop as successful Teachers can create a learning environment
learners. which fosters talents and extends the interests
and skills of all students.
Learning is enhanced by
learning environments which The nature of the learner
What do primary students
secure have in common as learners of
Learning is enhanced when the learning science and technology?
environment facilitates students’ initiatives
and learning attempts. A secure environment Students learning in the area of science and
will allow students to express their opinions technology share common characteristics.
and not feel embarrassed about making These include:
mistakes. Activities should be encouraged
• curiosity and the desire to understand and
which allow students to take risks and explore
interact with the world around them
ideas, materials and equipment.
• some understanding of the world around
caring them influenced by their socio-cultural
Learning is enhanced by caring learning backgrounds and their cognitive
environments in which students feel valued by development
both their teachers and peers. A caring • some experience in investigating, designing
environment takes into account the emotional and making and using technology
and physical needs of students. Teachers need
to create a positive classroom environment • some views about how living and non-
where all students understand and accept the living things behave or operate.
value of sharing equipment and materials. It is most important for teachers to be aware
of this last characteristic because sometimes,
supportive when children’s views of the world interact
Learning is enhanced when the learning with teachers’ scientific explanations, they
environment supports the nature of the can develop non-scientific interpretations of
learning activities. A learning environment natural and constructed phenomena. These
should provide suitable working areas for interpretations have been called children’s
students and a variety of materials and science. Many students will resist the
equipment with which they can interact. explanations of adult science in favour of
child explanations. Teaching which provides
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 37
students with many practical demonstrations Meeting the learning needs of
and experiences can help teachers to lead
diverse student groups
students towards more conventional scientific
and technological understandings. In order to meet the needs and experiences of
all students as individuals and members of
particular social groups, teachers may:
The diversity of the learner
group • recognise that students learn in different
ways and at different rates
As well as their common characteristics • ensure that their teaching content,
students have a number of characteristics materials and methods are diverse and
which make them different. Each student’s relevant, eg that they draw upon
own personal life experiences make him or technologies from a range of cultures,
her unique. As well each student will belong provide a variety of individual and
to particular social groupings. These groups cooperative learning situations and are
are based on: appropriate to the level of development of
• ethnicity the student
• language • make and choose resources for classroom
(a) avoid sexist, racist or stereotyped
• socio-economic background
• culture, including religious practices and
(b) provide for a range of language
• geographic isolation
(c) consider students with special talents,
• learning difficulties visual or hearing impairments,
• special talents physical disabilities and learning
• specific disabilities, eg intellectual,
emotional, physical and behavioural. • ensure that their teaching/learning
strategies provide equality for learners and
All students will belong to more than one of are appropriate to their requirements as
these groups, which further contribute to their individuals and group members. Students
individuality. All students will bring to the with learning difficulties, for example,
learning situation a set of understandings, may need more guidance and support when
skills, values and attitudes about science and attempting activities, girls may need more
technology which arise out of their: time and exposure to unfamiliar tools and
• physical equipment
• sensory • develop assessment materials and
procedures which recognise the range of
• emotional needs, interests and experiences of students
• social and are appropriate to each student’s level
• utilise wherever possible the expertise of
such people as specialist teachers, classroom
level of development. therapists, parents and community
It is important that teachers also recognise the members who can support classroom
social and cultural experiences which students activities and school programs in this
bring to the classroom. learning area.
38 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Girls and boys illustrate particular concepts by providing
examples which are gender inclusive
The learner group • encourage students to identify specific
ways in which all adults use science and
Girls and boys do not make up two technology, both at work and in the home
homogenous groups, each with equal • take into account the disparity that exists
experiences, outlooks, models and life chances. between the starting points of students
In general the early childhood experiences of engaging in this learning area. Opportunities
many girls and some boys have not included for ‘tinkering’, catching-up experiences and
using the language, tools and equipment activities which develop spatial
associated with this learning area. relationships, particularly for girls, should
Given that social factors external to the
school environment impact on the gender • employ a wide range of teaching strategies
expectations and aspirations students have to cater for the favoured learning styles of
for themselves and each other, teachers must all students. These should include small
build upon all students’ needs, interests and group, collaborative and collective learning
experiences. They need to ensure a student experiences and hands-on problem-solving
is not disadvantaged in his/her science and activities
technology learning as a result of decisions • ensure that group work skills are taught and
made on the basis of gender. provide opportunities for boys and girls
to experience a variety of roles, eg recorder,
Meeting the needs of girls and questioner, organiser, time-keeper. Roles
should not be gender determined and should
boys in science and be rotated so that all students have
technology opportunities to gain these skills
Girls in general have not achieved equally in • generally provide a gender balance when
the areas of science and technology with boys. establishing groups, though there may be
Such a situation has reduced the life choices occasions where single sex groupings will
available to many girls and has led to the loss prove beneficial. In the area of computer
of a valuable resource at a time when scientific access frequent single sex groupings will
and technological expertise is crucial. prove valuable
To ensure the needs and interests of both girls • ensure all students’ reading and writing
and boys are met, teachers need to consider capacities are developed across a range of
carefully the teaching practices they employ, text forms. Their experiences must include
the learning environments they create and the familiarity with both factual and expressive
kinds of resources they use. writing
• employ a variety of assessment procedures
Teaching practices to ensure all students have the opportunity
to demonstrate their skills and
Teachers may: understandings, eg oral, written, graphic
• demonstrate that investigating, designing
and making and using technology are
important activities for both girls and boys Learning environment
• ensure that the needs, interests and
experiences of all students are catered for
when choosing curriculum content, by • consider the physical organisation of the
using gender inclusive material wherever classroom to ensure all students have equal
possible, eg skates, radios, kites access to and practical experience of all
types of equipment and resources, eg
• provide a clear purpose and a social context
computers, audio-visual equipment and
for all science and technology learning and
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 39
materials used for designing, making and This diversity is due to variations in geographic
investigating location, language and customs, socio-
• ensure that the physical space of the economic conditions and historical experience.
classroom is not consistently over-utilised
by either boys or girls Aboriginal identity and self-
• ensure that all students are given esteem
responsibility for organising, setting up and
clearing away the materials and equipment Because of the cultural diversity of Aboriginal
necessary for investigating, and designing Australia, no indigenous word for people can
and making, activities. apply to the whole of Australia. Aboriginal
people in New South Wales use terms such as
Koori, Guri and Murri to express pride in their
Learning resources cultural identity. Local Aboriginal groups
should be consulted to determine acceptable
Teachers may: local usage.
• where possible select materials, including Self-esteem is essential to successful learning
computer software and videos, which are and the pride in identity of Aboriginal students
free from gender bias therefore needs to be recognised, maintained
• provide a balance of materials catering to and encouraged. Devaluing any aspect of
the needs and interests of both girls and Aboriginal culture will put the Aboriginal
boys student in the untenable position of being
forced to choose between home and school
• utilise the human resources of the
community by inviting people involved in
scientific and technological pursuits into
the classroom to share their knowledge and Recognising Aboriginal
experiences and to act as role models. Where
possible teachers should arrange visits to
students’ cultural attributes
see workers in their place of work. Women and needs
working in these areas should be highlighted
Teaching Aboriginal students successfully
so that all students realise that science and
involves a high degree of cross-cultural
technology careers are open to both girls
understanding. Some specific issues for
teachers to consider are:
• Aboriginal people’s experience of schools
Aboriginal students and schooling in NSW have often been
negative and in conflict with the values and
The learner group attitudes of their culture
• the Aboriginal family is usually extended
For Aboriginal people, being Aboriginal is and community based. Consequently,
not so much having dark skin or obviously most Aboriginal children come to school
‘Aboriginal’ features, but having an affinity with different views on sharing, personal
with the land and with each other. In the property, individualism, competition and
context of this syllabus, references to group relationships
Aboriginal people will include Torres Strait
Islanders. • for complex socio-cultural reasons
Aboriginal children have a high incidence
An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a of hearing impairment caused by middle
person who identifies as such and is accepted ear infections, the effects of which may be
as such by the community with which he or intermittent. Teachers should always be
she is associated. Teachers need to be aware aware of this possibility
of the diversity of Aboriginal communities in
• one key home experience is that many
New South Wales.
Aboriginal students come to school
speaking Aboriginal English. Where
40 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
students use Aboriginal English teachers Local, Regional and State levels of the
must respect and encourage the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group
maintenance of this home language if provide support for Aboriginal education.
Aboriginal students are to succeed in their Teachers might also consult with other
education. As not all parents of Aboriginal specialist service providers such as consultants
students will want their children to use and community liaison personnel who will
Aboriginal English, it is essential that not only be able to provide valuable guidance
consultation on this issue takes place in contacting caregivers but will facilitate
• non-verbal communication, body language communication between the school and its
in particular, is extremely important and Aboriginal communities enabling teachers to:
widely used in Aboriginal communities. • learn from consultants, family and
Teachers should refer to the ‘Aboriginal community members working with
English’ section of the English K-6 Syllabus students about the particular skills,
• the incorporation of Aboriginal perspectives interests and talents of students and plan
in all teaching programs is essential to learning experiences to build on these
promote the self-esteem and prevent the strengths to promote student self-esteem
possible alienation of Aboriginal students, • understand the nature and the range of
and to educate all students about the culture interpersonal and interfamily relationships
and heritage of Aboriginal Australia of the Aboriginal school communities
• efforts should be made to establish both • establish in the classroom and the broader
in the classroom and in the broader school school community a socio-cultural
community a socio-cultural environment environment which promotes Aboriginality
which promotes Aboriginality and an appreciation of Aboriginal culture
• due to the cultural and socio-economic and heritage. This can involve inviting
diversity of Aboriginal communities, it Aboriginal people from a variety of
should not be assumed that any one situations for motivational and awareness
teaching/learning style or method will raising talks to both staff and students
always be successful with all Aboriginal about Aboriginal science and technology
students including local environmental issues
• that an intrinsic part of Aboriginal culture • invite and promote the participation of
are spirit communications and the power Aboriginal members of the community in
of sacred places. It is important that teachers the classroom to assist Aboriginal students
be aware of and respect this vital cultural to use their home language, to talk through
difference. their understandings of the new words
and ideas encountered in their science and
School / community consultation • recognise bias and generalisations in
Few non-Aboriginal teachers will have had the teaching resources and the mass media.
training or experience to develop much
understanding of Aboriginal communities. It Aboriginal science and technology
is therefore vital for all teachers to be aware of
the importance of appropriate, effective and Science and technology in Aboriginal culture
ongoing consultation, particularly at the local are based on detailed and intimate knowledge
level. and experience of the Australian environment.
A range of personnel, support structures and In the past such knowledge and experience
resources is available to assist teachers in were largely unknown to Europeans, and as
both improving the educational outcomes of a result the impact of European settlement
Aboriginal students and educating all other on the Australian environment has been
Australian students about Aboriginal heritage significant and in many ways destructive. In
and culture. recent years, however, Aboriginal knowledge
and experience have begun to be understood
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 41
and valued. Environmental attitudes of many Teaching practices
other Australians now have more in common
with Aboriginal people’s respect for the land. • When incorporating Aboriginal perspectives
It is the responsibility of all educators to in units of work teachers should ensure that
emphasise and encourage this process. such perspectives are accurate and do not
stereotype Aboriginal people. The best
materials will be those which have a local
The learning environment perspective.
Teachers need to consider the following • Aboriginal students need to gain
strategies to create a supportive yet challenging competence in using standard English to
science and technology learning environment succeed in education. Teachers should build
for Aboriginal students. on students’ competence in Aboriginal
English to progress towards competence in
• Provide an active learning environment
Standard English, and in the technical
which fosters the curiosity of Aboriginal
language of science and technology. For
students and encourages early success
further guidance on Aboriginal English,
through short activities.
teachers should refer to the relevant section
• Support the Aboriginal student’s need to of the English K-6 Syllabus —Nature of the
achieve whilst respecting Aboriginal non- Learner.
competitive attitudes towards achieve-
• Many Aboriginal people regard direct
questioning as personally intrusive and
• Plan to develop Aboriginal students’ threatening. Aboriginal students may not
understanding of classroom routine and ask direct questions of the teacher, and
the language of science and technology. may need time to formulate responses to
• Assist Aboriginal students to understand questions.
the nature and requirements of the task by • Available evidence strongly indicates that
teacher/peer demonstration and provide traditional Aboriginal education employed
students with opportunities to gain skills imitation and demonstration as methods
in small group work. of teaching skills. However, at the same
• Plan cooperative peer group work activities time Aboriginal people also developed
to assist Aboriginal students to investigate, problem-solving skills to adapt materials
design and make and use technology. in their environment to meet their needs.
These examples make it clear that no one
• Create a positive classroom environment teaching style or method will be infallible
where all students understand and accept for use with Aboriginal learners.
the value of sharing equipment and tools.
• Group work, the use of concrete examples
• Ensure that Aboriginal students participate and collaborative learning, as well as
in a variety of group settings. Group settings traditional methods, should form part of
based on students’ friends, relatives, and teachers’ classroom practice. Other valuable
shared interests are more likely to promote teaching/learning strategies are those which
participation in their own learning than provide alternatives to the spoken/written
streamed ability group settings. word. Students should be provided with the
• Encourage Aboriginal students to use opportunity to present their ideas visually
computers as a tool for learning to create and through dramatic expression.
and explore ideas. The computer allows These approaches provide for the preferred
students to take risks in making changes to learning styles of most Aboriginal students.
texts and graphics without feeling anxious They also represent sound teaching practice
about making mistakes. and consequently will be beneficial for all
• Assessment procedures should ensure all
students have the opportunity to
demonstrate their skills and under-
42 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
standings, eg oral, written, graphic Whatever the level of language development
demonstration. Such assessment can be of a student they still have to learn science and
done individually or in groups. technology. It is therefore essential that science
and technology lessons be used to further
• In teaching Aboriginal students it must be
develop students’ language acquisition.
remembered that devaluing any aspect of
Aboriginal culture may alienate not only
Aboriginal students but also their Relevance of cultural and
language background to
teaching and learning science
Students of diverse cultural/ and technology
Some specific issues which impact on the
science and technology learning of students
Learner group from diverse cultural and language
Students with home language backgrounds backgrounds are that:
other than English, or those from different • their cultural backgrounds may
cultural backgrounds, bring to school a traditionally exclude them from certain
diversity of attitude and understandings which activities, especially camps and excursions.
impact on their learning of science and The school should communicate with
technology. parents to explain the educational value of
Such students may be: such activities
• learners of English as a second language • some areas of inquiry may be regarded as
(ESL) inappropriate, according to students’
beliefs or value systems, whatever their
• learners from non-English speaking background. Teachers need to identify
background (NESB) and deal with these matters sensitively and
• learners who speak English as a first or with discretion. This applies to students of
dominant language but come from a home English and non-English speaking
culture originally overseas, eg English backgrounds alike.
speaking Indian student from Fiji.
These three broad groups include students Recognising and meeting the
needs of individual students
• are recent arrivals in Australia who are not
familiar with the English language from diverse cultural/language
• are in the early stages of learning English
• can use English to participate in most Important factors which contribute to the
classroom activities special needs of students from culturally
• can use English in ways comparable to diverse backgrounds are:
native speakers of English but require • differences in the use of home and school
additional support to increase their language
repertoire of competencies in new and
• anxiety caused by separation from
caregivers and the community
• can use English competently but whose
• students’ expectations of school derived
socio-cultural experience varies from that
from perceptions of their previous education
of the school.
or that of their parents
Students belonging to these groups have very
different learning needs. Even within each • teachers’ expectations of students to conform
group teachers will observe a great range of to unfamiliar school language and routine.
interest, talent and skill amongst students in
using language, and in their capacity to design,
make and investigate.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 43
To meet the learning requirements of be permitted to express their understandings
students from culturally diverse backgrounds in non-verbal forms, and to exercise the
teachers should give particular consideration right to be silent
to consultation with parents and the local
• engage a variety of collaborative group
community, their teaching practice, the work opportunities which will allow them
learning environments they create and the to develop confidence and competence in
learning resources they use.
using subject-specific language and in
the manipulation of tools and materials
School / community consultation • express their opinions and not feel
embarrassed about making mistakes. There
An ongoing consultative process between the
may be a desire for some students to blend
school and its local communities is essential if
in with the mainstream culture
parents are to understand and participate in
their children’s education. • work within assessment procedures which
recognise students may have acquired
Schools should utilise the services of
science and technology concepts but not
community interpreters and translators to
the English language skills to express their
inform parents of their children’s science and understandings
technology experiences. Translating notes and
newsletters into the relevant community • have access to publishing software in their
languages and providing interpreters at home languages which will enable them
interviews, parent-teacher evenings, to record their science and technology
demonstrations etc will go some way towards understandings at their appropriate
averting potential conflict resulting from cognitive level.
different cultural expectations.
The extent of support students will need to • provide a supportive and less stressful
develop proficiency in science and technology environment for newly arrived students by
will be different for individual students and using multilingual signs and posters in the
will vary over time. classroom
Teachers should provide opportunities for • establish groupings within the classroom
students to: which support yet challenge students, eg
• recognise and exploit the fact that science a balance of fluent/not so fluent students,
and technology education provides a rich pairing students of similar/dissimilar
source of both conceptual and English backgrounds
language development for students from • establish predictable routines which are
diverse first language backgrounds clearly understood.
• engage in interactive, ‘hands-on’, problem
solving activities. Such experiences will
allow students to develop their
investigating, designing and making skills Teachers may:
• use visual and graphic materials to support
• develop science and technology the development of language and science
understandings through a range of language and technology concepts, eg concrete
activities materials which students can use and
• use their first language which will support manipulate, construction ‘toys’,
their ongoing conceptual development photographs, pictures, computer software,
diagrams and graphs to assist students to
• gain gradual confidence in using a new
focus on the topic under discussion
language. For a limited time students should
44 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• choose material resources from a range of intellectual, physical, sensory and emotional
cultures and where possible select resources disabilities in a class. Such students may have:
from students’ home cultures
• a language disability
• invite and encourage the participation of
• a mild or moderate intellectual disability
the local community members in classroom
activities so their knowledge and skills can • hearing impairment
be shared by all students. Students from • visual impairment
non-English speaking backgrounds will gain
a sense of worth and acceptance from such • a behaviour disorder
input • significant physical or mobility difficulties.
• choose materials which are not culturally It is important to treat each child as an
biased and which meet the needs of individual; every child with special needs is
students’ cognitive development as well as different. Classroom teachers need to be
their language acquisition flexible in developing appropriate strategies
• wherever possible avail themselves of the for meaningful participation of students with
services and expertise of ESL teachers, special needs in all aspects of the educational
ethnic aides, and consultants program. Teachers should consult with
parents, the community, specialist service
• use software, including word processors, in providers — for example counsellors and
languages other than English. speech pathologists — to assess and plan to
meet the needs of students with disabilities
and learning difficulties and to establish an
Students with disabilities effective coordinated support for both the
and learning difficulties student and teacher.
Every teacher has taught students with special
The learner group needs although they may not have been
diagnosed as such. Teachers do, however,
In most classes there are students who at some play an early role in the diagnosis of special
time experience learning difficulties which needs. Once needs have become evident,
may relate to the ways in which students learn teachers have to plan, write and implement
or be a result of social and cultural factors. individualised programs, as well as work
These learning difficulties usually vary in with various support staff. All teachers become
cause, type, intensity and duration. ‘special educators’ as they encounter students
Students may have learning difficulties for a with special needs and provide learning
number of reasons. They can find learning experiences to meet those needs.
difficult and develop at a rate that is slower
than that of their peers. There are students
whose inappropriate behaviour presents a
Students with special needs
barrier to learning whilst others may come and science and technology
from backgrounds where, for a variety of
reasons, education is not or cannot be given a Science and technology are essential for
high priority. Some students can have difficulty understanding our existence, as well as
providing individuals with enjoyment.
in processing certain types of information,
such as understanding, speaking, writing, Students with special needs may require more
reading, language, or any combination of these. instructional and practice time, and more varied
experiences to master skills or concepts,
Students with learning difficulties are the but should be allowed to discover and create
responsibility of the classroom teacher. This order out of their daily experiences.
teacher often works with a support teacher
who is specially trained to assist such students. It should be stressed that a student with special
needs can offer great advantages in lesson
Learning difficulties can arise at any time and
their identification and remediation should planning and enrichment in the area of science
be ongoing. There may be students with and technology. Fellow students may be
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 45
readily motivated to empathise, for example, non-competitive, positive peer models.
with a learning disability and its presumed • Teachers should adopt a flexible approach.
effects on the task design or parameters. The The units of work allow teachers to provide
judicious use of simulation of various activities which explore content at say,
disabilities can expand the thinking of non- Stage 3, whilst developing knowledge,
disabled students, and their general awareness skills, values and attitudes at a lower level.
can take on new dimensions. There will be Age appropriate material is important for
opportunities in some units/tasks to use specific the student’s development and the
strategies in order to explore environments of maintaining of interest.
students with special needs. Some activities in
the unit Way Out Communication Stage 3 may • Students with learning disabilities/
relate directly to a student in the class, school or difficulties need more opportunities to
community. explore materials in different contexts in
order to make ‘discoveries’. It is appropriate
for teachers or other students to model the
General considerations for discovery process.
students with special needs • Students with learning disabilities/
difficulties will be better able to participate
• The modifications and limitations which in group activities where the outcomes/
various disabilities might impose on a expectations are appropriate to their
student’s access to regular learning abilities, eg students with oral language
experiences need to be constantly kept in difficulties may present a written report or
mind by the teacher. Since disabilities differ drawing in response to a task. Students
in nature, complexity and degree for each with written language difficulties may
student, it is the individual teacher who present an oral report.
must decide whether specific tasks should
be expanded, modified or even omitted, • Students with learning difficulties may
not be able to draw on previous experiences
depending on the particular students being
cared for. in order to participate meaningfully in the
task, as they may not have well developed
• The planning stage is particularly recall skills, or only limited experiences in
important. Students with special needs may the area of science and technology.
be capable of carrying out some aspects of
a task, or the whole task at a reduced level • Students with limited concentration span
need tasks which can be completed within
or rate. Teachers need to be aware of this,
a short time frame. The whole task may
and should provide activities which are
broken down into components. need to be broken down into a series of
more manageable tasks. The short term
• Teachers need to promote areas of memory recall evident in students with
excellence. Some students with specific language or learning disabilities has
physical/learning difficulties may have implications for long term projects.
advanced skills in other areas. A student
• Students with special needs can be
with an intellectual disability may be able
to design and make at a complex level, overlooked in a larger group. Smaller group
work is particularly appropriate for those
whilst a physically disabled student might
be very skilful in investigating a task by with language disabilities and mild
intellectual disability as they need
‘concrete’ hands-on experiences in order
• Students with special needs require a high to consolidate experiences. In larger groups
level of security and reassurance in their this can be overlooked.
learning environment. Intervention and
support may be necessary when the class is • Students need to reflect upon the processes
involved in a task. In such situations the in which they have engaged and should be
worth of each student’s contribution should given opportunities to apply these processes
be promoted. Students with learning to new situations in order that the processes
difficulties may not value themselves or may be generalised.
their work because of prior failure and need
46 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Specific considerations for both challenging and appropriate to the level
students with special needs of development. They may need to be broken
down into smaller steps than would be needed
for students without learning difficulties.
Students with language disabilities
For students who have slower language
processing skills, additional response time Talented students
is often needed. The language of science
and technology has to be given special Talented students are an extremely diverse
consideration. Instructions should be group of learners. Their exceptional abilities,
rephrased with different vocabulary, a which result in outstanding performance in
vocabulary introduced in a systematic way. one or more learning areas, may become
Demonstrations should be used to aid the evident at any time. Such students’ conceptual
understanding of instructions. understanding and skills may be more
advanced than those of their peers, and they
Students with hearing disabilities frequently have learning styles and levels of
Special modifications to class/group performance different from those exhibited by
arrangements and teaching practices are often other students.
extremely important, to ensure that a student Talented students should therefore be
with a significant hearing disability has the considered according to their individual levels
best conditions for understanding and of talent, motivation, independence and
contributing to the lesson activity. There are maturity.
specific ways to ensure maximum use of
Talents may be classified in many different
residual hearing, to facilitate supportive lip-
ways, such as:
reading, to enable genuine group interaction,
and to lessen the problem of limited vocabulary • creative
and language disability that are so often the
barriers to learning.
Students with physical disabilities • social.
There is a range of devices and special
technologies to help students with physical
disabilities experience normal environments Identification of talented
and standard lesson activities. The degree to students
which such students can have access to the
regular curriculum depends upon the nature Talented students may be identified by:
and degree of their handicap, and upon the • a variety of personnel both professional and
success or otherwise of the assistance available. non-professional from inside and outside
Students with visual disabilities
• data collected from a number of sources,
There are also devices to help students with
subjective and objective, using
low vision. Substantial modifications to the
performances and products.
teaching program may be necessary to
accommodate their specific abilities and To say that a child is talented provides little
limitations. information about the nature and extent of
the student’s specific abilities. Talented
Students with learning difficulties students are by definition exceptional. They
As students are often not at a developmental are endowed with capabilities which allow
stage which allows them to generalise, infer, them to perform at higher levels than their
deduce and find cause and effect, a support peers. They may:
teacher may be able to assist the class teacher • exhibit keen powers of observation
in providing continued and varied
reinforcement to develop these abilities. Tasks • display advanced reading ability
presented in science and technology should be • possess a large store of information
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 47
• demonstrate speed and ability in basic skills to the class task or develop their own tasks.
Many units accommodate the open ended
• derive great pleasure from intellectual
problem solving model which is particularly
appropriate for those talented in the science
• demonstrate ability to: and technology area.
– formulate abstractions
– conceptualise overall patterns and Teaching practices
– synthesise concepts, arguments, points Teachers may:
• establish standards of excellence
– generalise about events, people and
objects • encourage learning alternatives and self–
• appear sceptical, critical, evaluative paced lessons
• display organisational skills which allow • expect students to use time productively
them to attack complicated material by and expect that their work and learning
separating it into parts will be of value
• exhibit interests that are wide and intensely • become conversant with some strategies
focused which will build on a student’s knowledge
and provide challenge for the range of
• have rapid insight into cause and effect
abilities in the classroom, eg:
– Bloom’s Taxonomy
• pick up non-verbal cues and see inferences
that others miss. – Renzulli’s Enrichment Triad Model
– Divergent Thinking Technique
When identifying talented – Parne’s Creative Problem Solving Model.
students remember …
• It is normal for students with a talent in a The learning environment
particular area to make occasional errors or
The learning environment should:
to experience difficulties in another area.
• be supportive of talents. This is necessary so
• If students can display talents at certain
that students can gain confidence in their
times and under certain conditions it is
abilities and are able to interact socially
important to have an environment which
and influence that society, should they
provides activities likely to foster talents,
choose to do so
eg open-ended problem-solving, and
allowing talents to be identified. • upgrade the level and pace of instruction to
fit the student’s interests, ability and levels
of achievement by providing extension
Talented students and science material with an intellectual challenge
and technology • avoid underachievement and dis-
Talented students often have above average enchantment with learning by determining
ability, task commitment and creativity. optimum time frames for the study of any
Designing and making, investigating and particular topic
the use of technology gives them the freedom • allow students to group and regroup
to explore, experiment, follow interests and themselves voluntarily
be involved in tasks that are not continually
• have a teaching day which is divided into
structured by the teacher. Previously,
blocks of time, within which students and
investigating and design tasks have been
the teacher determine their own routine
provided as extension activities for talented
students. As such tasks are valid for all
students, talented students can now add depth
48 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Learning resources take risks, to experiment and to seek further
information will be promoted if they are
Human and material resources may include: encouraged at home.
• mentors — community members who may Parental involvement in the implementation
have the specialised knowledge needed by of this syllabus should be broadly based at the
some students school level. Parents and community members
• learning interest centres, which expose can make a profound contribution through
students to a wide variety of topics to the experiences they provide for their children
encourage the individual selection of outside the school and the attitudes children
problems for in-depth investigation. The develop.
material should provoke curiosity and Schools need to utilise the skills of parents
interest in undertaking further investigative and members of the local community. They
inquiry need to realise there is a plethora of resources
• computers, which can become a vital part in the local community which can be used.
of the learning environment to: The first step in this process is to inform the
community of the aims, underlying principles
– give computer–assisted instruction and structure of Science and Technology K-6.
– develop thinking skills
– provide a tool for facilitating the Schools need to elicit support by adopting a
accomplishment of specific tasks variety of strategies for community
participation. Schools need to be aware that
Some talented students may become
there are enormous pressures on parents and
avid computer users but all have the
many do not have the skills or time to support
potential to develop higher level
every activity. Sensitivity therefore needs to
computer skills to meet a broad range of
be adopted in seeking assistance.
• material resources which cater for lateral
and creative thinking Learning experiences
• a range of environmental material which is Science and technology learning experiences
problem based and thought provoking. should:
• recognise the needs of the diverse learner
Parent and community group
participation • be based on the learning principles that are
common to other K-6 Key Learning Areas.
Children come to school with a wealth of
In providing learning experiences
experience and knowledge about their
consideration will need to be given to:
environment, their culture and their language.
Home is the child’s first place of learning, and • content
teachers need to value the knowledge, skills • activities
and attitudes children bring to school with
them. • learning resources
Primary school students stand to benefit • learning environment.
greatly when their parents have positive
attitudes towards learning science and
technology and an understanding of the
intentions of Science and Technology K-6. This syllabus requires that students will
Parents’ attitudes and expectations have an develop significant knowledge and
important influence on the way children understandings related to the six content
approach science and technology. Children strands. Students will develop these
are more likely to attempt new tasks, and to understandings by engaging in the processes
keep trying, if their parents encourage and of investigating, designing and making, and
expect them to do so. Further, their ability to using technology.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 49
It is necessary for teachers to ensure that • guidance and support during the completion
programmed experiences will enable students of tasks.
to address the full range of learning outcomes. It will be necessary that students relate their
It is also necessary to ensure that learning
learning to environments outside the
experiences include content drawn from classroom. Appropriate structures will need
various locations and periods in time. Such to be established to support these activities.
content should be drawn from:
Teachers will need to consider the range of
• the local area, including students’ homes management strategies in organising
and school learning activities. These might include:
• other areas of Australia
• individual tasks or activities
• beyond Australia. • small group tasks or activities
Content also should range across: • class tasks or activities
• the present
• student negotiated tasks.
• the past
• the future Learning resources
and will need to be selected in accordance
Learning is most effective when students
with the students’ levels of development and
their background experience. acquire information through first hand
experiences. Such learning experiences should
As students progress from Stage 1 to Stage 3 provide opportunity to interact with a variety
it is suggested that the emphasis in content of resources. These will include human,
should shift from the students’ immediate material and direct information resources such
environment to other Australian areas and as:
beyond Australia and from current situations
• interviews, excursions, camps, nature trails
to past and/or future situations.
and sensory experiences
Other considerations relevant to the selection
of content include: • graphics, models and other representations
of reality, including dioramas, role plays,
• particular interests of students simulations, videotapes, films, slides, maps
• local factors and pictures
• availability of suitable resources • written material, including books,
newspapers, magazines and brochures.
• links with other key learning areas
The resource references in this syllabus will
• opportunities to develop language skills. assist teachers when planning learning
experiences. The resources listed indicate a
Activities range of materials and organisations useful
for this purpose. The references provided are
This syllabus advocates that students learn: not exhaustive. They should be adapted and
developed by teachers to suit particular
• through interaction with their natural and teaching and learning situations. It is essential
that they are revised as new material becomes
• by modelling the processes of investigating, available.
designing and making.
Suggested resources for learning activities will
This will require that teachers provide: include:
• interesting and appropriate tasks for • items such as books, audiovisual kits,
students computer software (including databases),
• an environment designed to support the
learning activity • places such as science and technology
museums and centres, field study centres,
factories, work places
50 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• organisations which provide information
• people’s knowledge and expertise
• commercially produced resource materials
• the mass media
• a range of equipment
Further resources for teachers include:
• professional reading lists
• references to assist with the development
In science and technology students will learn
directly from their environments. Particular
care should be taken to create a physical and
emotional environment that supports the
When designing the physical aspects of this
learning environment, consideration should
be given to:
• stimulus material
• students’ access to appropriate tools,
materials, equipment and other resources
• areas in which students can exhibit and
discuss the development and outcomes of
• general attractiveness.
It is particularly important that students have
both the opportunity and resources to explore,
to discover, to manipulate materials and to
use different technologies. In particular
students will need access to a range of computer
and audio-visual hardware and software.
It is also important that teachers create an
emotional environment that is secure, caring
and supportive. In such an environment
students will have confidence to pursue their
own ideas and their contributions to class
activities will be respected and valued.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 51
Throughout the years K-6 all students should • ongoing professional activities within the
have the opportunity to undertake a cohesive school, (classroom visits, support in the
learning program in the Key Learning Area form of team teaching)
of Science and Technology. Therefore, it will
• inter-school visits and teacher exchanges
be necessary for schools to develop a structure
that will ensure implementation of such a • idea sharing at school, cluster and regional
It may be necessary to set up a team of people • visits to resources centres, businesses and
to support the implementation of the syllabus, industry.
and to nominate a coordinator who has relevant
Coordination of learning experiences between
experience or interests. classes and grades through:
Whatever approach is adopted, it is desirable
• grade/staff meetings to provide for breadth,
that school planning promotes the sharing of balance and relevance when coordinating
information and ideas. In particular the
topics within the K-6 school curriculum
expertise which parents and the community
are able to supply in relation to content and • collaborative policy making to
cultural background is important and schools - develop a long term strategy made up of
should seek to develop these links further. a series of sequential stages
In designing a school plan it should be noted - determine appropriate learning
that the learning outcomes and learning outcomes for each stage based on syllabus
experiences presented in the syllabus have objectives
been based on providing each child with
substantial access to the Key Learning Area in - provide continuity of experience and
each year. allow students to progress at their own
Planning considerations Addressing human and material resource
Organisation can be developed through regular
• utilising existing expertise on the staff fully
• using local industries and organisations
• define roles
• set priorities • promoting involvement in professional
• coordinate activities associations
• share information • seeking local resources.
• evaluate effective implementation.
Formulating a school policy for safety
Organisation may involve the following that includes:
• guidance for the use and storage of materials,
Professional development and provision substances, equipment and machines
for ongoing support through:
• programs for the maintenance of tools,
• analysis of needs and identifying ways to equipment and software.
• providing opportunities for teachers to
increase their knowledge and understanding
of the principles of science and technology
which underpin this document
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 53
Integration with other Key Learning Areas Questions which could be asked when
through: evaluating a school plan may include:
• corporate programming • What allowance has been made for
individual rates of learning?
• the approaches suggested in the sample
units of work • Is school organisation:
• realistic time management. – ensuring continuity of experience
– avoiding needless repetition?
Evaluation of a school plan • Are the learning processes being effectively
The effectiveness of school planning should
be evaluated at regular intervals. • Is there need for teachers to change how
they manage learning experiences?
The evaluation process allows judgements to
be made about the success of the plan and may • Is further staff development required?
suggest areas for improvement. It may provide • Have any safety issues arisen?
a basis for decisions about:
• To what extent do programs achieve the
• modification of existing school policies learning outcomes specified in the syllabus?
• the adequacy of implementation strategies • What steps need to be taken to identify the
• staff development needs prior learning experiences of students who
transfer into the school?
• allocation of funds and other resources
• school community links.
54 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Developing a teaching program
The objectives of the syllabus can be best Assessment strategies should:
addressed through programmed learning • be constructive
experiences based on the processes of
investigating, designing and making, and using • focus on what children can do
technology. • look for strengths and encourage further
Programming should begin with the initial learning by creating a non-threatening
evaluation of the students’ prior learning as atmosphere
there will be a wide range of abilities within • involve systematic observation of students
most classes. This evaluation can be used at work, questioning and appraising
when identifying suitable objectives for a class children’s work records.
or group program and when evaluating its
An outline is essential if planning is to be Developing a class program
effective. There should be provision for
Teachers should initially carry out an
flexibility in both content and time allocation.
assessment of students’ development in
Programs should contain details of: relation to the outcomes of the syllabus. This
• class or unit objectives based on the aim, information will provide teachers with the
objectives and learning outcomes provided basis to:
in this syllabus • develop their own units of work based on
• planned learning experiences including the objectives of the syllabus either for the
content to be addressed, activities and whole class, groups within the class or
resource requirements individual students
• intended means of assessing student OR
achievement of the stated outcomes. • select and adapt units of work from those
Teachers need to work in consultation with provided in the support documents
other colleagues to discuss and clarify their OR
ideas. This will involve:
• where appropriate, adopt a thematic
• teachers of the same year approach which relates learning in a number
• teacher librarian of Key Learning Areas. If this approach is
• computer coordinator adopted it will be necessary to identify
• ESL teacher carefully the Science and Technology
learning outcomes to be addressed in the
• ethnic aides
Programs should be flexible enough to:
• allow for unexpected outcomes and for
Developing units of work
further development along lines not There will be a need for teachers to develop
foreseen at the initial programming stage their own units of work. This need may arise
• incorporate the interests and capabilities of from the interests of students, social or cultural
students background, geographic location and range of
• look beyond the classroom and utilise the ability within a class group.
community and its resources to enrich
students‘ learning experiences.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 55
There can be many starting points for a unit of work have been designed to address specified
work. These would include: learning outcomes for each of the Stages 1, 2
• a recent event, eg an electrical storm, a
discovery in space, a media event The sequence and units of work described
here are not mandatory. Teachers are
• a current issue, eg recycling, petroleum
encouraged to develop their own work units
and sequences that will fulfil the syllabus
• an area of need, eg food at a school function, requirements but will be appropriate to the
watering classroom plants during a holiday stage and needs of their students and their
period school environment.
• a science concept, eg characteristics of If teachers choose to use the units in the
plants in the school environment, sound, following sequence they should select those
light units within each stage which are most
• a book being shared and enjoyed, a play, appropriate and relevant to their school
eg a story about Australia before European situation. The syllabus outcomes for each
settlement stage can be met by selecting a number of
units. It is not expected that every unit in the
• a special school event, eg bicycle week, sequence will be taught but that teachers
‘show and tell’ select a sufficient number and variety of units
• the topic of a guest speaker, eg police visit, to fulfil the outcomes for each stage.
Such starting points for programming can Unit sequence
usually suggest a range of investigating tasks
and design tasks which in turn will provide The units have been organised into sets of
opportunities for the use of particular three so that a sequence of knowledge and
technologies. The selection of tasks will understanding, skills, values and attitudes is
depend upon the objectives that need to be developed through Stages 1-3. There is no
addressed in a balanced program. implied sequence represented in the table
within each stage. Each unit is presented with
a brief description.
Selecting and adapting units
The units of work included in the support
document are outlines from which teachers
can develop a more comprehensive program.
In some instances only minor additions may
be necessary to make them suitable for
individual classroom environments.
Alternatively, the needs of a particular school
environment may dictate considerable
adaptation of unit outlines before
implementation in individual classes. Factors
such as the developmental stage and previous
experiences of students, the availability of
resources (human and material), the nature of
the learner and the local community will need
to be considered.
It will be necessary to ensure that programs for
a full school year address each of the general
objectives of the syllabus. The sample units of
56 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Units of Work
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 57
Units of work
The following sample integrated units processes, as well as understandings, are
provide a means of fulfilling the requirements retained in their programs.
of the syllabus through activities that develop
Teachers may need to provide additional
understanding, knowledge and skills, values learning experiences to ensure that all students
and attitudes about science and technology. develop desired skills, knowledge and
They aim to provide a meaningful context
that relates to students’ experiences and the
needs of people in society.
Format of units of work
The relationship between the interrelated
processes of Investigating, Designing and Introductory page of the unit
Making, and Using Technology is
demonstrated in each unit. The way activities Content focus
are presented by teachers should reflect the This indicates those particular content strands
relationship between the various parts of the that are relevant for a given unit.
design process or the investigating process.
For example, students’ understanding of the
relationship between identifying a need and This section lists outcomes that each unit of
generating the idea to meet the need is as work can contribute to achieving. The learning
important as the solution itself. At different outcomes are developed through the processes
times any one of these processes may provide of investigating, designing and making, and
the starting point for a unit of work. using technology.
The unit layout does not attempt to indicate The outcomes are grouped into knowledge
possible starting points, nor do they imply a and understanding, skills and values and
mandatory sequence of activities. attitudes.
Each unit develops a number of activities Assessment
covering different aspects of the unit topic. A The listed strategies have been selected from a
series of specific lessons or experiences may be range of possible methods of assessing student
needed to build toward a particular learning, as related to the stated unit outcomes.
understanding or exploration of a process.
The activities outlined are not exhaustive, nor Links with other Key Learning Areas
are they the sole way of achieving the objectives Points of reference are provided for activities
of the unit. in other Key Learning Areas. These may
Where necessary, modifications should be complement or extend the activities in
made to suit the social, cultural and linguistic Science and Technology and are listed, where
needs of the students, the school and society. applicable, for each learning area.
The teaching/learning units take into account Teacher notes
inclusive curriculum principles and strategies
as outlined in the section ‘Nature of the This section details important teaching points
learner’. and considerations that aid the successful
implementation of the unit.
Modifications can be made in order to fit in
with experiences planned in other Key Suggested resources
Learning Areas. In all these cases teachers This section provides a sample of resources
should make sure that essential learnings and may include book references, computer
which relate to scientific and technological software, audio/visual aids, people, places,
materials and equipment.
58 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Listed references are directly linked to the Investigating activities highlight accuracy
learning activities and are detailed in the in observation and testing. Students should
section ‘Suggested resources’. be encouraged to confidently propose
Suggested teaching strategies explanations, make and test their predictions
and accept the process of having these
The strategies indicated provide direct support supported or disproved.
for activities in the units. They provide a range
of activities that may be employed to Designing and Making activities require the
consolidate, extend or supplement the students to use a range of technologies at each
experiences of individuals or groups of stage of the designing and making process.
students. Teaching strategies appear elsewhere Selecting appropriate equipment, processes and
in the syllabus and are listed numerically. materials, operating and maintaining tools
and equipment and evaluating products and
technologies available to them are included in
Activities page of the unit this process.
The task provides a starting point or direction
for each activity. It may be an investigation,
stimulating inquiry and building on the
curiosity of the students, or an open-ended
design brief that sets the parameters or
requirements for designing and making. The
task can be further developed according to
students’ interests, needs or questions.
Investigating tasks provide the context for
the choice and use of technologies to stimulate
and aid inquiry. Designing and making tasks
provide opportunities for many possible
responses that could fulfil the identified
need and incorporate the use of a variety of
These activities rely on the student being
actively involved at each stage of the process
of investigating and designing and making.
Particularly important is the need to value
and encourage students in the areas of
investigating, designing and making and
using technology identified by the students
Investigating will often lead to students
designing and making, both as a means of
aiding investigation and in order to
demonstrate and apply their understandings.
Designing and Making will often require Unit coding
students to undertake some form of [I] Individual activity
investigation in order to achieve their desired
task. This may include investigating the way [G] Group activity
things work, the properties and suitability of [W] Whole class activity
materials and how other people have solved
similar problems. [TS1] Suggested teaching strategy
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 59
Units of work: scope and sequence
Here are examples of possible units. The units of activities have been organised in sets of three
so that a sequence of understanding, skills, values and attitudes is developed through the
levels K-6. They are presented here in sequential form with a brief description of the unit.
STAGE 1 STAGE 2 STAGE 3
Getting About Out and About On the Move
Vehicles used to transport people Transport used by students. Transport systems locally,
and loads in the local community. How vehicles work and safety aspects. nationally and internationally.
Exploring vehicle movement. Using gears and cogs to move objects. Making the local transport
page 62 page 88
Look Around You Indoors, Outdoors The Best Place to Live
How we use spaces at school and How the community uses spaces and Specific services within the
home. structures. community.
Detecting differences in the school Useful materials which protect us Helping to make our community a
environment. against the environment. better place to live.
page 64 page 90 page 116
Growing Up Mini-worlds Out in Space
What living things need. Environments of living things. The Earth’s atmosphere.
Providing for the needs of plants, Interrelationships and consequences What we find beyond the
animals and people. of change in mini-environments. atmosphere.
page 66 page 92 page 118
Hot or Cold Stuck on You Switched On
Energy in the surroundings. Magnetism and static electricity. Electrical circuits.
How people cope in different page 94 Uses of and safety with electricity.
Let’s Communicate Keep in Touch Way out
Using senses, signals and symbols What is needed to keep in touch.
to communicate. Communication methods in the past
page 96 and future.
Why living things communicate.
Ways humans communicate over
page 70 distances and in different situations.
Toy World Making it Easy Sailing, Sinking,
Toys, games and sporting equipment. Looking at simple machines.
How toys and play objects can be Properties of air, wind and water,
made to move. and how they can be used.
page 72 page 124
60 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
STAGE 1 STAGE 2 STAGE 3
What’s Alive? Cycles in Our World What’s the Weather?
Living and non-living things. Cycles in the non-living and living Observing and measuring aspects
Characteristics and diversity of plants world. of weather and weather patterns.
and animals. Plant and animal products used to Using electronic information
page 74 satisfy human needs. gathering services.
page 100 page 126
Kids Care Our Australia An Ancient Land
Natural and built local environments. Identifying and promoting Australian Changes that have occurred over long
Responsible use and reuse of plants and animals. periods of time.
materials. Traditional Aboriginal interaction page 128
with Australian environments.
Sense of Direction Sounds Great Light Up My Life
Our senses and our surroundings. Sound and some of its properties. Light and some of its properties.
page 78 Making and using sound. Combining light and sound to
produce effective visual images.
Back to Nature Material World Environment Matters
Naturally occurring substances and Properties of natural and made Effects of human activities on
some of their uses. materials. environments.
page 80 Using, conserving, renewing. Addressing some problems of
A Place in Time A Look Inside A Change for the
Observing and recording changes in The systems in the human body.
the weather. What affects good health. How living things are suited to their
Seasonal change and its effects on environments.
plants, people and other animals. Inherited characteristics in living
page 82 things.
Picture It Moving Pictures Visual Ventures
Information from pictures. Techniques used to create different Features of film and video
Using pictures, sounds and language pictures. production.
to tell a story. How still pictures are made to move.
Sound and lighting in visual media.
Animation using film, video and
page 84 page 136
What’s for Lunch? Eating Out Food for the Tucker
Healthy food and where it comes Changes that occur in food preparation
from. and cooking. Food processing from raw product to
Food preparation and presentation. Takeaway food and why we buy it. domestic use.
page 86 Preparing food for large numbers of Preserving and packaging foodstuffs.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 61
Getting About Stage 1
Vehicles in our school and local area
Content focus • have a positive view of themselves Teacher notes
• persevere with activities to their
Built Environments completion When students are designing a means
Information and Communication of transport, avoid suggesting stere-
• be honest in their dealings with
Physical Phenomena otyped choices such as cars and trucks.
Products and Services This may require that the teacher
• work cooperatively in groups provide a wide range of models, eg
• be curious about the natural and snowploughs, canoes, paddleboats,
Outcomes made environment hot–air balloons.
This unit will contribute to the • gain satisfaction from their efforts
following syllabus outcomes. to investigate, to design and make Suggested resources
and to use technology.
Knowledge and Understanding Things that go, Rockwell, A
Students will know and understand Assessment Street Sense (kit), Road Traffic
Listed below are selected example Computer software: prepared graphic
• people organise spaces by strategies that may be used in
assembling and arranging software, eg Car Builder, Transporta-
assessing this unit of work. tion/transformation, Logo, The Print
components to meet particular • Identify different types of vehicles
for moving different types of loads.
• there are different ways of People and places: excursion around
• Discuss the features and function the local area
communicating with others of a vehicle using a drawing or a
• pushes and pulls can make things Materials and equipment: building
model. blocks, construction materials, trans-
move and stop • Note student comments about de- port pictures
• living things and machines need sign or safety aspects of a form of
energy to do things. transport. Teaching strategies
10 Proposing explanations
• state the purpose of an investigation Links with other 11 Predicting outcomes
• name possible needs and wants of Key Learning Areas 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
• recognise that technological English 16 Applying understanding
activity affects people and their
environments Exploring the purpose and features of 24 Evaluating designs
survey format. Focus on questioning 41 Computer graphics
• show that equipment should be
techniques – writing and asking.
used with care and safety.
Encouraging students to use talking
Skills and writing to explain how the vehi-
Students will: cles work.
• explore how things work and en- Mathematics
gage in guided play
Interpreting pictorial graphs and
• undertake an investigation as a re- graphs made from objects.
sult of individual curiosity or as a
means of solving problems Human Society and its Environment
• interpret data and explain their Exploring the effects of transport on
• name possible needs and wants of
people Creative and Practical Arts
• present ideas as to what they might Direct Drawing, drawing and/or
plan as a design proposal model making from an imagined
• describe to others the strengths and experience.
limitations of a design Personal Development, Health and
• choose classroom materials and Physical Education
tools appropriate to the activity
Exploring road safety issues dealing
• identify and use with safety the
with pedestrians, passenger and
correct tools for specific purposes.
Values and Attitudes
• demonstrate confidence in them-
62 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and model a means of transport of your own Investigate forms of transport in the community. [G]
Activities Identify forms of transport in our community by collect-
Decide the specifications of your vehicle. Consider its ing pictures, information and by observing the local area.
purpose, who/what it will carry, where it needs to travel, [I] Classify and reclassify vehicles observed using a vari-
making it safe as well as functional. ety of criteria, eg number of wheels, where they travel,
Generate ideas for the design. Try looking at existing how they are powered, what/who is carried.
vehicles for ideas. Identify the characteristics and uses of different vehicles.
Draw a plan on paper or use computer software to create Identify safety features used, eg seat belts, sitting down on
the drawing. [TS40] buses. Suggest others that may be useful.
If using prepared graphics software to make the design Identify the things we need to transport, eg animals,
from pre-existing components, eg wheels, body, wings, objects; where we need to transport them, eg over water,
other features, trial different parts to see the effect. Dis- mountains; and how the needs are catered for.
cuss how easy it is to rearrange parts using computer
software. Compare computer graphics to other modelling
Collect materials and decide which are appropriate.
Decide on a final design to develop, considering available
Make and present the model, explaining the features and
their functions, eg features that provide occupant protec-
Evaluate the design. Does it meet all of the specifications?
Can it be improved? [TS24]
Investigate methods of transport to school. [W]
Survey the class to discover transport used to get to
school, eg foot, bus, car, bicycle. Record results as a
Suggest reasons for these choices, eg walk because it’s
close, drive when it’s raining, too far to walk. [TS10]
Predict whether students in another area would travel in
the same ways, eg in a country town or inner city suburb.
Consider how to test the prediction, eg contact schools in
other areas. Compare predictions to the information re-
Evaluate what makes a good way to come to school.
Consider safety, keeping dry, enjoyment. Discuss whether
it’s the same for everyone. Suggest why or why not.
Design a modification to the transport environment. [G] Investigate the local transport environment. [W]
Discuss findings from local area research about the trans- Observe how transport is organised in the local area. Walk
port environment. [TS12] Identify any problem areas, eg around the district. Make a note of safety features, eg
bushes obscuring vision, heavy traffic flow, local bridge traffic lights, signs, footpaths, kerbs.
often covered by flood waters. Suggest possible solutions, Make a pictorial record of transport types observed, eg on
considering possible effects on motorists and residents, as a painted background of locality, make a collage showing
well as students. Choose a solution and devise a plan to safety features, vehicles etc.
carry it out. Represent ideas in drawings or models. Identify any danger spots on the way to school, eg ob-
Implement the plan wherever possible. Evaluate the suc- scured corners, roads to cross. Suggest how these could be
cess of the plan. [TS24] improved. List road safety rules that apply at such places
to make people safer. [TS12]
Identify how roads have been made safe in other areas.
Explore how we can make ourselves safer, eg predict
which colour cars or clothes stand out best. Devise a way
of testing the predictions. [TS13]
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 63
Look Around You Stage 1
Organising space in the local environment
Content focus • persevere with activities to their Teacher notes
Built Environments • respect the rights and property of Encourage students to identify the
Information and Communication others sense they are using and to verbalise
Living Things about the information only that sense
• work cooperatively in groups
Physical Phenomena • gain satisfaction from their efforts
Activities to explore the classroom
to investigate, to design and make
environment can be repeated in
Outcomes and to use technology.
different seasons and comparisons
This unit will contribute to the fol- made.
lowing syllabus outcomes. Assessment Home spaces need not be directly
Knowledge and Understanding Listed below are selected examples of compared except to value the
strategies that may be used in assess- variations that exist within the group.
Students will know and understand ing this unit of work. Be aware of differing lifestyles and
that: • Have students use their floor plans/ incomes and do not focus on specific
• there are different ways of commu- models to explain suggested rooms in the home.
nicating with others arrangements of room spaces. The Include the need for light, air when
• information can be stored for later model should not be the focus of designing environments.
use the assessment.
• the senses are used to receive mes- • Listen to students’ comments dur- Suggested resources
sages from all around ing their exploration of spaces.
The Source Book, The Built Environ-
• some things feel hotter and some • Ask students to decide where they
ment Education Network
things feel colder than our bodies. would put a new area (such as a toy
display or computer area) in the Students, Structures and Spaces,
Students will: Eriksen, A
• give examples of the ways the dif- classroom and ask for reasons for
their choice. Houses and Homes (series), Wayland
ferent senses can be used in obser- Ltd
Links with other Computer software: adventure game
• recognise that discoveries can be software, eg The Playroom, McGee,
made through play, exploring and Key Learning Areas Nature Park Adventure. Explore-A-
experimenting Story Series, Garfield, Logo, My Town
• demonstrate that tools and equip- English People and places: school grounds,
ment can be used to aid observa- Developing the language of describing classrooms, specialist rooms in the
tion (oral and written). school
• name possible needs and wants of Writing labels for objects and spaces Materials and equipment: tempera-
people in the classroom and for home models. ture strips, pictures of variety of
• give examples of how people plan homes, variety of materials to stimu-
to make in order to provide for Mathematics
late the senses
their own and others’ needs Comparing objects and spaces.
• recognise that people plan and make Modelling and sketching positions of Teaching strategies
changes in many aspects of their objects. 6 Fostering curiosity
daily lives Comparing temperatures. 7 Observing to explore and dis-
• show that equipment should be cover
used with care and safety. Human Society and its Environment
11 Predicting outcomes
Investigating built environments of 17 Exploring needs
school and local area.
Students will: 18 Clarifying a design task
Comparing to other places or cul- 23 Considering appearance and
• observe using all the senses tures. function
• interpret data and explain their Personal Development, Health and 33 Adventure games
Physical Education 40 Video
• combine a variety of materials and
images to make simple models, Extension work may include explor- 41 Computer graphics
drawings and structures ing personal space through move-
• choose classroom materials and ment, eg up, over, under, through.
tools appropriate to the activity. Creative and Practical Arts
Values and Attitudes Listening to and identifying sounds.
• demonstrate confidence in them-
64 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and organise specific work spaces at school. [W] Investigate the use of spaces around us at school. [W]
Negotiate areas to be established in the classroom, eg Observe the structure of the classroom. [TS7] Discuss the
computer area, reading corner, games area. [TS7] placement of desks, shape of the room, shape of the things
Identify desirable features for the area, eg computer area in the room (desks, windows, doors, cupboards). Identify
needs, power point, to be away from heat or window. things that are pleasing/displeasing about the classroom.
List requirements. Discuss whether these can be sup- Identify which side of the room is the sunny side, where
plied. Make a list of the possible solutions to the problems are the shadows? (Do they move?) Measure the tempera-
[TS17]. Discuss plans with group. Can others make ture at various spots around the room (use a thermometer
contributions to the plan? or temperature strip with informal units).
Make a model of the classroom with building blocks or Predict changes that may occur throughout the day. Test
paint/draw packages using a computer. Use to show at different times.
possible room arrangements. Explain why the things in the room are placed the way
Demonstrate proposed improvements by moving the they are, eg to share equipment, to face the board. [TS22]
things around on the model. Compare models – has Make predictions about the effect of moving things.
everyone made the same suggestions? Discuss the appro- [TS11] Discuss whether there would be enough space to
priateness of suggestions. Select a plan for the class to move. Move things in the room to test the predictions.
implement. Compare results to the predictions.
Make selected alterations. Assess the success of the plan Walk around school area and observe different buildings,
by comparing to original list of requirements. [TS23] spaces. Identify specific areas, their features and purposes,
eg the library, the canteen. Match features to purposes, eg
large open hall for assembly/many classes.
Investigate how the senses can be used to identify places
around us at school. [I]
Identify which senses we have and how we use them.
[TS7] Make a sound map showing sounds you can hear at
different places around the school. Blindfold students and
have them identify where they are in the school by using
the other senses. Do a scent map to identify odours around
the school. Identify, using a temperature strip, hot/cold
Design and model areas you would like (toy room, games Use an adventure game to investigate the ways in which
room). [G] areas are organised. [G]
Make a list of features to include in the model. [TS6] Discuss the types of rooms found in the places where we
Identify conditions that may affect the room, eg weather live. [TS33] Using a computer adventure game students
conditions, location. Clarify the requirements of the navigate through the game identifying the features of each
design, eg may include play area, particular features. area. [TS6] Build up a chart of similarities and differences
[TS18] Consider features that will make the room com- in these places.
fortable as well as functional. Decide on methods of
making the components of the room, eg matchsticks,
buttons, match boxes, cotton reels, construction materi-
als. Suggest materials to use to represent aspects such as
windows, floor covering, furnishings, wood. Select mate-
rials from those available. Make the model, including
decoration of structural features and arrangement of fur-
niture and other items. Present the model to the class.
Explain how the room is designed, highlighting selected
features and their purposes. Indicate how available spaces
are used and why.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 65
Growing Up Stage 1
Living things and their needs
Content focus • show informed commitment to To familiarise students with the lan-
improving the quality of their im- guage to be used in this unit watch a
Living Things mediate environment. video about animals (in particular
Products and Services one that shows how scientists make
Outcomes Listed below are selected examples of
This unit will contribute to the fol- strategies that may be used in assess-
lowing syllabus outcomes. ing this unit of work. Informazing (series), Nelson
Knowledge and Understanding • Observe how students engage in The Arrow Book of Bush Creatures,
discussion to clarify the design Mackness, B
Students will know and understand tasks. Keeping Small Animals, Andersen A
that: • Have students describe to others Watching Animals (video), Film &
• all living things are different how to load and operate computer Video Library
• living things grow, reproduce, simulations software. Computer software: desktop publish-
move, need air, take in nutrients ing, eg Printshop: Learn about In-
and eliminate wastes Links with other sects, Sunburst, Zoopack, Learn about
• living things and machines need Animals, Learn about Plants, Story
energy to do things
Key Learning Areas Starters Science, Compute-A-Graph
• products can be created to fulfil English People and places: botanic gardens,
specific purposes. parks, zoos, WIRES, RSPCA,
Students will: Exploring purposes, audiences and fea- veterinarians
tures of posters.
• state the purpose of an investiga- Materials and equipment: Reverse
tion Exploring the language and purpose Garbage scrap materials, construc-
of matrices and flow charts. tion materials, seeds and seedlings,
• give examples of the ways the dif-
ferent senses can be used in obser- Mathematics containers for plants, animals for ob-
Measurement activities. Comparing
• name possible needs and wants of the sizes of plants as they grow. Teaching strategies
people Graphing, using pictures, the plants
• give examples of how people plan 11 Predicting outcomes
that die or survive and giving reasons.
to make in order to provide for 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
Measuring and comparing, using in- concepts
their own and others’ needs formal measurements, the height of
• give examples from their immedi- students within the class. 17 Exploring needs
ate environment which show how 33 Adventure games
resources can be conserved. Human Society and its Environment 38 Publishing
Skills Exploring the ways people interact
with their environments to satisfy
Students will: their needs.
• observe using all the senses
Personal Development, Health and
• interpret data and explain their Physical Education
• name possible needs and wants of Exploring students’ needs for food,
people clothing, exercise.
• present ideas as to what they might Creative and Practical Arts
plan as a design proposal
Movement: Observing and perform-
• choose classroom materials and ing animal movements.
tools appropriate to the activity.
Art: Observing the texture of animal
Values and Attitudes coverings and making prints to repre-
Observing the lines in plants and rep-
• demonstrate confidence in them-
resenting them through drawings.
• have a positive view of themselves
• persevere with activities to their
completion People are classed as animals and
• respect the rights and properties of have the same basic needs as other
others animals. Students may suggest ‘needs’
such as religion and aesthetics that
will require sensitive consideration.
66 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a way to satisfy a need for an animal, Use computer software to investigate the needs of ani-
eg fish feeder, mouse exerciser. [G] mals. [G]
Identify the need to be met. Discuss to further develop Use computer simulation to investigate the needs of
ideas. Detail the requirements of the animal, eg space and animals. [TS33] Familiarise students with the simulated
safety. environment. Discuss the type of decisions to be made
Choose suitable materials (considering size, safety, posi- and their effect on the simulation. Experiment within the
tion, composition). simulation, eg removing water, food, to test the needs of
Make and trial the device. animals. Compare the advantages of using simulation to
Evaluate success and make modifications if necessary. a real situation.
Observe animals in the classroom, eg silkworms, mice,
birds, fish. Make a list of how the needs of the animals are
being met in the classroom.
Design and use a way of identifying the needs of plants. Investigate the needs of plants. [G]
Activities Based on observation of plants growing at home and at
Pose the problem – to find a way to tell what things affect school, predict what things plants might need to survive
how plants grow. Brainstorm ideas students think will and grow. [TS11]
affect the growth of a plant (ie variables). Test predictions and draw conclusions about the needs of
Devise ways to eliminate one of these variables at a time. plants.
Explain the need for a control plant. Identify the needs that plants and animals have in com-
Discuss the need for keeping records, eg over a period of mon and what needs are specific to either group. Group or
time for comparison of data. classify, eg using a matrix.
Collect materials and set up test, exploring one variable Care for the plants used to test the predictions over a
per group, eg no fresh air, no water. longer period, eg the rest of the term/year.
Make regular observations, recording and measuring
Design and make an advertisement for something that Investigate students’ needs as human beings and some
meets the needs of students. [I] ways of meeting them. [W]
After discussion about needs of humans decide which Brainstorm what are perceived to be students’ basic needs.
need is to be satisfied by each group, eg to keep warm, be Give reasons for suggestions. [TS17]
healthy. [TS13] Organise the needs in order of importance. Identify the
Select a product that satisfies the needs, eg a healthy meal, things everyone thought were important. Draw conclu-
warm clothes in winter. Explain how the need is met. sions about our needs.
Generate ideas to use to promote the item. List things you Make flow charts to show the means by which we meet
like about your product. Select points that might encour- our basic needs, eg sheep - shearing wool - jumper.
age other people to want the product. Choose the type of Identify ways we use plants and animals, apart from
advertisement, eg poster, jingle. satisfying our basic needs, eg animals for pets, plants to
Make the advertisement, organising images, slogan, in- make our environment attractive.
formation, eg using desktop publishing software. [TS38] Discuss what makes us ‘want’ things.
Reflect on the type of techniques that are used in adver- Compare how human needs are met in different cultures
tisements in their immediate surroundings. or places, eg clothing styles, housing.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 67
Hot or Cold Stage 1
Energy in the surroundings
Content focus Values and Attitudes Comparing students’ body tempera-
tures with informal measurements
Built Environment Students will:
both before and after physical activi-
Living Things • demonstrate confidence in them- ties.
Physical Phenomena selves
• have a positive view of themselves Creative and Practical Arts
Earth and its Surroundings
• respect the rights and property of Posters and signs.
• show informed commitment to im- Teacher notes
This unit will contribute to the fol- proving the quality of their imme-
lowing syllabus outcomes. diate environment Teachers should stress care in touch-
ing objects that are hot or very cold
Knowledge and Understanding • be curious about the natural and
and ensure that objects students are
Students will know and understand provided with are not dangerous. Give
that: students safety warnings about hot/
• people alter their environment in
Assessment cold objects before they are asked to
response to natural conditions Listed below are strategies that may locate them in their surroundings.
• all living things are different be used in assessing this unit of work. Temperature is a measure of the heat
• some things feel hotter and some • Observe students discussing and energy of an object. Heat energy
things feel colder than our bodies recording observations. makes objects hot and a loss of heat
• Use student evaluation comments makes them cold.
• the weather can have a powerful
effect on people. on the design of posters etc to de-
Students will: termine how well the students have Suggested resources
understood the task provided. Five Senses, Braithwaite
• state the purpose of an investigation
• Engage in teacher-student discus- Investigate, HBJ
• give examples of the ways the dif-
sion to assess student understand-
ferent senses can be used in obser- Computer software: graphics soft-
ing of the process of classifying,
vation ware, eg Deluxe Paint III,
investigating or designing and mak-
• demonstrate that tools and equip- Hyperscreen, Slide Shop, Dazzle
ment can be used to aid observa- Draw, Archimedes Paint, Hyperpaint,
tion My House, Thomas’ Snowsuit
• name possible needs and wants of
Links with other People and places: zoo, aquarium,
people Key Learning Areas farm, local fire brigade, Earth Ex-
• give examples of how people plan change
to make in order to provide for English Materials and equipment: ice, mate-
their own and others’ needs Writing short sentences to record find- rials for making signs, posters, food
• recognise that technological activ- ings of experiments. Labelling all dia- containers, temperature strips, ther-
ity affects people and their envi- grams, photographs, etc. mometers
ronments Stating facts about findings in experi-
• give examples from their immedi- ments and from research. Teaching strategies
ate environment which show how Discussing experiments to explain
resources can be conserved. observations. 10 Proposing explanations
15 Explaining understandings
Skills Mathematics 24 Evaluating designs
Students will: 2D and 3D shape of objects. 26 Organising tools, equipment and
• observe using all the senses Describing and measuring size. processes
• interpret data and explain their Categorising objects into hot, warm, 38 Publishing
observations cool and cold.
• name possible needs and wants of Human Society and its Environment
• make practical changes that could Needs and differences of some cul-
modify existing products or proc- tural groups.
esses Finding ways to get cooler or warmer.
• combine a variety of materials and Personal Development, Health and
images to make simple models, Physical Education
drawings and structures
Health and safety issues need to be
• choose classroom materials and
tools appropriate to the activity.
68 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make signs to identify the hot and cold areas Investigating objects that are hot or cold. [G]
in the classroom. [G]
Activity Identify ways of deciding whether objects are hot or cold
Brainstorm ideas to determine the most important infor- (eg sound, touch, sight).
mation needed on the signs, the most suitable size and the Devise a method (eg touch, temperature strips) to identify
most appropriate material to be used to make the signs. a variety of objects as either hot or cold, eg metal, water,
Explore possible ways of presenting the information (eg ice, glass.
symbols, words etc). [TS38] Identify objects in the environment and at home which
Make the signs for the hot and cold areas (eg taps, near are hot or cold. Classify these objects into groups based on
heaters etc). the amount of heat the object has.
Evaluate the design and suitability of the signs made by Identify animals that are warmer or colder than us to
the class. [TS24] touch. Visit an animal farm, zoo or aquarium.
Propose possible changes/modifications that would make Collect pictures of different types of foods. Make a picto-
the signs more useful. graph using these so that you can identify how hot or cold
they are when we eat them.
Propose an explanation for why some things are hot and
others are cold. [TS10]
Design and make a poster for the classroom to warn Investigate some safety/warning signs used to identify
students about care with hot and/or cold objects. [G] hot and cold objects. [W]
Discuss the information that needs to go on the poster. Observe and record situations in our surroundings where
Decide the best way to present this information to stu- warnings about hot and/or cold occur.
dents in your class. Describe how warnings are presented so that people from
Consider the design of the poster (eg size, shape, material other cultures can understand them.
to be used, etc). Discuss ways that hot and/or cold can be dangerous to
Prepare a poster and present it to other groups in the class people.
for them to evaluate. Visit the local fire station or have a guest speaker from the
Display all the group posters for other classes to see. fire brigade to discuss fire safety.
Design and make a model reusable container for hot or Investigate ways in which people respond to hot and cold
cold food. [G] in their environment. [I]
Observe a variety of different types of containers that are Discuss the different sorts of clothes that people wear in
used to store or transport hot/cold food. hot and cold weather.
Describe and record the shapes, size of the containers and Collect pictures of the clothes that people wear in hot and
the materials from which these containers are made. cold parts of the world.
[TS26] Suggest reasons why people wear different types of clothes
Classify the materials used to make the food containers as in hot and cold weather. [TS10]
reusable, recyclable, disposable. Investigate ways that traditional Aboriginal peoples cope
Design a visual model of the container showing its size with hot and cold in their environment.
and shape. Describe changes to buildings that people make in hot and
Design a logo to identify whether the container is for use cold weather conditions and the reasons for these.
with hot or cold food. Propose ways that people in Australia can make changes
Present the design to the class and explain the reasons for to their buildings so they are more efficiently kept warm
your design. in winter or cool in summer.
Evaluate the class designs. Research some different types of leisure activities that
people of other cultures carry out in hot and cold condi-
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 69
Let’s Communicate Stage 1
Using senses, signals and symbols to communicate
Content focus • maintain and care for equipment in Personal Development, Health and
their immediate surrounds and or- Physical Education
Information and Communication ganise their immediate environ- Communicating through movement.
Products and Services ment.
Living Things Values and Attitudes Creative and Practical Arts
Students will: Drama: activities in improvising and
Outcomes • demonstrate confidence in them- organising sequences of movement
selves in mime.
This unit contributes to the follow-
ing syllabus outcomes. • have a positive view of themselves Craft/design: extending skills in cre-
ating symbols and images.
Knowledge and Understanding • persevere with activities to their
Students will know and understand • be honest in their dealings with Teacher notes
that: others If applicable, explore cultural differ-
• people organise spaces by assem- • respect the rights and property of ences in the meaning of gestures, eg
bling and arranging components to others shaking the head may mean no or yes
meet particular needs in different cultures. Investigate sys-
• work cooperatively in groups
• there are different ways of commu- tems of communication from a vari-
nicating with others • be curious about the natural and ety of cultures, eg message sticks in
made environment Aboriginal culture.
• information can be stored for later
use • gain satisfaction from their efforts When making signs for the school/
to investigate, to design and make classroom, students should consider
• all living things are different and to use technology.
• products can be created to fulfil which language(s) should be used.
specific purposes. Emphasise the dangers of tasting uni-
Assessment dentified substances. This unit pro-
• give examples of the ways the dif- Listed below are strategies that may vides an opportunity to explore sen-
ferent senses can be used in obser- be used in assessing this unit of work. sory disabilities in the class. Be aware
vation • Encourage students to gather feed- of Aboriginal students with hearing
back from their audience when as- problems.
• recognise that discoveries can be
made through play, exploring and sessing their own performance of a
experimenting story without words. Suggested resources
• demonstrate that tools and equip- • Discuss with groups of students Communicating by Signs, Mathews, R
ment can be used to aid observa- the reasons for their choices of ma- Five Senses, Braithwaite, A
tion terials and symbols for use in their Eyewitness Guides (series), Collins
• show that equipment should be signs. The Bionic Ear (Kit), Computer Edu-
used with care and safety. • Apply teacher or peer assessment cation Unit
to the group activity on how and Potential Unlimited (video), Com-
Skills why living things communicate. puter education
Students will: Faces, Galletly, M
• observe using all the senses Links with other Computer software: adventure games,
• undertake an investigation as a re- Key Learning Areas eg Playroom; graphics packages, eg
sult of individual curiosity or as a Mask Parade, Monsters and Make
means of solving problems English
Believe, Face Maker, The Print Shop,
• interpret data and explain their Writing messages represented by dif- Print Master, Slide Shop, Slide Show,
observations ferent signs/symbols, exploring/dis- Storybook Theatre, Puppetmaker
• make practical changes that could cussing interesting and creative
styles, shapes and sizes of lettering Communications software: Email,
modify existing products or proc- Keylink
esses on signs.
Exploring sensory language. Using Materials and equipment: pictures of
• present ideas as to what they might facial expressions, sample road safety
plan as a design proposal oral language to describe how things
feel, look, sound, taste and smell. and other familiar signs, Braille writ-
• combine a variety of materials and ing, practice telephone, cassette re-
images to make simple models, Mathematics corder, clothes for costumes
drawings and structures
Making 2D shapes using various ma- Teaching strategies
• describe to others the strengths and terials.
limitations of a design 7 Observing to explore and dis-
Recognising and creating patterns. cover
• choose classroom materials and
Observing and identifying shapes in 9 Manipulating to explore and dis-
tools appropriate to the activity
road signs. cover
• identify and use with safety the 10 Proposing explanations
correct tools for specific purposes Human Society and its Environment
12 Clarifying an investigation
• recognise their own use of technol- Researching ways people communi- 24 Evaluating designs
ogy in the school and home envi- cate to meet their needs. 31 Evaluating chosen technologies
ronment Communicating research findings in 41 Computer graphics
70 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make signs that indicate different activity Investigate ways we communicate using signs and sym-
areas in the classroom/school. [G] bols. [W]
Identify the areas to be labelled, eg wet area, reading Walk around the school local areas and observe signs
corner, computer corner, large group area, listening posts, around us. Discuss the messages they communicate.
canteen, assembly area. [TS7]
Suggest the key idea, person or object that needs to be Identify the sorts of actions they are asking for.
recorded. Decide whether words are needed. Explore the ways symbols are used in Aboriginal art to
Make drawings of ideas, or use a computer graphics communicate and tell stories. Research how symbols are
package to create the symbol. [TS41] used in other cultures.
Present to other class members to identify and decide Collect other examples, eg road safety, international
whether the message is clear. [TS31] Make changes if symbols, computer graphics. Note differences. Identify
necessary. Ensure the sign is noticeable. common features of signs and symbols, eg stick figures,
Choose materials that will be appropriate to go on the just a few words. Explore the colours that are commonly
sign. Consider whether the sign will be inside/outside, used. Suggest why this may be.
how it will be attached/displayed.
Create the sign and display.
Design a performance of a story without words. [G] Investigate how we communicate without using words.
From the list of ways that we communicate choose ones
that can be used to tell a story, eg clothing, facial expres- View a mime or Aboriginal performance (live or on video)
sions, sound effects, movement. to observe how to communicate without using words.
Select a story or event to perform. List the ways ideas are communicated, eg movements,
Make decisions about where to use the different tech- facial expressions, clothing items, movement, props or
niques, eg signs between scenes, clothing to tell more objects, sound effects. Discuss whether everyone inter-
about a character. Consider how sounds and actions can prets things in similar ways. [TS9]
be combined. Experiment ‘talking’ to a friend using only actions. Show
Try the ideas out. Suggest whether you need to make different emotions with face, whole body. Use ‘dress up’
improvements to make the meanings clearer. [TS23] materials to show different characters.
Rehearse the performance and show it to an audience. Explore the way sounds can create moods.
[TS39] Explore provisions made for people with special commu-
nication needs, eg Braille for the blind, signing for the deaf,
interpreters for non-English speakers.
Use prepared graphics software to design and make Investigate how living things communicate. [G]
Activities Discuss the many ways we communicate. Identify some
Explore the range of facial expressions that can be created reasons why we need to communicate, eg danger, hunger,
using the prepared graphics. Select face, shape and facial greetings, to find things out, happiness, sadness.
features from graphics bank. Identify the senses that other animals use. Research, eg by
Move features, trying different positions to create the asking a vet, how animals’ senses differ from human
expressions desired. [TS41] senses, eg dogs have a stronger sense of smell. [TS10]
Print the mask. Decorate, selecting colours that best Compare how animals use their senses. Are some senses
convey the meanings required. more important to animals than others?
Print out final designs and further decorate. Collect pictures and describe with the pictures how these
Use the masks in a performance. living things communicate and why (group activity
Have other children identify the feelings expressed. project).
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 71
Toy World Stage 1
Games and toys
Content focus Assessment Suggested resources
Built Environments Listed below are selected examples of Sport, Hammond, T
Physical Phenomena strategies that may be used in assess- Themes from the Playground, Hope, C
Products and Services ing this unit of work. Into Science (series), Oxford
• Conduct a group conference where Make and Discover (series), Collins
Outcomes students demonstrate similarities
Games Around the World (kit),
and differences between materials
This unit contributes to the follow- UNICEF
used in toys and games and equip-
ing syllabus outcomes. ment. Computer software: adventure games,
Knowledge and Understanding • Have students explain the work-
ings of their toy, using drawings or People and places: library, museum,
Students will know and understand models to exemplify their ideas (the parent helpers, school playground
that: drawing/model should not be the Materials and equipment: construc-
• people organise spaces by assem- focus of the assessment). tion blocks, plasticine toys, sporting
bling and arranging components to • Explain how to use a toy or play a equipment, materials and tools as
meet particular needs game. required for specific designs, games,
• pushes and pulls can make things reverse garbage material
move and stop Links with other Teaching strategies
• products can be created to fulfil
specific purposes. Key Learning Areas 6 Fostering curiosity
Students will: 7 Observing to explore and dis-
• give examples of the ways the dif-
ferent senses can be used in obser- Joint construction of procedures for 8 Researching to explore and dis-
vation playing games, exploring audience, cover
• recognise that discoveries can be purpose, features of instructions. Us- 12 Clarifying an investigation
made through play, exploring and ing writing to label models and 15 Explaining understandings
experimenting sketches. 18 Clarifying a design task
• give examples of how people plan Mathematics
to make in order to provide for Recognising, representing and inves-
their own and others’ needs tigating properties of 3D objects.
• recognise that people plan and make
changes in many aspects of their Personal Development, Health and
daily lives. Physical Education
Skills Movement exploration, eg exploring
equipment, exploring body move-
Students will: ment, moving in spaces.
• explore how things work and en- Developing understanding of stu-
gage in guided play dents’ physical capacities/character-
• combine a variety of materials and istics and those of others.
images to make simple models,
drawings and structures Human Society and its Environment
• identify and use with safety the Exploring individual and cultural dif-
correct tools for specific purposes. ferences.
Values and Attitudes Creative and Practical Arts
Students will: Visual arts: sequence based on direct
• persevere with activities to their experiences, eg toys.
• respect the rights and property of Teacher notes
others Use toys and games from other cul-
• work cooperatively in groups tures to extend students’ awareness of
• gain satisfaction from their efforts other possible designs and materials
to investigate, to design and make to use in their own toy or game design.
and to use technology.
72 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a toy or plaything that moves. [G] Investigate how toys and other play objects can be made
to move. [W]
Research which types of (non-motorised) moving toys
students like. Bring to school some to share. Gather a variety of toys that move. Use the toys to explore
Model ideas for the toy using construction blocks or other the concepts of still/moving, slow/fast. [TS6]
materials. Classify toys according to the way they move, eg roll,
Consider how the toy can be made to move. Select the spin, slide, fly.
type of movement required, eg sliding, rolling, jumping, Identify the parts of the object that move.
flying. Also consider appearance, eg colour, shape, size. Explore the effect of a push or a pull (force) on a toy.
Select materials and make a prototype. [TS18] Demon- Predict how a variation in the push/pull makes it go
strate to other class members how the toy works. Discuss slower and faster. Apply different forces to the same
possible improvements. Modify the toy if needed. Evalu- objects to test predictions.
ate in terms of movement, interest, appearance. Identify objects that rely on pushes and pulls to be moved,
eg chairs, skateboards. [TS12]
Design and make a toy. [G] Investigate toys, games and sporting equipment. [W]
Generate ideas for a toy, using experiences with other toys Collect a range of toys. Include toys and games from many
as a model. Consider whether it would be used indoors/ cultures. [TS7]
outdoors; what materials would be needed to make it; Classify according to commonalities, eg board games,
safety rules required. balls, playground, indoor/outdoor etc. Identify character-
Make a sketch. Explain ideas to others and see if they can istics, likes and dislikes, advantages, disadvantages.
suggest any improvements. Identify toys and games that can be made from naturally
Make the toy and see how it works. occurring or ‘found’ materials, eg sticks, string, stones.
What do other students think of it? Using a collection of balls and/or a variety of bats and
racquets compare and contrast their shapes and the mate-
rials used to make them.
Explore their uses, eg throwing, kicking.
Relate their properties to their use, eg rolling, bouncing,
stretching, soft, hard, long etc.
Use games equipment to make a new game. [G] Investigate games and toys from the past. [I]
Generate ideas for possible new games. Ask students to Research information on some types of games or toys used
bring in equipment and materials from home. From this in the past in our culture or some other culture. [TS8]
each group selects some pieces of equipment/materials to Identify the ways that toys and games have changed over
make a new game. The group trials the game by playing it time and record the information on a time line.
themselves, then suggests and implements improvements. Discuss reasons why people construct toys and play
Students teach the game to another group. games. [TS15]
Identify the senses being used in the game.
Explain how the senses are important in playing the game.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 73
What’s Alive? Stage 1
Characteristics of living and non-living things
Content focus • work cooperatively in groups accepted characteristic of living things.
• be curious about the natural and Computers are often attributed with
Living Things made environment. human characteristics, eg users talk to
Physical Phenomena them. This unit can be used to identify
Earth and its Surroundings Assessment that they are not living.
The living space for an animal need
Listed below are selected examples of
Outcomes strategies that may be used in
not be a permanent living space and
may not necessarily be used.
This unit contributes to the follow- assessing this unit of work.
‘Pamphlet’ production for younger
ing syllabus outcomes. • Collect samples of students’ work students may involve simple pictures
Knowledge and Understanding as illustration of developing skills accompanied by captions. Older stu-
of observation. dents may give greater emphasis to
Students will know and understand • Have students describe the needs the text.
that: of chosen animals/plants and sug-
• all living things are different gest how these should be provided
• living things grow, reproduce, for.
move, need air, take in nutrients • Observe students using materials My World (series), Macmillan
and eliminate wastes and equipment in designing and If you were a ... (series), Collins
• living things and machines need making activities. Stop Watch (series), Hodder &
energy to do things Stoughton
• some living things change accord- Links with other Australian Wildlife and their Babies,
ing to the seasons. Key Learning Areas Ridyard, D
Students will: Feathers Fur or Fins (video), ABC
• recognise that discoveries can be English Tracks to Primary Science, Freer, K
made through play, exploring and and O’Toole, M
experimenting Using speech to clarify ideas when
designing. Look (series), Longman Cheshire
• show that equipment should be Computer software: publishing soft-
used with care and safety. Identifying the purpose and audience
for pamphlets. Drafting, editing and ware, eg Children’s Writing and Pub-
Skills publishing information in pamphlet lishing Centre; wordprocessors, eg
form. Fredwriter, Appleworks; graphics
Students will: software, eg Printmaster Plus, Print
• observe using all the senses Mathematics Shop and simulations, eg Zoopack,
• explore how things work and en- Classifying objects according to simi- Learn about Animals
gage in guided play larities. People and places: zoos and farms;
• undertake an investigation as a re- field studies centres
sult of individual curiosity or as a Human Society and its Environment Materials and equipment: construc-
means of solving problems Identifying basic human needs. Rec- tion materials as required, various
• choose classroom materials and ognising the need to care for all living objects, audio-visual equipment,
tools appropriate to the activity things in the environment. plants and animals
• identify and use with safety the Personal Development, Health and Teaching strategies
correct tools for specific purposes Physical Education
• recognise their own use of technol- 7 Observing to explore and dis-
ogy in the school and home envi- Identifying individual needs and rec- cover
ronment ognising needs of others. 11 Predicting outcomes
• maintain and care for equipment in Creative and Practical Arts 15 Explaining understandings
their immediate surroundings and 16 Applying understandings
Drama: simple improvisation based
organise their immediate environ- 32 Audio-visual technologies
on photographs of groups of plants or
ment. 38 Publishing
Values and Attitudes
Students will: Teacher notes
• demonstrate confidence in them- Some animals suitable for classroom
selves care include ants, guinea pigs, birds,
• persevere with activities to their tadpoles, fish, caterpillars and lizards.
completion Accepted characteristics of living
• be honest in their dealings with things include growth, movement,
others need for food/water, need for air, re-
• respect the rights and property of sponse to stimuli, reproduction, waste
others elimination. Breathing is not an
74 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design an environment for animals or plants to live in at Investigate characteristics of living and non-living things.
school. [G] [W]
(All designs should cater for all needs, eg enough room for Observe and list characteristics of living things, eg move-
animals to run around in.) Identify needs of classroom ment, reproduction, growth. Use video or photographs to
animals/plants based on the identified characteristics of record observations. [TS32] Suggest how we know that
living things. (These may also include other needs such as things are alive.
shelter, warmth, affection/care, company.) Describe the needs of living things. Observe the differ-
Develop a design proposal to meet these needs. [TS16] ences between living and non-living things. Make a
• For animals consider food/water supply, housing, keep- checklist of characteristics.
ing clear, providing sufficient air, room to move. Collect a range of familiar items, eg pot plants, ruler,
• For plants consider the plants’ needs for water, sunlight, person, toys. Predict if a specified/selected item is alive or
air etc. not. Test examples against the list of criteria established
Make suggestions as to how these needs may be met. earlier, eg can it reproduce, does it need food, does it grow?
[TS11] Classify these items as living or non-living. Draw conclu-
Use the student design proposals and select appropriate sions to identify the characteristics of living things. Clas-
materials to construct a space inside or outside the class- sify other objects in the classroom as living or non living,
room to keep plants/animals. eg ants, tree, people, pot plant, book, clothing, programmed
toys, bike, table. [TS15]
If the space is to keep plants or animals it will need to be
secure and provide the necessary requirements for the
well being of the living things.
Design and make a pamphlet advising other students Investigate the diversity of animal and plant life in your
how to care for a chosen plant or animal. [G] environment. [G]
Use simple pamphlets as a model for students’ publishing. Explore the differences between plants and animals.
Model pamphlet production by jointly constructing a Observe the characteristics of different animals, in the
whole–class example. In groups, select the plant or ani- playground, on a farm or at a zoo. [TS7] Compare and
mal to write about. contrast characteristics of plants to those discovered
Discuss the types of information the audience (other about animals. Identify similarities and differences be-
students) might need. Identify headings/sub-headings as a tween plants and animals. Include reptiles, insects, fish
guide. Use these to draft the text, based on observations and birds as well as mammals.
and discussion of the chosen plant or animal. [TS38] Identify Australian animals. Discuss how some animals
Create or select photos, drawings or computer graphics to have been named, eg kookaburra, cockatoo are Aboriginal
illustrate sections of the text. names.
Organise the information and graphics into pamphlet Use video, photographs and drawings to record observa-
form. Display/store in library for other students’ refer- tions of how the animals satisfy their needs, eg how they
ence. move, foods eaten. [TS32]
Explore and identify the parts of a plant. Observe/collect
a variety of ‘whole’ plants (including the root system).
Compare and identify common features, eg leaves and
stems are often green. Infer or suggest the function of
various parts of plants.
Collect drawings of native NSW plants and use these to
construct a poster.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 75
Kids Care Stage 1
Conserving our local environment
Content focus • have a positive view of themselves Teacher notes
• persevere with activities to their
Built Environments completion When looking at built environments
Living Things select small areas, eg local shops, or
• be honest in their dealings with
Products and Services sections of larger shopping centres.
When on the excursion to the natural
• respect the rights and property of
Outcomes area, emphasise to students the im-
portance of not damaging or hurting
This unit contributes to the follow- • show informed commitment to im- animals or plants.
ing syllabus outcomes. proving the quality of their imme-
Knowledge and Understanding • be curious about the natural and
Students will know and understand made environment Do the Right Thing (kit), State Pollu-
that: • gain satisfaction from their efforts tion Control Commission
• people organise spaces by assem- to investigate, to design and make Right on, Let’s Clean the Air, Let’s
bling and arranging components to and to use technology. Clean the Water (kits), State Pollu-
meet particular needs tion Control Commission
• products can be created to fulfil Assessment The Biggest Bug (video), Austral Pa-
specific purposes cific Productions
Listed below are strategies that may
• products can be made, processed or Computer software: Children’s Writ-
be used in assessing the objectives of
grown. ing and Publishing Centre, The Print
this unit of work.
Students will: Shop, Printmaster, The Three Little
• Observe students’ willingness to Pigs
• recognise that discoveries can be listen to the ideas of others.
made through play, exploring and People and places: national parks,
• Have students describe/assess the Forestry Commission, Mining and
experimenting results of their designing and mak-
• name possible needs and wants of Geological Museum, parks, botanic
people • Consider how effective is the com-
• recognise that technological activ- Materials and equipment: a variety of
post heap constructed by the stu- ‘disposable’ materials
ity affects people and their envi- dents.
ronments Teaching strategies
• show that equipment should be Links with other 8 Researching to explore and dis-
used with care and safety
• give examples from their immedi-
Key Learning Areas cover
9 Manipulating to explore and dis-
ate environment that show how English cover
resources can be conserved.
Modelling and using the language of 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
Skills predictions, inferences and explana- concepts
Students will: tions. 15 Explaining understandings
• undertake an investigation as a re- Exploring the audience and language 16 Applying understandings
sult of individual curiosity or as a features of plays and advertisements. 23 Considering appearance and
means of solving problems function
• present ideas as to what they might 25 Selecting and using materials
plan as a design proposal Classifying objects according to one 29 Selecting appropriate technolo-
• combine a variety of materials and or more attributes. Pictorially repre- gies
images to make simple models, senting groups of objects. 31 Evaluating chosen technologies
drawings and structures Human Society and its Environment 32 Audio-visual technologies
• describe to others the strengths and Developing understandings about 38 Publishing
limitations of a design natural and built components of
• choose classroom materials and school and local environments.
tools appropriate to the activity
• identify and use with safety the Personal Development, Health and
correct tools for specific purposes Physical Education
• recognise their own use of technol- Developing individual responsibility
ogy in the school and home envi- towards caring for the environment.
Creative and Practical Arts
Values and Attitudes Visual arts: drawing items in natural
Students will: and built environments from direct
• demonstrate confidence in them- observations. Noting how shapes,
selves lines, colours are similar and different.
76 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design a way of maintaining a litter-free environment at Investigate the effect people have on local environments.
school. [W] [W]
Identify an area that needs protecting, eg near the canteen, Collect items from around the playground, eg emu pa-
and the problems experienced, eg students dropping pa- rade, treasure hunt. Classify them as naturally, or not
per. naturally, found.
Evaluate means that already exist to address the problem. Compare the playground to another built environment,
Suggest additional methods that may be employed, eg eg shopping area or main street of town. Observe and
novelty bins, incentives to pick up rubbish, publicity record all the elements of this environment, eg shops,
campaign. [TS8] signs. Draw pictures of the shops in the local shopping
Novelty bins centre. Combine to make a collage.
In groups, generate ideas, eg paint funny faces to ‘feed’, Identify other local environments. Predict which things
and use on a bin for each grade. Present the plans to other have been put there by people or have grown naturally.
classes, principal. Collect materials and implement the Observe and list the features of these, eg buildings, paths
design. [TS9] roads, grass areas.
Publicity campaign Visit and observe a natural environment, eg national park,
Brainstorm ideas about type of media, eg video, poster, re-establishment area, local bush land, river. List all the
jingle, presenting a play/poem, radio/announcements. items/elements observed. Record sounds, smells and
[TS32] Use examples as models, to examine possible textures. Compare this list to the list from the shopping
techniques etc. Consider presentation of the play includ- area.
ing costumes, props; jingles, sounds and script for radio Compare ‘natural’ environments with ‘built’ environ-
advertisement/announcement; pictures, words and their ments, by direct observation, using videos and books.
placement on posters. [TS38] Apply the design, eg posi- Explain the differences observed when people alter the
tion bins, put on the play, put up posters, ‘broadcast’ ads environment, eg less trees/more trees, buildings, roads.
or make the announcement. [TS15]
Evaluate the effect of the design on students’ behaviour.
Design and make packaging for a gift that is environmen- Investigate what happens to materials left in the environ-
tally friendly. [TS25] ment. [W]
Work out the steps needed to create the package. Observe local environments, park, school grounds, shop-
Experiment with a variety of designs on rough paper. ping centre. Record findings using a tape recorder, or in
Decide on the type of package and choose the most drawings. Classify as naturally found or left by people.
appropriate materials to use. Get another opinion. [TS32]
Collect selected materials. Identify the types of materials in the ‘left by people’ group.
Consider how the packaging looks and how it can be Make predictions about items left by people, eg what will
appropriately decorated. [TS23] happen to them, how long will they stay there, which ones
Evaluate the results — did it work out as you had hoped? will stay longest. Devise ways of testing the predictions.
Identify improvements that could be made. Try again if [TS13] Compare different materials, eg plastics, paper,
desired. [TS31] food scraps, metal cans. Keep systematic records to show
what happens to these materials over periods of time, eg
Identify and list things that have been put in the play-
a day, a week, a fortnight. Make explanations of what has
ground by people, eg buildings, seat, flagpole, litter, gar-
dens. Sketch or photograph items.
Make a class compost heap.
Create a card to accompany the gift from recycled mate-
rial. Reflect on the effect of people leaving things in the
environment. Include consideration of how areas look
Observe a range of greeting cards. Evaluate how suitable
when litter is left around. Explore alternatives to throw-
they are for different people. As a group develop a design
ing items away, eg reusing for another purpose.
brief and make the card. Evaluate the card with respect to
Devise ways of adapting used articles for a different purpose. [G]
Identify reasons for adapting or reusing materials, eg to material from worn–out clothes to make dolls’ clothes, a
conserve the material, to save money, because of a par- bag or cover or protect something. [TS16]
ticular like of the material. Make multiple copies of the product and devise ways of
Develop ideas about adapting a range of products to advertising and marketing the adapted product. [TS29]
perform a different function, eg cutting down a plastic
bottle to make a funnel, a scoop or a boat; cutting up
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 77
Sense of Direction Stage 1
Using the senses to observe and explore
Content focus Values and Attitudes Music: exploring the use of tone col-
our to create scary, pleasant, peaceful
Information and Communication Students will:
Living Things • persevere with activities to their
• be honest in their dealings with
Outcomes others It must be emphasised that tasting
This unit contributes to the follow- • respect the rights and property of unidentified substances can be ex-
ing syllabus outcomes. others tremely dangerous.
Knowledge and Understanding • work cooperatively in groups The unit provides an excellent oppor-
• show a commitment to fair treat- tunity to sensitively explore sensory
Students will know and understand disabilities in the class. Be sensitive
ment to all
that: to Aboriginal students with hearing
• be curious about the natural and
• there are different ways of commu- problems.
nicating with others
• all living things are different
Assessment Suggested resources
• the senses are used to receive mes- Five Senses, Braithwaite, A
sages from all around. Listed below are strategies that may
be used in assessing the objectives of Eyewitness Guides (series), Collins
this unit of work. The Bionic Ear (kit), Computer edu-
• state the purpose of an investiga- cation unit
tion • Use audience involvement and re-
sponse to assess the design and pro- Potential Unlimited (video), Com-
• give examples of the ways the dif- puter education unit
ferent senses can be used in obser- duction of the festival of the senses.
• To what extent have the students Through Grandpa’s Eyes (video), Film
worked cooperatively in groups? and video library
• recognise that discoveries can be
made through play, exploring and • How well have the students In Touch with the World (video), Na-
experimenting achieved their aims in the produc- tional Geographic
tion of the Festival of the Senses? Computer Software: Make the Con-
• give examples of how people plan
to make in order to provide for • Is there evidence of students self- nection!, On the Playground, Silly
their own and others’ needs esteem being raised and/or an in- Noisy House, Arthur’s Teacher Trou-
crease in respect of individuals by ble, Zoopack
• recognise that people plan and make
students? People and places: Life Education cen-
changes in many aspects of their
daily lives tres, field study centres, guest speak-
• demonstrate that tools and equip- Links with other ers who are sight/hearing impaired,
North Rocks Blind/Deaf School.
ment can be used to aid observa- Key Learning Areas Materials and equipment: Reverse
English garbage materials, lighting, range of
• recognise that technological activ- strongly flavoured foods and foods
ity affects people and their envi- Exploring sensory language. Using from different cultures, recordings of
ronments. oral and written language to describe sound effects, a feely box.
Skills how things feel, look, sound, taste
and smell. Teaching strategies
Students will: 2 Reflecting
• observe using all the senses Mathematics
3 Evaluating resources
• explore how things work and en- Using simple graphs to collate data.
7 Observing to explore and dis-
gage in guided play cover
Human Society and its Environment
• combine a variety of materials and 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
images to make simple models, Exploring individual differences.
drawings and structures Personal Development, Health and 16 Applying understandings
• choose classroom materials and Physical Education 18 Clarifying a design task
tools appropriate to the activity
Developing understanding of stu- 24 Evaluating design
• identify and use with safety the
dents’ physical capacities/character- 28 Learning safety procedures
correct tools for specific purposes
istics, those of others and caring for 31 Evaluating chosen technologies
• maintain and care for equipment in our senses.
their immediate surroundings and
organise their immediate environ- Creative and Practical Arts
ment. Crafts/Design: designing and mak-
Drama: trust exercises.
78 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and produce a Festival of the Senses. [W] Investigate how people react to different sensations. [I]
Clarify the task by discussing what is meant by a festival Identify which senses we use when we get a shock, eg hear
and a Festival of the Senses. [TS18] an unusual sound, see something unusual. [TS2]
Identify the types of things that stimulate our senses. This Test images, sounds, odours, textures, flavours to see
can be based on the results of some investigation of which are soothing, disturbing etc.
human senses. Make a list of the types of things people Explore the relationships between senses. [TS7] Test to
like/dislike seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touch- see if senses are amplified when others are impaired, eg
ing. noise seeming louder when you can’t see. [TS13]
Discuss how some of these things can be used in the Compare personal experiences and reactions with the rest
Festival of the Senses. of the class. Explore whether the same things frighten/
Make a list of the types of things to include. Decide shock/please everybody.
whether to include things people dislike as well as ones Make a record of scary, pleasant, peaceful things. [TS16]
Consider available resources.
Brainstorm how many things can be found and used.
Decide how effects can be created. Try out different Task
devices, materials etc. Consider safety in using materials Investigate devices which help our senses provide infor-
and equipment. [TS28] mation about our environment. [I]
Choose a venue for the Festival – a classroom, storeroom,
hall, the playground etc. Decide how the area will be Activities
organised including seating, lighting, sound etc.
Make all props, selecting appropriate materials to fulfil Explain the need for devices to increase the ability of our
identified needs. senses to observe things around us or to warn of danger our
senses may not detect.
Set aside work areas in which to prepare items.
Make a list of the devices that we use to help our senses
Assign roles and responsibilities in producing sensory
(eg magnifying glass, ordinary glasses, hearing aid, red
items and in presenting the event.
lights on hot stoves, stop lights, horns on cars etc).
Decide whether to deprive visitors of one of their senses
when they visit. Consider how this could be done, eg Classify these according to the sense(s) used. Identify
using a blindfold. Will you shock them, soothe them? areas in the school/class where devices could be used to
increase the information provided by the senses. [TS30]
Invite your guests and see their reactions.
Evaluate according to how well you achieved your aims
and whether the audience enjoyed themselves. [TS24]
Investigate the human senses. [G]
Identify the various parts of the body, eg arms, legs, nose
and describe what each is used for.
Refine the list to those organs/body parts that are used to
gain information from around us, eg ears, eyes, nose,
mouth (tongue, lips) and skin (touch, feel).
Identify which senses we have and how we use them.
Test the senses. Use a ‘feely’ box to identify hidden items,
do some taste tests, make a sound map showing sounds
you like/don’t like, survey popular colours, do a sniff test
to identify pleasant/unpleasant odours.
Compare how people use their senses. See whether people
like the taste of the same things, whether everyone is able
to see or hear as well as others.
Observe how blindfolding or covering the ears affects
perceptions using other senses. Consider the things that
affect the senses.
Identify items we use to see/hear better, eg binoculars,
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 79
Back to Nature Stage 1
Uses of naturally occurring substances
Content focus • maintain and care for equipment in Creative and Practical Arts
their immediate surroundings and Deciding on presentation of rooms,
Products and Services organise their immediate environ- tables, cutlery, invitations etc.
Living Things ment.
Decorating of made containers.
Physical Phenomena Values and Attitudes
Earth and its Surroundings Teacher notes
• demonstrate confidence in them- When identifying the origins of mate-
Outcomes selves rials use examples that are not com-
This unit contributes to the follow- • have a positive view of themselves. plex combinations of substances.
ing syllabus outcomes. • work cooperatively in groups With young students it is important
Knowledge and Understanding • show informed commitment to im- that discussion of ‘bush foods’ be in-
proving the quality of their imme- cluded, with an emphasis on the dan-
Students will know and understand diate environment gers of eating unidentified berries,
that: • be curious about the natural and fruits etc found in students’ environ-
• people organise spaces by assem- made environment ment. You may wish to develop the
bling and arranging components to • gain satisfaction from their efforts ‘lunch’ activity together with another
meet particular needs to investigate, to design and make senior class.
• living things grow, reproduce, and to use technology.
move, need air, take in nutrients Suggested resources
and eliminate wastes Assessment
• the senses are used to receive mes- Cut It, Pluckrose, H
sages from all around Listed below are selected examples of Join It, Pluckrose, H
• products can be made, processed or strategies that may be used in Things I Make with Cloth, Lohts, S
grown. assessing this unit of work. What Did you Eat Today?
Students will: • Have students identify natural Short Cuts to Health and Living (kit),
• recognise that discoveries can be substances during other class Australian Meat and Livestock Co-
made through play, exploring and activities. operative
experimenting • Observe the students’ expressions Buying Lunch at School (video), Min-
• name possible needs and wants of when containers are complete. istry of Education, Victoria
people • Ask students to write how they Computer software: desktop publish-
• give examples of how people plan have used their containers. ing programs, eg Print Shop, Print
to make in order to provide for • Ask children to classify a range of Master, Genesis, MS Word, MS
their own and others’ needs materials according to given char- Works. Thomas’ Snowsuit, On the
• recognise that people plan and make acteristics. Playground, Taking Responsibility,
changes in many aspects of their Fantavision, Animation
daily lives Links with other People and places: Reverse Garbage,
State Pollution Control Commission
• recognise that technological activ- Key Learning Areas Materials and equipment: cooking
ity affects people and their envi-
ronments utensils, menus, ingredients as se-
• give examples from their immedi- lected, pictures of foods, samples of
Developing menus or invitations vegetables to observe and group, a
ate environment that show how
through Process Writing. Consider- variety of materials, eg woollen cloth,
resources can be conserved.
ing the purpose and audiences. wood, rock, plastic, leather, paper,
Skills Discussing the presentation of the wax, plaster.
Students will: room, cutlery etc required.
• observe using all the senses Mathematics 7 Observing to explore and dis-
• name possible needs and wants of Calculating the quantities of food cover
people required. Measurement activities 8 Researching to explore and dis-
• make practical changes that could when following recipes. cover
modify existing products or proc- 9 Manipulating to explore and dis-
esses Human Society and its Environment cover
• present ideas as to what they might Considering ‘waste’ products from 11 Predicting outcomes
plan as a design proposal the meal. What can they be used for? 15 Explaining understandings
• describe to others the strengths and 17 Exploring needs
limitations of a design Personal Development, Health and
Physical Education 18 Clarifying a design task
• choose classroom materials and 26 Organising tools, equipment and
tools appropriate to the activity Relating issues of health to natural processes
• identify and use with safety the products used, eg medicines, fibres 27 Understanding materials
correct tools for specific purposes for clothing, and shelter. 32 Audio-visual technologies
• recognise their own use of technology 37 Animation
in the school and home environment 38 Publishing
80 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a container for a specific purpose using Design and make a product from animal or plant mate-
appropriate natural materials. [I] rial found in the playground. [G]
Discuss the type of container to be made and its purpose, Explore the available products in shops/environment.
eg a basket, a pot, a bag. Identify desirable properties. Classify as plant/animal/combination. Discuss how value
[TS18] Draw ideas of what the item could look like. is added to raw materials by using them to produce useful
Explore and describe a range of materials to determine items. Generate ideas for a product. Explore the range of
whether they are appropriate, taking into consideration materials available to determine whether they are appro-
the properties of the materials. Consider also joining and priate. Consider also joining materials. Implement the
decorating materials. Implement the design ideas. Evalu- design ideas. Evaluate the suitability of the material and
ate the suitability of the material and design used. [TS9] design used.
Take the container home and use it.
Investigate natural materials in the environment. [G] Investigate the use of some naturally occurring sub-
Explore small areas of the playground to find substances Activities
which are natural, rather than made (plants, animals etc). Fibres
Explore some of the different types of materials used to
Explore a natural environment to find other substances by make fabrics. Try the library, ask other people, refer to
taking an excursion to a local area. Discuss the differences other cultures. Classify the fabrics as natural/made. Group
between natural and made substances. Categorise the natural fabrics as plant or animal. Match the fibre with its
substances into natural or made. From the ‘made’ group origin, eg cotton–cotton plant, angora–angora rabbit etc.
find out if there are any natural substances which were Research how the fibres are collected, eg picked, clipped
used in the making process. Add new ‘natural’ substances from the animal. [TS8] Invite a guest speaker to demon-
to the original category. Create pictures to represent strate how animal fibres can be spun into yarn, eg wool,
natural substances and label them. Using materials iden- angora. Explore some of the uses of each fibre and any
tified, predict how these materials could be used. [TS11] special properties it has.
List as many examples as possible in the classroom, eg
wood – desk tops, cupboards, rulers, the door; wool –
jumpers, carpet or curtains etc. Explore the use of natural Explore the different types of building materials in the
materials by Aboriginal people and people of other cul- school environment. [TS8] Classify the material as ‘natu-
tures. [TS8] Discuss multiple uses of different materials ral’/’made’. Match the natural materials with the source,
including recycling. Explore the uses made by Aboriginal eg wood–trees, sandstone–rocks etc. Research some of the
people and people of other cultures of natural and made ‘made’ materials to find out if there are any natural
materials. Discuss the importance of natural materials to substances used in the making process. Identify the origin
our everyday life. Reflect on whether we could manage of these substances. Explain some of the uses of each of
without them, whether we damage the natural environ- the natural materials identified. [TS15]
ment when we obtain them. Suggest substitutes that
could be used. [TS17]
Investigate some characteristics and properties of natu-
ral materials. [G]
Explore a large variety of natural materials, eg clay, air,
water, wool, rocks, metals, soil, plant materials (wood,
cork). Classify according to shared characteristics, eg
hard/soft, shiny/dull, bends/doesn’t bend, hot/cold. Use a
‘feely’ bag containing objects made from a variety of
materials. Describe as many properties as possible of a
selected item. Predict what the object is and what it’s
made of. Predict the possible effect on materials of hitting
with a hammer, wetting with water, leaving in the sun
etc. Experiment to test the effects. Compare the effects on
different materials. Suggest possible/appropriate uses for
materials based on their characteristics and properties.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 81
A Place in Time Stage 1
Weather and how it changes our surroundings
Content focus • combine a variety of materials and Human Society and its Environment
images to make simple models,
Built Environments Developing empathy with and appre-
drawings and structures ciation for the environment.
Information and Communication • describe to others the strengths and
Living Things limitations of a design Personal Development, Health and
Physical Phenomena • choose classroom materials and Physical Education
Products and Services tools appropriate to the activity Identifying responsible behaviours in
Earth and its Surroundings • maintain and care for equipment in the sun, and before, during and after
their immediate surroundings and physical activity.
Outcomes organise their immediate environ-
Creative and Practical Arts
This unit contributes to the follow- Designing a class mural, model or
ing syllabus outcomes. Values and Attitudes collage of holiday destination.
Knowledge and Understanding Students will:
Students will know and understand
• demonstrate confidence in them- Teacher notes
that: The activities in this unit should be
• persevere with activities to their repeated each term, eg February, April,
• people alter their environment in completion
response to natural conditions July, October, in accordance with the
• be honest in their dealings with seasons. Comparisons should be made
• information can be stored for later others
use between these observations. Com-
• work cooperatively in groups pare also changes in our needs and
• products can be created to fulfil
• show informed commitment to behaviour.
improving the quality of their Draw upon multicultural back-
• time can be measured through immediate environment grounds of students where applicable
change and regular events
• be curious about the natural and to introduce events and climate of
• the weather can have a powerful made environment other cultures including Aboriginal
effect on people cultures.
• gain satisfaction from their efforts
• some living things change accord- to investigate, to design and make
ing to the seasons. and to use technology. Suggested resources
Hunter for All Seasons, Harris, S
• state the purpose of an investiga- Assessment What is the Difference (series), Hodder
• give examples of the ways the dif- Listed below are strategies that may & Stoughton
ferent senses can be used in obser- be used in assessing this unit of work. Season Themes Through the Year,
vation • Observe students designing and Hope, C
• demonstrate that tools and equip- making charts, drawings and using Australian Dreaming, Isaacs, J
ment can be used to aid observa- equipment. Season Projects (series), Wayland Pty
tion. • Promote peer evaluation of the wa- Ltd
• name possible needs and wants of terproof outfits designed by the stu- Australian Seasons, Fairely, A
people dents. Computer Software: Compute-A-
• recognise that people plan and make • Engage in teacher-student Graph
changes in many aspects of their interviews to determine student People and places: botanic gardens,
daily lives understanding of how the changes parks, zoos
in weather are related to human
• show that equipment should be Materials and equipment: tempera-
used with care and safety. ture strips, clothing catalogues, a wide
variety of materials, fabrics
Skills Links with other
Students will: Key Learning Areas Teaching strategies
• observe using all the senses 7 Observing to explore and dis-
• undertake an investigation as a English cover
result of individual curiosity or as Using talking and listening to coop- 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
a means of solving problems eratively select, plan, manipulate re- concepts
• name possible needs and wants of sources and make decisions in de- 16 Applying understandings
people signing and making tasks. 17 Exploring needs
• make practical changes that could 18 Clarifying a design task
modify existing products or 31 Evaluating chosen technologies
processes Comparing two temperatures.
• present ideas as to what they might Naming and ordering the months of
plan as a design proposal the year and the seasons.
82 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make symbols for a weather chart represent- Investigate the weather conditions that we can experi-
ing the temperature, major weather features. [I] ence at any time of year. [I]
Identify a range of weather conditions to be recorded, eg Observe and identify a range of weather conditions, eg
sun, clouds, wind, cold, hot. rain, sun, fog, hail. Predict the weather conditions you
Generate ideas for simple representations for class chart, would expect at different times of the year. (Test predic-
personal charts. Consider ways of ensuring regular record- tions using unit activities through the year.) Discuss how
ing. Devise methods of creating standard symbols to use the seasons differ from those in Europe and North America.
each day. Explain the symbols to the class. Evaluate each [TS7]
of these designs by trialling their use over a period of time.
[TS13] Refine the symbols in the light of the evaluation.
Design items for people to use in response to changing Investigate the changes that take place at different times
conditions throughout the year. [G] of the year in:
• the weather
Activities • plant and animal life
Identify differing clothing needs and suggest appropriate • human behaviour. [G]
clothing requirements for school, for play etc. Evaluate
how well they meet our needs. Design changes to the Activities
classroom so it meets the needs of students in different
seasons. [TS16] Weather
Indicate how people’s varying needs would be met in each Observe and record daily weather on chart. Make com-
case, eg foods, clothing requirements, activities enjoyed. parisons to other seasons.
[TS17] Observe and informally measure wind in different parts of
Pool ideas based on your observations. Decide upon the playground, near buildings etc. Record on drawing or
method of presenting the design, eg class mural, model, simple diagram of school. Observe and record sunny/
collage. shady areas of school on drawing, plan or map.
Use a variety of materials appropriate to the season, eg Use simple equipment to record rainfall over a month by
towelling, woollen fabrics, leaves, sand, twigs. measuring the quantity of water collected.
Keep designs from each season and make comparisons Construct a calendar using symbols to show rainfall over
when complete. a month.
Plants and animals
Trace around and record colours of leaves. Do a tree/leaf
survey. Visit local botanic gardens. Collect animal life
from a tree by gently shaking a branch over a sheet.
Identify and record the number of insects present. Count
and record the number and varieties of birds in the
playground. Compare results each season.
Discuss effects of weather. Explore foods eaten, feelings,
leisure activities, outdoor/indoor activity, health (eg sun-
burn, colds, hay fever), clothing, holidays, feasts. Discuss
ways traditional Aboriginal people move in response to
seasonal change, eg water supply and food resources.
Design and make a waterproof outfit. [G] Investigate fabrics and their suitability for use in wet
weather garments. [G]
Identify the things that will be needed, eg raincoat, hat,
boots etc. Examine a range of wet weather clothing. Test a range of materials and fabrics to discover how well
Identify and evaluate characteristics in terms of effec- they protect from rain, dry when wet, etc. Predict how
tiveness. Generate ideas for students’ own design. Draw long various fabrics will take to dry. Test and compare
ideas. Select appropriate materials and make the outfit for results with predictions. Explore ways of drying fabrics
the teddy bear. faster. [TS31]
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 83
Picture It Stage 1
Communicating through pictures
Content focus Assessment Teachers need to be sensitive to cul-
tural and gender stereotypes repre-
Built Environments Listed below are selected example sented on television. Discussion of
Information and Communication strategies that may be used in assess- how TV characters differ from stu-
Products and Services ing the objectives of this unit of work. dents may be appropriate.
• Observe students designing and
Outcomes making their visual programs. Suggested resources
• Encourage peer evaluation of the
This unit contributes to the follow- stories created. Photography, Meadows, G
ing syllabus outcomes. • Have students explain how they Hands On, Taylor, A
Knowledge and Understandings would create a mood using only Photography: Take a Look, Herd, D
pictures or textures. Classroom Photography, CDC
Students will know and understand
Learning by Making Photographs,
• there are different ways of commu-
Links with other CDC
nicating with others Key Learning Areas Computer software: computer graph-
ics software, eg Create With Garfield,
• products can be created to fulfil Explore-a-Story Series, Picture Book,
specific purposes. English
Big Book Maker
Students will: Discussing common features of sto- People and places: local TV stations,
• recognise that discoveries can be ries (narrative) — characters, setting local theatre groups, local newspaper
made through play, exploring and and events, structure. Encouraging
Materials and equipment: magazines,
experimenting students to draft, revise/edit and pub-
story books, pictures and photographs,
• give examples of how people plan, lish stories.
television timetables, audio-visual
to make in order to provide for Mathematics equipment
their own and others’ needs
• show that equipment should be Comparing groups using pictorial rep- Teaching strategies
used with care and safety. resentations. Using photographs to
explore simple mathematics con- 18 Clarifying a design task
Skills cepts. 25 Selecting and using materials
31 Audio-visual technologies
Students will be able to: Human Society and its Environment 36 Animation
• observe using all the senses Using skills developed in this unit to
• interpret data and explain their extend ways of organising and pre-
observations senting information.
• present ideas as to what they might
plan as a design proposal Personal Development, Health and
• combine a variety of materials and Physical Education
images to make simple models, Using movement to communicate
drawings and structures ideas, messages or a story.
• describe to others the strengths and Creative and Practical Arts
limitations of a design
• choose classroom materials and Visual Arts: sequence using medi-
tools appropriate to the activity ated images, eg asking questions,
looking at pictures.
• maintain and care for equipment in
their immediate surroundings and
organise their immediate environ- Teacher notes
ment. Skills in ‘reading pictures’ should be
Values and Attitudes developed progressively throughout
every year of schooling. Students at
Students will: Stage 1 can take photos using simple
• work cooperatively in groups cameras, developing skills in framing
• be curious about the natural and objects and selecting visual informa-
made environment tion. A variety of visual products can
• gain satisfaction from their efforts be created, eg tape/slide sequences,
to investigate, to design and make photo montage, drawings with cap-
and to use technology. tions, picture sequences selected from
84 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a visual program accompanied by a Investigate how pictures can give us information. [G]
sound track. [W]
Activities Gather a variety of pictures, photographs, drawings. Iden-
Decide on a story (or ideas) to be told. Consider traditional tify what is happening/present in the image. Group im-
stories from various cultures. ages according to different criteria, eg colours, things that
Choose a way of presenting the pictures and sounds seem far away, people, places. Discuss patterns or com-
or text, eg tape/slide sequences, photo story (using pho- mon features, eg colour creating mood, arrangement of
tos, drawings or OHP transparencies) with spoken/per- figures, texture, moods etc.
Create an image for each part of the story. Consider the
information to be included and how it will appear. Think
about how to create the feel required.
Select and produce sounds that might accompany the
story. Devise a way of ensuring the soundtrack matches
the pictures when presented.
Present the program. Evaluate in terms of audience enjoy-
ment as well as personal satisfaction.
Use text and graphics software to create a visual story. [I] Investigate how pictures can be combined to tell a story.
Explore graphics available in the package, eg
backgrounds, characters, objects. Combine selected ele- Identify how photos/images are part of continuing events.
ments to create visual scenes. Evaluate. Suggest what may have come before the image, what will
Write captions using text facility or word processor or add happen next. After some practice, students create stories
a sound track. Design a title page and credits. from a given picture. Groups use the same image and each
Publish story by viewing on screen and playing the sound- creates a story. Compare stories and note differences.
track, recording story and soundtrack on video or print- Suggest reasons for these.
ing. Share with other students. Using a number of images, sequence them to tell a story.
Tell a story based on a given sequence of pictures. Com-
pare results with other groups with the same pictures in
the same sequence or the same pictures in a different
order. Add captions and display. Compare results from
Rearrange images to tell a different story. Consider whether
all images are needed.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 85
What’s for Lunch? Stage 1
Food, meals and nutrition
Content focus • work cooperatively in groups meat and fish, fruit and vegetables,
• gain satisfaction from their efforts dairy products.
Built Environments to investigate, to design and make With young students it is important
Information and Communication and to use technology. that discussion of ‘bush foods’ also
Living Things emphasises the dangers of eating uni-
Products and Services Assessment dentified berries, fruits etc found in
Listed below are strategies that may
Outcomes be used in assessing this unit of work.
This unit contributes to the follow-
• Have students retell their experi-
ing syllabus outcomes. ences of the luncheon. What Did You Eat Today? Nelson
• Observe students during the design- Short Cuts to Health and Living (kit)
Knowledge and Understanding
ing and making of the luncheon. Buying Lunch at School (video)
Students will understand that: • Ask children to design a healthy Computer software: graphics soft-
• people organise spaces by assem- meal that could be prepared for ware, eg The Print Shop, Printmaster
bling and arranging components to different occasions, eg picnic. Plus, Deluxe Paint III, Children’s
meet particular needs Writing and Publishing Centre
• information can be stored for later Links with other People and places: The Royal Botanic
use Gardens; local markets; food market
• living things grow, reproduce,
Key Learning Areas groups, eg Egg Board, Fish Marketing
move, need air, take in nutrients English Authority
and eliminate wastes Materials and equipment: cooking
• products can be created to fulfil Exploring purpose, audience and fea- utensils, menus, ingredients as se-
specific purposes tures of interviews. Practising for- lected, pictures of foods, samples of
• products can be made, processed or mulating and asking questions. vegetables to observe and group
grown. Discussing the language of invita-
tions and menus, noting differences Teaching strategies
and similarities. 1 Cooperative learning
• give examples of the ways the dif-
ferent senses can be used in obser- Mathematics 7 Observing to explore and dis-
Classifying objects according to one
• name possible needs and wants of 18 Clarifying a design task
or more attributes.
people 26 Organising tools, equipment and
• give examples of how people plan Human Society and its Environment processes
to make in order to provide for Identifying foods eaten by students in 38 Publishing
their own and others’ needs order to extend understandings of cul-
• recognise that technological activ- tural diversity in their own commu-
ity affects people and their envi- nity.
Personal Development, Health and
Skills Physical Education
Students will be able to: Developing understandings about
• interpret data and explain their health and nutrition.
observations Creative and Practical Arts
• name possible needs and wants of
people Visual Arts: sequence beginning with
remembered experiences, eg favour-
• present ideas as to what they might
plan as a design proposal
• recognise their own use of technol-
ogy in the school and home envi-
ronment. Discussion of diabetes, allergies etc,
would be appropriate at this stage,
Values and Attitudes
especially if there are students in the
Students will: class with diet restrictions.
• persevere with activities to their Food groups to include in a healthy,
completion balanced diet are bread and cereals,
• respect the rights and property of
86 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a healthy lunch for the class. Invite a Investigate our need for healthy food. [G]
guest, using computer technology to personalise invita-
tions. Create an attractive menu. [W] Activities
Activities Explore how we can find out what people need to eat. Try
the library, ask other people, eg a nurse, dietitian, Aborigi-
The meal nal health unit.
Discuss the range of foods that could be included in a Research whether all people need the same food, eg
lunchtime meal. children, adults, grandparents, people with diabetes, al-
Survey to discover the foods people like to eat for lunch. lergies etc. Find out if people choose to eat the same foods.
Brainstorm ideas about the ways of gathering informa- Discuss individual likes/dislikes of students in the class.
tion. Suggest questions that could be posed. By consensus, Classify foods into groups, eg foods with leaves, red
decide on a final set of survey questions. Use the question- coloured. Try again using different criteria, eg red meat,
naire to interview other students, family etc. Present the white meat, vegetables, by taste, smell or touch.
information, eg make a graph, use a computer spreadsheet. Identify healthy foods, why they are good for us and why
Use this information in deciding the meal to be prepared. it is important to provide a balance between different food
Refer also to knowledge of healthy food to ensure the types. Group foods into healthy and not so healthy.
choices are appropriate. Invite someone to speak to the class about food and diet,
Consider how the meal can be presented in an attractive eg nurse, doctor, athlete.
way. Explore bush foods. Compare to other foods available to
Identify the necessary ingredients and utensils. Organise class. Research traditional Aboriginal diet.
a way of obtaining these.
Create a hygienic workspace for preparing the food.
Organise a suitable place for serving lunch to your guests.
Consider space, appearance, accessibility, table setting,
Consider the requirements of the invitation, eg who is to
be invited, how the name and address on the invitation Investigate where our food comes from. [W]
can be changed, whether a reply is required. Select the
information to be included. Activities
Using computer software try different ways of organising
and presenting the information by manipulating text and Group the food items identified earlier as plant or animal.
graphics. Identify the parts of plants that we eat, eg leaves, roots,
stems. Classify common fruit/vegetables according to the
Evaluate in terms of practicality and appeal.
parts we eat, eg leaves: lettuce, cabbage; stem: celery,
Jointly construct the final invitation. Design and organise a onions.
way for each student to create an individually addressed Visit the local shops and identify the foods purchased at
invitation. each, eg fruit and vegetables, meat, bread.
Produce the invitations and send to the guests. Explore where food comes from before reaching the shops.
The menu Visit a farm, orchard or cannery. Observe the production
Using a variety of simple menus, identify how informa- of milk, eggs, grains.
tion is presented. List common food eaten by the students and beside each
Decide on format, and materials to be used. name the source of food.
Make the menus.
Investigate what makes a healthy lunch. [I]
Individually list the types of food eaten for lunch (as
opposed to other meals). Identify what makes these suit-
able for lunchtime eating, eg sandwiches are easy to wrap,
salad doesn’t have to be kept warm. Explain why certain
foods are not eaten for lunch. Discuss the variety of food
eaten by people from various cultures.
Explore social customs associated with eating lunch, eg in
some places the main meal is sometimes eaten at ‘lunch-
time’, different names for meals, implements used in
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 87
Out and About Stage 2
Wheels and how students use them to move
Content focus • recognise the appropriate use of Human Society and its Environment
tools, equipment, hardware and Researching effects of transport sys-
Built Environments software tems on local communities and other
Physical Phenomena • report on the social and environ- Australian communities, past and
Products and Services mental costs and benefits of famil- present.
Personal Development, Health and
Outcomes Values and Attitudes Physical Education
This unit contributes to the follow- Students will: Emphasising road safety rules that
ing syllabus outcomes. • demonstrate confidence in them- apply to safe and responsible use of
Knowledge and Understanding selves and willingness to make de- bicycles and other vehicles.
Students will know and understand • have a positive view of themselves Creative and Practical Arts
that: and their capabilities Visual Arts: preparing a collage show-
• environments are sometimes modi- • show responsiveness to ideas ing the different types of vehicles.
fied to fulfil new and different re- • persevere with activities to their Music: creating a song using the
quirements completion sounds of different vehicles.
• production technologies have • be honest and open in their deal-
changed over time ings with others Teacher notes
• simple machines can make moving
• work cooperatively in groups When using their own means of trans-
• show a commitment to fair treat- port, students must take a great deal
• materials and resources are used to
ment for all of responsibility for their own safety
produce goods and commodities
• be curious about and appreciate the and so need to be aware of the dangers
• materials are joined, formed, shaped
natural and made environment involved.
• gain satisfaction in their efforts to If making cardboard cogs ensure a
Students will: investigate, to design and make and
• demonstrate that investigation can standard pattern is used.
to use technology
take many forms • appreciate the scientific and tech-
• recognise that the results of inves- nological contribution made by Suggested resources
tigations can lead to more ques- Australians. Street Sense, Level 1 and 2 (kit), Road
• show that designing and making Assessment
can lead to the need for investiga- Skateboarding is not a Book, Adams,
tions Listed below are selected examples of V et al
• recognise that designs are con- strategies that may be used in assess- Bicycles Down the Years (video), Cur-
strained by time, skills, tools and ing this unit of work. riculum Branch Ministry of Educa-
materials • Use cooperative assessment of tion, Victoria
• identify the forms and components group work in the design and mak- Computer software: prepared graphic
used in the production of a design ing of futuristic transport. software, eg Car Builder, Transporta-
• relate planning and evaluating to • Observe students in their manipu- tion/transformation, Wild Science
each stage of designing and making lation of gears/cogs. Arcade, All about Simple Machines
• relate the particular properties of • Consider their willingness to en- People and places: Powerhouse Mu-
materials to end uses gage with the materials and how seum, CSIRO centre, RTA, Wollon-
• justify the selection of processes, well their understandings are uti- gong University Science Centre
tools, equipment, materials, prod- lised in their designs. Materials and equipment: Osmiroid
ucts and software to meet the re- Teko, Lego Technic Duplo,
quirements of the task. Links with other Googolplex, Meccano, bikes, roller
Skills Key Learning Areas skates, skateboards
Students will: Teaching strategies
• state the issue or area to be investi- 8 Researching to explore and dis-
gated Exploring purpose and features of a cover
• propose explanations using simple report, to describe their means of
transport. 9 Manipulating to explore and dis-
• make a prediction based on data Using talking and writing to explain
how cogs and gears work. 17 Exploring needs
collected by themselves or others
23 Considering appearance and
• describe needs and wants of people Mathematics function
in relation to design activities
Observing and exploring the shapes 25 Selecting and using materials
• suggest modifications to design pro- of moving parts of toys. Explaining
posals to improve the original de- how they fit together and affect other
sign moving parts.
88 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a means of transport for the future. [G] Investigate how transport needs have been met in the
Brainstorm ideas. Draw a picture to explain how the
vehicle works. Include safety features. Research different means of transport and how they have
Choose materials, considering their suitability. [TS5] been developed to meet specific needs, eg trucks to move
Consider how they can be joined and shaped. heavy loads, ships for travel on water. [TS8]
Make the model. Test and evaluate its success. Compare past and present forms of specific vehicles.
Show how and why vehicles have changed. Identify safety
Write a report describing your means of transport.
features and how they’ve changed. Make a time line to
Include details of how it would be used, where it would be show developments in transport.
able to go, the fuel it needs, what it might be made of if it
were real. List problems arising from developments in transport, eg
more roads, runways, fuel use, pollution.
Reflect on the implications of using the chosen materials
and fuel source. Predict what transport may be like in the future. Consider
availability of fuel, impact of more roads and more cars,
alternatives to present means etc.
Design solutions to problems associated with the use of Investigate students’ transport. [G]
students’ transport. [G]
Activities Survey students to find their most commonly used means
Discuss and identify problems students experience in of transport.
using rollerskates, skateboards. [TS17] Observe the structure of student vehicles and how they
Identify problems that can be addressed by the class, eg work, eg bicycle–wheels, gears; rollerskates–wheels, bear-
nowhere to ride, kids not wearing helmets, cyclists being ings. Draw diagrams of vehicles. Label working parts and
difficult to see. explore their function. Research how to ensure they are
In groups, suggest solutions to the problem or action that operating correctly. Discuss the safety benefits of regular
can be taken, eg design a bike path in most frequently maintenance checks.
used areas, a rollerskating area in a local park or school, Discuss the advantages and disadvantages associated
a campaign to raise awareness of bike safety, safety with these means of transport, eg bikes–head injuries,
equipment to make riders easier to see. dangerous on the road; skates–nowhere to ride safely.
Evaluate any local facilities already provided. Model, List road safety rules that apply to the use of student
construct or present the design. Wherever possible imple- vehicles.
ment the design. Explore ways of making riders ‘stand out’. Predict which
Evaluate the design in terms of how well it may solve the clothing colours are most noticeable. [TS22] Devise a
problem. Consult other people, eg parents, council, com- way of testing the suggestions. Trial a variety of devices
munity members for their reactions. and methods to increase riders’ visibility.
Investigate how gears/cogs make things move. [G] Use gears to design and make a toy that includes some-
thing that moves, eg top launcher, merry-go-round. [G]
Identify cogs/gears in the students’ environment, eg parts
of bicycles, toys, clocks, motors. [TS8] Explore how gears make things move and how they can be
Explore how cogs work using cardboard examples or used to make a toy work. [TS9]
Osmiroid Teko, Lego Technics, Meccano. Consider how Select materials to build the toy, eg match boxes, balsa
they fit together, how one cog makes others move, the wood, construction materials.
source of energy, eg pedals, motor, water. Consider how the toy looks. Add decorations if appropri-
Trace the path of movement from one cog to another. ate.
Explore how different sized cogs change the movement.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 89
Indoors, Outdoors Stage 2
Organising spaces into structures and buildings
Content focus • make a prediction based on data Human Society and its Environment
collected by themselves or others
Built Environments Investigating built environments lo-
• devise ways of checking or testing cally and in other Australian commu-
Living Things predictions nities, past and present.
Products and Services • evaluate materials and processes
Earth and its Surroundings used Creative and Practical Arts
• recognise the appropriate use of Visual Arts: sequence starting with
Outcomes tools, equipment, hardware and remembered experiences, eg places,
This unit contributes to the follow- software. building. Using colour.
ing syllabus outcomes. Values and Attitudes
Knowledge and Understanding Students will:
• persevere with activities to their Care should be taken if discussing
Students will know and understand students’ homes. The unit focuses on
the specific use of materials related to
• people create specialised environ- • respect the rights and property of the features of buildings.
ments to meet specific needs others
• work cooperatively in groups
• structures are built from natural
• show informed commitment to im-
and processed materials and com-
ponents proving the quality of their local Bridges, Graham, R
• environments are sometimes modi- environment How we Build (Series), Macmillan
fied to fulfil new and different re- • be curious about and appreciate the The Source Book (kit), The Built En-
quirements natural and made environment vironment Education Network
• computers are machines that store • gain satisfaction in their efforts to The Blue Mountains, Threatened Wil-
and process information investigate, to design and make and derness (video)
• plants and animals live in environ- to use technology. Where the Forest Meets the Sea
ments that supply their needs (Video), Film Australia
• materials and resources are used to Assessment Computer software: graphics soft-
produce goods and commodities Listed below are selected examples of ware: Swivel 3D, Build (Micro Primer
• manufacturing processes convert strategies that may be used in assess- Pack 3), Building Perspective, Dragon
raw materials into useful products ing this unit of work. World, Flowers of Crystal, Town
• there are benefits and problems as- Builder
• Conduct conferences with students
sociated with human changes to to identify the features of various People and places: botanic gardens,
the physical environment. outside/inside features. local parks, Department of Planning,
Students will: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Tower,
• Have students present their find- Canberra (a planned city)
• show that designing and making ings in the form of similarity/dif-
can lead to the need for investiga- ference charts. Materials and equipment: building
tions blocks, construction materials,
• Discuss the materials that could be photographs of homes and buildings
• give examples of predictions that used in construction in different
are sometimes supported, some- environments. Teaching strategies
7 Observing to explore and dis-
• recognise that designs are con- Links with other cover
strained by time, skills, tools and Key Learning Areas 11 Predicting outcomes
15 Explaining understandings
• relate the particular properties of English
materials to end uses 16 Applying understandings
• justify the selection of processes, Demonstrating how to formulate 17 Exploring needs
tools, equipment, hardware and questions and access non fiction re- 24 Evaluating designs
software. search material. 25 Selecting and using material
Using talking and writing to coopera- 41 Computer graphics
Skills tively plan, select and manipulate re-
Students will: sources and make decisions.
• make accurate observations and de- Mathematics
scribe these observations, or record
Investigating the properties of 3D ob-
them as diagrams, tables of data
jects, especially prisms and pyramids.
Describing objects from different
• propose explanations using simple
points of view. Classifying and con-
structing 2D shapes.
90 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a model of a playground. [G] Investigate buildings and materials in a range of environ-
Gather information, by researching a variety of sources
on how playgrounds are planned, eg what structures are Observe homes students live in. Make a record of different
required, other areas such as bridges, spaces and other types of homes, eg a mural/collage, skyline silhouette.
facilities. [TS15] Discuss how the model will be made, eg Compare differences in their physical structure. [TS7]
materials needed for selected structures or to reproduce Look at a variety of scenes – photographs, videos of cities,
the look and feel of actual building materials. Consider country scenes, past and present. Explain aspects of the
how these methods and available materials may influ- buildings that appeal, eg shape, colour, surroundings.
ence the design. Organise groups to make the final deci- Identify a variety of buildings with different purposes, eg
sions about features to be included. Make a plan. Use shops, factories, silos, halls, schools, offices. Observe
models and rough sketches to try out different ideas. differences in their features. Explain how the outside of a
Draw a map or picture of the design. Show where items
building can indicate its purpose, eg signs, features. Pre-
will be placed, eg swings, see-saws, bridges, open space,
dict what a given building might be used for. [TS11] Test
toilets. Explain to others decisions made regarding selec-
tion of structures and materials used, organisation of the predictions through further investigation. Discuss
structures and spaces. Can others make suggestions to whether the area a building is found in gives rise to
improve the design? Assign roles for completion of task. expectations as to its purpose. Suggest reasons for the
Gather materials. Choose suitable materials from those observations. Visit a country town, inner city suburb.
available. Make the model. Reflect upon your task con- Record observations of buildings, spaces and their organi-
sidering the structures. Include how spaces have been sation. Use annotated sketches. Compare the placement
used. Would you like to play in this area? Explain why. of the homes as they appear in the city, country or in a
suburb, past or present. Observe different uses of space.
Research how cities have or have not been planned, eg
Sydney, Canberra. Explore the needs for ‘green’ areas in a
city or town. Make lists of the things that appeal/don’t
appeal in the city or in the country. Compare the two lists.
Consider whether everyone has the same opinion. Ob-
serve the features of buildings. List the parts of a building,
eg windows, entrances, steps, doors, verandahs. Observe
and sketch a range of different examples. Compare the
shapes of the entrances and windows. Compare a variety
of rooms to see the effect of different windows. Walk
around the school, visit shops. Make a model to test the
Task effect of large and small windows, eg light, temperature.
Design a plan for a city or community of the future, or List the things that buildings are made from. Identify
suited to a different environment, eg underwater, in materials used for different features, eg walls, roofs, win-
space. [W] dow frames. Describe as many properties as possible of
selected material. Predict the possible effect on material
Activities of wetting, leaving in the sun etc. Experiment to test the
effects. Compare the effects of different materials. Suggest
Establish conditions that may prevail in the selected possible uses for these materials in construction based on
environment, eg under water, polluted air, personal aerial their characteristics. Identify other structures found, eg
transport, shortage of building space. [TS16] bridges, towers. Identify shapes used in these structures,
Identify the special needs to be satisfied, eg provision of air eg triangles, rectangles. Explain why these shapes are
to breathe, transport systems, food supplies, sealing out used. Predict and test what would happen if different
water. Brainstorm ideas regarding the structures and serv-
shapes were used. [TS24] Test different shapes to find
ices required and possible ways to supply them. [TS17]
which are most stable.
Use drawings, models or computer graphics packages to
explore possibilities. Demonstrate how needs would be
met or provided for. Consider the materials that would be
appropriate in the given environment, eg underwater, for Task
aerial buildings, underground. Construct a set of anno- Use computer software to investigate created environ-
tated drawings or plans, a model or computer presenta- ments of animals and describe the features of each. [I]
tion. Present to the class. Evaluate how well the needs
have been satisfied. Activity
Explore the graphics, graphics tools, objects, characters,
backgrounds etc in the software package. [TS41]
Investigate environments created by the computer soft-
ware, simulation or create own environment using graph-
ics and graphics tools. Use draw and paint programs to
create a habitat that has been investigated, such as floor
plans, buildings. Discuss the advantages of being able to
simulate environments and being able to easily manipu-
late graphics within the computer microworld. [TS15]
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 91
Mini-worlds Stage 2
Interactions of living things
Content focus • suggest modifications to design pro- Personal Development, Health and
posals to improve the original de- Physical Development
Built Environments sign
Extending activities to look at the
Information and Communication • use basic construction tools, mate- behaviours of people in restricted en-
Living Things rials and computerised data bases vironments.
to refine observations.
Outcomes Values and Attitudes Teacher notes
This unit contributes to the follow- Students will: Interdependence can be shown in
ing syllabus outcomes. • demonstrate confidence in them- pictograms of food webs.
Knowledge and Understanding selves and willingness to make de- Other microenvironments could in-
cisions clude fish ponds, terrariums, damp or
Students will know and understand
• show responsiveness to ideas shady areas, beneath rocks. An area of
• respect the rights and property of a flower bed is of great interest.
• people create specialised environ-
others The effect of one thing on another,
ments to meet specific needs
• work cooperatively in groups their relationship and interdepend-
• environments are sometimes modi- ence are vitally important as a focus
fied to fulfil new and different re- • be curious about and appreciate the
natural and made environment in this unit.
• computers are machines that store • gain satisfaction in their efforts to
and process information investigate, to design and make and Suggested resources
• plants and animals live in environ- to use technology. Grounds for Learning, Cox, D et al
ments that supply their needs Looking at ... (series), Suzuki, D
• living things depend on other living Assessment The Puffin Book of Australian In-
things to survive. Listed below are strategies that may sects, Hunt, H
Students will: be used in assessing this unit of work. Beastly Neighbours, Rights, M
• demonstrate that investigation can • Conduct conferences with students How Does your Garden Grow?
take many forms to identify the modifications needed Heinze, K
• recognise that the results of inves- to attract different animals to an Tracks into Primary Science, Freer, K
tigations can lead to more ques- area. and O’Toole, M
tions • Have students use their database to Look (series), HBJ
• give examples of predictions that find information. Insects (video), Film and Video Li-
are sometimes supported, some- brary
times disproved Links with other Amazing Ants (video), Coronet
• recognise that designs are con- Key Learning Areas The Hidden World (video), National
strained by time, skills, tools and Geographic
materials English Computer software: graphics soft-
• relate the particular properties of ware: Explore Australia, Explore-a-
Modelling with students, reading and
materials to end uses Science–Whales, The Insect World,
writing factual reports.
• explain that technology can be used Heath Science, Animal Trackers.
Exploring the purpose and features of
to help people learn Adventure games: Frabon, A Deep-
• understand that the use of tools, sea Quest, Kraken. Databases:
Encouraging students to use talking Appleworks, FrEdbase
equipment, software etc requires
and writing in formulating plans and
the development of specific skills People and places: botanic gardens,
conferring with others.
• show that technology can enable parks, zoo, school playground, De-
people to gain access to organise Mathematics partment of Environment and Plan-
and use information. ning, local council, Forestry Com-
Comparing areas, measuring areas in
mission, Australian Museum
Skills square metres.
Measuring, graphing and comparing Materials and equipment: magnify-
Students will: ing glass/cube, bug catcher, micro-
animals and insects and their body
• state the issue or area to be investi- parts. scope, measuring devices, garden tools
gated Teaching strategies
• make a prediction based on data Human Society and its Environment
collected by themselves or others. 7 Observing to explore and dis-
Investigating the impact of human
• devise ways of checking or testing cover
activity on the natural environment
predictions in the local area. 12 Clarifying an investigation
• describe needs and wants of people 16 Applying understanding
in relation to design activities 24 Evaluating design
92 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and modify the playground to attract new types of Investigate a micro environment. [W]
Activities Observe a designated area on a regular basis for a period of
Select an area to be modified. Describe and evaluate the time. This could be one square metre, under a tree, a 30cm
existing area. Note the animals present. cube of ground. Record a detailed description of the area,
Discuss how the environment can be altered and how to animals in it, how the area is used. Make drawings
attract showing positions of items, detail of plants/animals
(a) more of the same animals; and/or present. [TS7]
(b) different animals to the area. Record changes in the area twice daily for a week.
Choose a range of animals that could be attracted to the After several days of observation predict the animals you
areas based on students’ investigation, eg birds. would expect to find at the next time of recording.
Brainstorm ideas about changes to the environment, eg Identify the relationship of the things within the area, eg
planting particular shrubs, making a bird bath to attract snails eat plants; ants eat lunch crumbs.
birds. Make a list of ideas to be considered. Compare to other animals, eg use a computer simulation
Show suggestions on a plan of the school environment to program.
demonstrate proposed alterations. Make a detailed drawing to record observations of an
Explain reasons for making the changes. animal found in the area, make generalisations about its
behaviour. Use a magnifying glass or cube to aid observa-
Organise ideas into a series of steps to be followed.
tion. Supplement observation with research. Label the
Formulate a plan or combine suggestions to make a final parts of the animal.
plan. Consider tasks, eg presentation of plan to obtain
Draw food chain/web.
permission, who will do the actual physical work. Illus-
trate the steps to be followed on a time line. Have students try to think up their own ‘pictograms’
which show interdependence.
Discuss the plan and assign roles to carry out the various
tasks, eg organising committee. Make comparisons between this area and
Decide how the alterations will be funded, eg raising • another similar one, but in a different position, eg
money, donations. Explore ways of obtaining plants or sunny, grassed area and shady, grassed area
other requirements cheaply. • another very different environment, eg shady
Apply the plan to make modifications to the environ- grassed area and asphalt. [TS16]
ment, eg plant bottlebrush bushes. Record differences in physical features, flora and fauna
Make regular observations to help evaluate success of the present. Suggest reasons for the differences.
plan. Research and identify animals that could be encouraged
Based on observations and evaluation, prepare a plan for into the area, eg bees.
the continued maintenance of the area. [TS23]
Include allocation of responsibilities in a systematic and
fair way, eg watering, weeding, replenishing supplies.
Design, make and use a database to record information Investigate the behaviour of an animal that uses the
on selected animals. [G] microenvironment. [W]
Decide on fields in the database, eg name, habitat, food. In the selected area identify suitable animals to observe.
Create record blanks on paper. Draw or photograph the animal showing characteristics.
Record information about chosen animals into the record Make a record of the animal’s behaviour. Describe what it
blanks. is observed doing at specific times, at regular intervals.
Enter the information into a computer database. Research the needs of the animal, using videos, books,
Search the database as part of an investigation, eg food databases. Identify ways that they are being met by the
equals plants. [TS30] present environment. Suggest improvements that could
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 93
Stuck on You Stage 2
Electrical energy in objects
Content focus • be curious about and appreciate the Teacher notes
natural and made environment
Physical Phenomena • gain satisfaction in their efforts to Static electricity works best on cool,
Products and Services investigate, to design and make and dry days. If investigations do not work,
Earth and its Surroundings to use technology. try again on another day when it is
drier when electrons tend to stay
Outcomes Assessment rather than flow away in the moister
air. Sometimes the static electricity
This unit contributes to the follow- Listed below are strategies that may which is produced by the investiga-
ing syllabus outcomes. be used in assessing this unit of work. tors through their shoes on a woollen
Knowledge and Understanding • Challenge students to make a de- or nylon carpet can even interfere
Students will know and understand vice which is able to compare the with the activities which are going
that: strength of two magnets. on!
• magnets attract some materials but • Ask students to compare the Investigations in static electricity can
not others strength of several magnets and to be quite exciting and it provides a
place these magnets in order of great stimulus to the later investiga-
• materials and resources are used to
magnetic strength. tion of electromagnetism.
produce goods and commodities
• materials are joined, formed, shaped • Discuss with students their under-
and finished standing of how a magnet can be Suggested resources
used to make a motor. Light & Dark, Catherall, E
• most materials come from the earth
and its surroundings. • Ask students to demonstrate how Simple Science (series), Hodder &
static electricity charges are pro- Stoughton
• show that designing and making Electricity and Magnetism, Whyman, K
can lead to the need for investiga- Magnets to Dynamos, Fagan, M
tion Links with other Computer software: Make the Con-
• relate the particular properties of Key Learning Areas nection!, Wild Science Arcade
materials to end uses. Materials and equipment
Skills Magnets, bobby pins, pencils, large
Conducting conferences with stu- jar, string, water, pocket compass,
Students will: dents to discuss the properties of rulers, cardboard, pile of books, horse-
• state the issue or area to be investi- magnets. shoe magnets, paperclips, thread,
gated Using oral and written language to masking tape, metre rule, balloons,
• propose explanations using simple describe how students constructed woollen cloth
observations the temporary magnet.
• organise systems for small–scale Talking about and developing role
mass production plays about situations involving static 10 Proposing explanations
• recognise the appropriate use of electricity. 14 Modifying understandings
tools, equipment, hardware and 15 Explaining understandings
Human Society and its Environment
software. 19 Exploring ideas
Researching ways in which changes
Values and Attitudes 26 Organising tools, equipment and
in this technology have impacted on processes
Students will: society.
• demonstrate confidence in them- Investigating the wide variety of de-
selves and willingness to make de- vices which use magnets in today’s
cisions society and discussing alternative
• have a positive view of themselves methods of performing the function
and their capabilities of these.
• show responsiveness to ideas Personal Development, Health and
• persevere with activities to their Physical Education
Using exploration of human needs
• be honest and open in their deal- and wants, and how they change, to
ings with others lead into science and technology ac-
• respect the rights and property of tivities.
• work cooperatively in groups
• show informed commitment to im-
proving the quality of their local
94 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Use magnets to make a game for a young child. [G] Investigate the properties of magnets. [I]
Discuss games where magnets are used, eg travel games, Collect and observe different types of magnets, eg bar,
drawing games, blackboard games, fishing games, boat horseshoe, circular.
games. Consider the specifications of the design. Who will Identify items that are known to be attracted to magnets.
play the game (individual or group)? What will be the Predict whether other objects, metal and non-metal, will
theme? How will the end of the game be determined? be attracted. Test the materials/items and record findings.
[TS19] Suggest common features of those items attracted to the
Devise and make the game. [TS26] Play the game and magnets.
suggest further modifications or improvements. Evaluate
Map the magnetic field around a variety of magnets.
in terms of class enjoyment. Consider whether the game
Identify where the magnetic force is strongest. Explore
could be mass produced, ie identify which components
and observe the relationship between different magnets.
would need to be made, how would the production line be
organised. If possible produce a small number using this Make statements to demonstrate understandings about
method. Consider cost of production, production meth- the properties of magnets. [TS15]
ods available. Research and list possible uses of a permanent magnet.
Task Explore the use of a magnet as a compass.
Design and make a compass for use on a treasure hunt.
Explore the different types of compasses available and
identify their main components. Generate ideas as to how
a compass could be made.
Make a sketch or plan of the design. Investigate and select
appropriate materials and equipment. Make a prototype
of the compass.
Judge the compass by using it on a course (to find ‘treas-
ure’). Compare with using an accurate commercially
produced compass. Suggest improvements to the design.
Design and make a device that will use an electromag- Investigate the construction and use of a temporary
net, eg burglar alarm, toy train signal, industrial metal magnet (an electromagnet). [W]
Activities Explore how a temporary magnet may be made using
Gather information by researching the variety of devices electricity. [TS19] Predict the factors that will make the
that use electromagnets. Discuss how the device could be electromagnet stronger. Test these predictions, then sum-
made, eg materials needed, size of the device. marise these findings. Compare the properties of an elec-
Detail the proposal by making drawings. [TS10] Explain tromagnet and a permanent magnet. Brainstorm possible
the device and how it works to classmates. Discuss uses for electromagnets where permanent magnets would
possible improvements and incorporate them if needed. be unsuitable. Research the use of temporary magnets in
Produce the device. industries such as automobile wreckers.
Evaluate the design according to its effectiveness, and if
appropriate, suggest further modifications. Identify how
the device could be mass produced.
Task Investigate static electricity. [I]
Design a method of safely removing a static charge. [G]
Activities Collect and observe different types of material that can be
Identify situations in which a static charge is produced. charged when rubbed.
Discuss methods of removing the static charge. Sequence Observe different types of materials that stick to charged
possible steps needed to remove the charge. Trial the object. Predict whether other objects will be attracted to
method. Evaluate and modify method if needed. Repeat the charged object. Test materials/items and record find-
the trial. [TS14] ings. Suggest any common features of those items affected
by charged objects.
Make statements to demonstrate understandings about
Research situations where static electric charges occur.
(eg walking across nylon carpet, lightning).
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 95
Keep in Touch Stage 2
Different ways of communicating
Content focus Values and Attitudes Human Society and its Environment
Information and Communication Students will: Considering individual differences us-
Physical Phenomena • demonstrate confidence in them- ing knowledge and skills to present
Products and Services selves and willingness to make de- research findings in ways appropriate
cisions to the purpose.
• have a positive view of themselves Identifying newspaper articles relevant
Outcomes and their capabilities to current investigations.
This unit contributes to the following • persevere with activities to their Creative and Practical Arts
syllabus outcomes. completion
Selecting and assembling appropriate
Knowledge and Understanding • be honest and open in their dealings materials and music for a production.
Students will know and understand • respect the rights and property of
• computers are machines that store • show informed commitment to im- Regular ‘news’ sessions can provide a
and process information proving the quality of their local useful introduction to reporting and
• people use different technologies to environment factual writing.
organise and communicate infor- • be curious about and appreciate the Electronic mail systems (eg Keylink)
mation in different ways natural and made environment can give students the opportunity to
• production technologies have • gain satisfaction in their efforts to exchange news items with other stu-
changed over time investigate, to design and make and dents around the state.
• materials and resources are used to to use technology. News records can be made for differ-
produce goods and commodities ent audiences at different times dur-
• there are benefits and problems as- ing the unit. Audio recordings should
sociated with human changes to
Assessment provide an interesting alternative to
the physical environment. Listed below are selected examples of written news items. Simple word
Students will: strategies that may be used in assess- processing and graphics programs pro-
ing this unit of work. vide other ways of recording news
• show that designing and making items. Teachers need to deal carefully
can lead to the need for investiga- • Observe students’ comments and
discussion when negotiating design with sensitive issues/events raised by
tions students. Teachers may need to direct
• identify the forms and components requirements.
students toward the sorts of news/
used in the production of a design • Have each student state their own
information, as deemed important information to look for.
• relate planning and evaluating to
each stage of designing and making when using the telephone.
• explain that technology can be used • Determine whether the method of Suggested resources
to help people communicating a method across the Reading People, Cooke, D
• justify the selection of processes, playground meets the design task Survival: A History of Aboriginal Life,
tools, equipment, materials, prod- requirements and achieves the out- Parbury, N
ucts and software to meet the re- come.
Let’s Go to a TV Studio, Grahame, A
quirements of the task Messages, McPhee Gribble Publish-
• understand that the use of tools, Links with other ers
equipment, software etc requires the Key Learning Areas You Can Get There From Here (video
development of specific skills kit), OTC
• show that technology can enable English Computer software: communications
people to gain access to, organise software: Apple Access II, Talk is
and use, information. Demonstrating oral language tech-
niques in presenting news, eg tone Cheap, Telecom, Microsoft Works;
Skills variation, voice inflection. Focusing publishing software, eg Children’s
on the differences between ‘oral’ news Writing and Publishing Centre, Print
Students will: Shop, Print Master
and ‘written’ news. Encouraging
• state the issue or area to be investi- shared reading. People and places: local Telecom of-
gated fice, OTC, libraries
Identifying the purpose, audience and
• make a prediction based on data techniques needed to design and pro- Materials and equipment: packaging,
collected by themselves or others duce a performance. magazines, newspapers, audio tape re-
• use graphics, models and written corders, cassettes, players, paper
data to record the exploration of Mathematics
different ideas for design proposals Graphing time that messages take to
and to assist making 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
be passed across the playground or concepts
• suggest modifications to design pro- from one building to another, by vari-
posals to improve the design ous methods. 15 Explaining understandings
• evaluate materials and processes 26 Organising tools, equipment and
used Personal Development, Health and processes
• recognise the appropriate use of Physical Education 27 Selecting appropriate technologies
tools, equipment, hardware and soft- Investigating qualities needed for ef- 31 Evaluating chosen technologies
ware fective communication. Extending 32 Audio-visual technologies
• report on the social and environmen- understandings about why and how 38 Publishing
tal benefits of familiar technology. communication needs to change in 40 Video production
96 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a method of communicating a message Use a telephone to communicate information. [I]
across the playground or from one building to another.
Activities Demonstrate and discuss talking on the telephone using
role play. Explore the use of a telephone. Decide what
Clarify the requirements of the design. Consider the many skills are important, eg knowing your own phone number,
ways of communicating and evaluate whether they would how to dial, correct answering, what to do in emergencies.
fulfil the criteria. Choose a method or a combination of [TS31]
methods, taking into account your needs and available
resources. Consider: materials needed, eg wire cable,
trained animal, special writing implements; knowledge
or skills required by receiver, eg how to operate equip-
ment, code or system. Try the system including organisa-
tion of people and resources. [TS28]
Design and make a method of communicating news to Investigate the variety of ways of communicating in
other classes or parents. [G] specific conditions. [G]
Discuss ways of recording news for other people, eg Collect a variety of familiar objects (or pictures), eg TV set,
writing, tape recorder, news presented through a series of tap, chair, radio, telephone, plant, comics, computers, CB
pictures. [TS40] Consider whether some methods are radio, VHF radio. Match the machine to its purpose, eg
best suited to different audiences, eg pictures for other telephone, talk to someone in another place. [TS31]
classes. Decide on the audience, eg another class, parents, Discuss and group those that involve watching, listening,
school assembly, local community. Gather news from a reading, looking at pictures etc. Choose other ways to
variety of sources, eg home, school, playground. Select classify, eg don’t use/use electricity, used alone/with
items that would be of interest to the audience. Explain other people. Observe communications devices in the
the reasons for the choices. [TS15] Choose a method of local environment, eg satellite dishes, antenna, flags,
presentation, eg a tape recording may not be appropriate lighthouses, telegraph wires, signs. Research the uses of
for reporting to parents. Make decisions about how the items listed, eg satellite dishes used to receive television
contents will be arranged, eg school news, playground messages, flags used on ships. List other possible methods
events. Create pictures to accompany news. Add captions of communicating, eg pigeon, codes, Aboriginal sign lan-
to pictures. Create the news product and present to the guages. Identify the senses used for each method, eg
audience. Inter-class news can be swapped on a regular hearing, sight, feel. Reflect on how this may affect the
basis. Take part in ‘news swapping’ activities using bulle- sensorially disabled. Observe and identify the conditions
tin board facilities on an electronic mail system (eg required for each system to work, eg needs electricity,
Keylink). Send faxes via electronic mail or fax machine. needs to be able to see far enough, need to know the code,
need to be able to read. Predict advantages and disadvan-
tages of different systems, eg is cheap, secret, fast, reliable.
Test by trying them out under different conditions.
Investigate how news is recorded. [W]
Identify methods of recording news, eg papers, television,
radio. Predict what technology has been used to record the
news items, eg filmed with a video camera, stories written
on a computer, photographs taken with a camera. Identify
features of a news article using a variety of children’s
magazines, eg headline, pictures, captions. In groups,
make illustrations of an item of news and add captions.
Suggest ‘headlines’ for simple items. Illustrate one aspect
of a news item in students’ news stories. Discuss how the
image is a part of the whole item. Add captions to the
pictures. Explore how computer technology can be used to
record and present news. [TS29] Use packages that com-
bine word processing and graphics to experiment with
arrangement of text, headings and graphics in a column
format. [TS38] Print out and compare different layouts.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 97
Making it Easy Stage 2
Using machines to help us
Content focus Values and Attitudes Simple machines enable humans to
Students will: perform tasks more easily. Machines
Physical Phenomena do not save or conserve energy but
Products and Services • have a positive view of themselves
allow energy to be used in a more
and their capabilities
Earth and its Surroundings efficient way.
• persevere with activities to their
In this unit students should not be
Outcomes • respect the rights and property of
looking at the detailed analysis of the
machine. Identifying machines as le-
This unit contributes to the follow- others vers, pulleys etc is not essential to
ing syllabus outcomes. • show a commitment to fair treat- students understanding why and how
Knowledge and Understanding ment for all we use machines. The emphasis of
• gain satisfaction in their efforts to the teaching should be that machines
Students will know and understand investigate, to design and make and allow tasks to be performed more
that: to use technology easily.
• people use different technologies • appreciate the scientific and tech-
to organise and communicate in- nological contributions made by Suggested resources
formation in different ways Australians.
• production technologies have Finding Out About (series), Hodder
changed over time & Stoughton
Assessment The Way Things Work, Macaulay, D
• simple machines can make moving
loads easier Listed below are selected examples of How Things Work, Kerrod, R
• materials and resources are used to strategies that may be used in assess- Tracks into Primary Science, Freer, K
produce goods and commodities ing this unit of work. and O’Toole, M
• materials are joined, formed, shaped • Have students explain what simple 40,000 Years of Technology, Austral-
and finished. machines can do. ian Institute of Aboriginal Studies
Students will: • Evaluate students’ devices against Investigate (series), HBJ
• demonstrate that investigation can Village Technology (kit), UNICEF
take many forms • Listen to student discussions dur-
Good Cleaning Fun (video), Ministry
ing group work.
• recognise that the results of inves- of Education, Victoria
tigations can lead to more ques- Simple Machines (video), Encyclope-
tions Links with other dia Britannica
• recognise that designs are con- Key Learning Areas Computer software: graphics soft-
strained by time, skills, tools and English ware, eg Mouse Paint, MacDraw,
materials MacPaint, Deluxe Paint III, Ist Paint,
Exploring the purpose and features of
• identify the forms and components written explanations including the Artisan 2, Picture It; science soft-
used in the production of a design nature of displays. ware, eg All about Simple Machines
• relate planning and evaluating to People and places: museums, histori-
each stage of designing and making Mathematics cal societies
• explain that technology can be used Introduction to ratio through enlarg- Materials and equipment: simple
to help people learn. ing and reducing drawings to scale. household equipment, Meccano,
Lego, Osmiroid Teko
Skills Human Society and its Environment
Students will: Investigating the influences of rel- 8 Researching to explore and dis-
• make accurate observations and de- evant technologies on lifestyles and cover
scribe these observations, or record environments as part of cultural stud- 9 Manipulating to explore and dis-
them as diagrams, tables of data ies. cover
Creative and Practical Arts 18 Clarifying a design task
• describe needs and wants of people
Drama: improvising movement ac- 19 Exploring ideas
in relation to design activities
• use graphics, models and written tivities through mime. 31 Evaluating chosen technologies
data to record the exploration of
different ideas for design proposals Teacher notes
and to assist making When investigating the historical as-
• organise systems for small–scale pect of machines, students will come
mass production in contact with ‘simple machines’, eg
• report on the social and environ- levers, ramps and pulleys. These of-
mental costs and benefits of famil- ten appear as part of more compli-
iar technology. cated modern machinery.
98 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a useful device /simple machine. [G] Investigate simple machines. [G]
Negotiate selection of any one of the following design Explore circumstances when a simple machine makes a
briefs or identify a need independently. [TS19] task easier, eg walking with a broken leg without crutches,
Design and model a device to: opening a can without a can opener, sweeping the floor
• crush cans for the school recycling system without using a broom etc.
• enlarge or reduce drawings Levers
• move a load up a slope Compare the effort needed to move large loads with/
• provide childproof safety locking for a cupboard or gate. without using a lever, or long pole. Sweeping the floor
with/without using a broom. Explore the use of similar
For each task, establish criteria for a satisfactory design –
simple machines in the classroom or home, eg spade, tyre
identify the need to be addressed, are there any restric-
tions, work out exactly what is expected of the device.
Working in groups, students should generate ideas for the Compare the effort needed to lift a large load without
task. Students may seek the advice of professionals or using a ramp. Identify areas where ramps/wedges are used
people with special expertise. Students may investigate in community – as entry/exit to buildings, in pencil
and evaluate existing products as a source of ideas. De- sharpeners, as door stops, in axes.
velop group ideas by modelling or using annotated draw- Pulleys
ings. Estimate the resource requirements (time, material Visit a local garage, farm or industry and find out where
and tools) and check on their availability. [TS20] pulleys are used and why. Explore the use of pulleys in the
Produce a prototype of the design. community and explain why these are used. [TS9]
Present the design to class and invited experts.
Discuss how practical the design is and whether it would
present any production problems if manufactured on a
small scale. Detail the steps needed for the class to mass
produce this product. [TS31]
Design and present a museum display illustrating devel- Investigate the use of simple machines in Aboriginal
opments that have occurred in specific technologies. [G] culture. [I]
Identify the range of technologies to be represented, eg Explore the various types of tools used in traditional
types of transport, household appliances, writing, photog- Aboriginal culture. Identify the features of each and the
raphy or moving pictures, measuring time. reason for use. Invite a guest speaker to demonstrate their
Research the implements, devices or procedures as they use. [TS8]
have evolved over time. Consult members of the commu-
nity, grandparents or local museums.
Negotiate the style of presentation to be prepared by each
group and items required, eg actual examples of devices,
photos, captions/information cards, posters.
Collect available items, take photographs, prepare dia-
grams, write and publish text.
Obtain an area to be used. Organise the spaces to maximise
viewing area and best display each item. Consider costs
and whether admission needs to be charged. Publicise the
Complete the project and invite the guests.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 99
Cycles in Our World Stage 2
Cyclic patterns in nature
Content focus • use graphics, models and written Personal Development, Health and
data to record the exploration of Physical Education
Built Environments different ideas for design proposals Investigating growth and develop-
Living Things and to assist making ment in people, changes and influ-
Earth and its Surroundings • evaluate materials and processes ences.
Outcomes Creative and Practical Arts
• report on the social and environ-
mental costs and benefits of famil- Visual Arts: sequence emphasising
This unit contributes to the follow-
iar technology. imagined experiences, eg fantastic
ing syllabus outcomes.
Values and Attitudes animals.
Knowledge and Understanding
Students will know and understand • demonstrate confidence in them-
that: selves and willingness to make de- Many references provide ideas for ex-
• people create specialised environ- cisions ploring the stages of cycles not read-
ments to meet specific needs • have a positive view of themselves ily discernible in the immediate en-
• environments are sometimes modi- and their capabilities vironment, eg transpiration in the
fied to fulfil new and different re- • show responsiveness to ideas water cycle.
quirements • be honest and open in their dealings Aboriginal people place great impor-
• plants and animals live in environ- with others tance on the cycles of nature, eg. sea-
ments that supply their needs • show informed commitment to im- sons, sun/moon. Also compare sea-
• change occurs throughout the life- proving the quality of their local sonal change in Australia to that in
time of living things environment other places. Include other ways of
• living things depend on other living delineating seasonal changes, eg wet/
• be curious about and appreciate the
things to survive dry seasons.
natural and made environment.
• there are benefits and problems as- Suggested resources
sociated with human changes to Assessment
the physical environment. Tadpole Diary Drew, D
Listed below are strategies that may
Students will: be used in assessing this unit of work. Animal Families (series), Hodder &
• demonstrate that investigation can Stoughton
• Have students publish their record
take many forms of the life cycle of chosen species Tadpoles and Frogs (video), National
• recognise that the results of inves- and use it to explain their Geographic
tigations can lead to more ques- understandings of relationships. Australian Animals (video), Class-
tions • Observe students’ attitudes to the room Video
• show that designing and making care of living things in the class- The Big Green Caterpillar (video),
can lead to the need for investiga- room. Insects (video), National Geographic
tions Life Cycle of the Silk Moth (video),
• relate the particular properties of Links with other Key National Geographic
materials to end uses Learning Areas Computer software: databases, eg
• justify the selection of processes, Appleworks, FrEd base, Monsters &
tools, equipment, materials, prod- English Make Believe, the Critics choice,
ucts and software to meet the re- Reading, with students, scientific dia- Carefile, Desktop, Datamanager
quirements of the task ries and discussing features and lan- People and places: zoo, farms, mar-
• show that technology can enable guage used. Using this as a model of kets, eg fish, vegetables; manufactur-
people to gain access to, organise recording growth of their plants. Dis- ing and processing plants, eg cannery,
and use information. cussing purpose of charts etc and how flour mill, Botanic Gardens, Austral-
they complement text. ian Museum.
Materials and equipment: measuring
Students will: Mathematics devices, construction materials, ad-
• make accurate observations and de- Measuring using informal and formal vertising brochures, plant seeds, au-
scribe these observations, or record units. Sequencing events over time. dio-visual equipment, appropriate ma-
them as diagrams, tables of data terials for chosen product.
and graphs Human Society and its Environment
Investigating how people meet their Teaching strategies
• propose explanations using simple
observations needs in the local community and 7 Observing to explore and dis-
other Australian communities. Inves- cover
• make a prediction based on data
collected by themselves or others tigating the consequences of various 8 Researching to explore and dis-
types of pollution upon the Earth’s cover
• describe needs and wants of people 15 Explaining understanding
in relation to design activities cycles.
17 Exploring needs
31 Evaluating chosen technologies
100 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and use a method of recording a life cycle. [G] Investigate cycles found in nature. [W]
Design a method of recording growth of a plant or animal Classify a variety of things into living/non-living.
to show its cycle. Decide how often to record growth. Discuss cycles in general (day/night, life cycle, water
Discuss methods of recording, eg pictures, drawings, cycle). Draw the cycle of a chicken (eg start and end with
video etc. [TS7] egg). Record the cycle of a raindrop (start and end with
Research standard measurement units in use. Choose a drop). Discuss the human life cycle and compare with own
method of measuring changes and recording the measure- families. Discuss the importance of cycles. Name other
ments. Explain to others the changes that occurred during important cycles.
the cycle. Decide how to present this information to the Discover recurring patterns in nature, eg water cycle,
class. seasonal changes, life cycles, day/night. Record pictori-
Choose a plant or animal to observe over time. Record ally the life cycles that are identified.
appearance, movements and needs. [TS37] Record when
a new cycle begins. Present a project and explain the life
Design and make a model of an imaginary animal show- Investigate the life cycle of living things and how their
ing how it fulfils its needs. [G] needs change. [W]
Design an imaginary animal considering its life cycle, Regularly observe and record changes in plants as they
how the animal fulfils its needs, where it fits in a food develop through their life cycles. Use photographs, dia-
chain, what it will look like. [TS31] grams, video to record findings. [TS8]
Draw it showing details of its particular characteristics. Explore how plants can be grown from seeds and grow
(Try using a computer graphics creation program.) plants in the classroom (choose plants with rapid growth
Construct a model of the animal. Include the materials to patterns, eg radish, alfalfa).
be used, how the pieces will be shaped and joined, and how Compare the needs of young animals, eg a puppy, the
it can be made to move. needs of adult animals, eg a dog. [TS17]Create a time line
Design and make a shelter for the animal. Consider its showing changes during the lifetime of given living things,
needs, appropriate size etc. eg humans, and their needs at each stage.
Choose materials and tools needed and make the shelter.
Explain why the shelter is made in a particular way.
Write a science fiction story about the animal.
Design and make an automatic watering device or sys- Investigate how humans interact with other living things
tem for the school’s garden. [W] in fulfilling their needs. [G]
Define requirements of the device or system, eg to water Identify the ways humans fulfil their need for food. Clas-
area 10m x 7m, activated once a week. Consider whether sify foods into plant/animals. Build up a food chain.
all plants need the same amount of water. Explore the ways other animals obtain food.
Seek advice, gather information, visit a nursery or native Construct food webs, chains.
garden. Observe a variety of systems. Identify how the Identify how other human needs/wants are fulfilled by
systems operate. using animal or plant products, eg clothing from cotton
Consider options. Use annotated drawings to develop and plants and sheep, paper from trees etc.
try ideas. Detail the type of materials to be used try using Compare how people in different parts of the world satisfy
recycled materials. similar needs.
Draw a plan to show how the final design will work. Visit a food processing site, factory or mill to find out what
Present the proposal to the class for evaluation. [TS15] raw products they process and from where they obtain
Construct the device. Demonstrate the watering system them.
and evaluate its effectiveness.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 101
Our Australia Stage 2
Unique Australian plants, animals and people
Content focus tools, equipment, hardware and Personal Development, Health and
software Physical Education
Information and • use basic construction tools, mate-
Communication Recognising the particular hazards of
rials and computerised data bases specific environments.
Living Things to refine observations
Earth and its Surroundings • report on the social and environ- Creative and Practical Arts
mental costs and benefits of famil- Visual Arts: developing a sequence
Outcomes iar technology. using Australian images around a par-
This unit contributes to the follow- ticular theme, eg feelings, pictures of
Values and Attitudes
ing syllabus outcomes. my world.
Knowledge and Understanding • show responsiveness to ideas Teacher notes
Students will know and understand • be honest and open in their deal- Visits to gardens, zoos or animal parks
that: ings with others are recommended, particularly if Edu-
• people create specialised environ- • respect the rights and property of cation Officer lessons can be arranged.
ments to meet specific needs others Visits to Aboriginal sites/parks should
• environments are sometimes modi- • work cooperatively in groups be organised with appropriate consul-
fied to fulfil new and different re- • show a commitment to fair treat- tations with local Aboriginal com-
quirements ment for all munities.
• people use different technologies • be curious about and appreciate the
to organise and communicate in- natural and made environment Suggested resources
formation • gain satisfaction in their efforts to Australian Dreaming: 40 000 Years
• production technologies have investigate, to design and make and of Aboriginal Dreaming, Isaacs, J.
changed over time to use technology Bush Food, Isaacs, J. Bush Food Hand-
• living things depend on other living • appreciate the scientific and tech- book, Cherikoff, V. Australia’s Great
things to survive nological contribution made by Barrier Reef, Coleman, N. A History
• natural resources are limited and so Australians. of Aboriginal Life in NSW, Parbury,
need to be used wisely N. Survival: The Australian Environ-
• there are benefits and problems as- Assessment ment (series), Hodder & Stoughton.
sociated with human changes to Animals of Australia in Close Up
Listed below are strategies that may
the physical environment (video), Film Australia. Encounters
be used in assessing this unit of work.
• most materials come from the Earth with the Reef (video). Wildlife of the
• Listen to student discussion of the River (video), Phil Simons Nature
and its surroundings.
lifestyles of traditional Aborigines. Films
• Have students explain the results Computer software: databases, eg
• demonstrate that investigation can of their research to other classes.
take many forms Australian Mammals Database, FrEd
• Explain what modern Australians base, Appleworks, Display Data, The
• relate the particular properties of have learned from Aboriginal life- Systems Within, Australian Lizards
materials to end uses styles. Database, Genesis, Australian Wild-
• explain that technology can be used flower Database, Carefile
to help people learn Links with other Materials and equipment: photo-
• understand that the use of tools,
equipment, software etc. requires Key Learning Areas graphs of a variety of Australian envi-
ronments, components for a watering
the development of specific skills system
• show that technology can enable People and places: Gould League,
people to gain access to, organise Developing skills in accessing factual
information, formulating questions, National Parks and Wildlife, Field
and use, information. Study Centres, Australian Museum,
writing reports, using talking and writ-
Skills ing to cooperatively plan, select, con- local environment groups, local Abo-
sult and make decisions in designing riginal community or resource peo-
Students will: ple, local library, Royal Botanic Gar-
• make accurate observations and de- and making.
scribe these observations, or record Mathematics
them as diagrams, tables of data Teaching strategies
and graphs Measuring length, area, temperature. 8 Researching to explore and dis-
• use graphics, models and written Human Society and its Environment cover
data to record the exploration of 16 Applying understandings
different ideas for design proposals Developing understandings about 15 Explaining understandings
and to assist making natural components of local environ- 22 Selecting solutions
ments and other Australian commu- 24 Evaluating designs
• recognise the appropriate use of nities. 39 Databases
102 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design, make and use a database of Australian flora and Investigate specific Australian environments, including
fauna. [G] flora, fauna and geographical features. [I]
Decide on fields for the database, eg name, animal/plant, Observe a variety of environments, eg visit botanic gar-
habitat, food, type of animal/plant (reptile/mammal). Enter dens, parks, zoos; watch video/slides; research books and
information onto record blank (paper). Enter the informa- pamphlets. Record particular features in drawings, pho-
tion into a computer database. Search the database, eg find tos.
animals with pouches. [TS39] Identify the features of particular environments. Suggest
characteristics unique to certain areas, eg desert – lack of
Identify the characteristics of the animals and plants that
Design and make an area of the school to regenerate as a occur in particular environments. Propose explanations
native garden, or to grow bush tucker. [W] as to how they satisfy their needs, eg koalas – gum trees.
Adopt an Australian plant or animal. Discover as much as
Activities possible about its habitat, characteristics etc.Use a vari-
Survey the school playground and evaluate the existing ety of resources to gather information. Write to the
native areas, if any. Choose an area to regenerate or National Parks and Wildlife Service for information about
maintain based on availability, position and weather the effects of drought and bushfires on native plants and
conditions, eg access to sun, drainage, other playground animals.
uses. [TS12] Consult with local Aboriginal communities, Research the role of zoos, national parks and botanic
local councils, nurseries, to find out about suitable plants gardens.
(especially for bush tucker). Make a plan of the necessary Start a conservation club.
steps to regenerate the area. Consider – preparation of the
soil; tools and equipment required to complete the design;
how to organise tasks and workers; selecting suitable
plants based on investigation and consultation; where
funding will come from, eg Greening Australia grants.
Design the layout of the area and the placement of plants.
Seek advice from an expert if required. Implement the
plan. Organise a maintenance plan including provision for
watering, preventing damage. [TS23] Continue care and
maintenance of the area.
Investigate how traditional Aboriginal lifestyles were Investigate the contributions made by Australian scien-
adapted to their environments and provided for all their tists and technologists to our country. [I]
social, cultural and material needs. [G]
Activities Discuss resources which can be used to research informa-
Identify plants and other resources used by Aboriginal tion about Australian scientists and technologists. Re-
people and research their uses – food, medicine, fibres, search, using a variety of resources, scientific and techno-
implements, clothing, decoration and art. Explore meth- logical advances that have been made in Australia. [TS15]
ods of catching fish, birds and other animals for food. Prepare a class talk about an Australian scientists, or
Include methods of locating food and technologies used in technologists, their discoveries/inventions and how these
hunting. Research how Aboriginal peoples used natural have contributed to the development of Australian scien-
forces, eg fire and floods, to guarantee their food supply. tific/technological knowledge.
Include exploration of strategies used to preserve their
environments. Compare and contrast to methods em-
ployed today. [TS12] Identify other ways the environ-
ment is important in Aboriginal culture, eg dance, stories,
art. Observe Aboriginal dances, invite a member of the
local Aboriginal community to visit the class, visit local
sites or collections of Aboriginal art. Reflect on what may
be learned by modern Australians from Aboriginal life.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 103
Sounds Great Stage 2
Entertainment and sounds
Content focus • gain satisfaction in their efforts to Teacher notes
investigate, to design and make and
Living Things to use technology. A high proportion of Aboriginal stu-
Products and Services dents suffer intermittent hearing loss
Assessment due to middle ear infections. Teach-
Outcomes ers should be aware of this possibil-
Listed below are selected examples of ity.
This unit contributes to the follow- strategies that may be used in assess- Didgeridoos are now increasingly used
ing syllabus outcomes. ing this unit of work. to give an authentic Australian sound
Knowledge and Understanding • Conduct teacher/student inter- to music. However, women are not
views regarding students’ selection permitted to play the didgeridoo in
Students will know and understand of fields for the database. Aboriginal society. Teachers should
that: • Encourage peer assessment of the consult appropriate Aboriginal groups,
• people create specialised environ- presentation of the sound show. eg AECG.’
ments to meet specific needs • Note student involvement in and A database is far more useful when
• sounds are produced by vibrating contribution to the sound show. there are many records inserted, and
objects and travel through materi- when the information needs to be
als Links with other searched on more than one category.
• materials and resources are used to
produce goods and commodities. Key Learning Areas Suggested resources
Students will: English Exploring Science (series) Lothian
• demonstrate that investigation can
take many forms Exploring pitch and sound in language, Home Among the Gum Trees (video)
eg in poetry, songs. Music Magazine
• show that designing and making
Identifying and discussing words spelt Computer software: music software,
can lead to the need for investiga-
as they sound. Playing with sounds of eg Bars and Pipes, Fanta vision, Music
words, eg alliteration, rhyming. Construction Set, Sticky Bear Music
• devise ways of checking and testing
Exploring the purpose, audience and People and places: National Sound
features of surveys, diaries and per- Laboratory, Sydney Opera House, Syd-
• give examples of predictions that ney Symphony Orchestra, bush bands,
mission notes. Focusing on question-
are sometimes supported, some- Powerhouse Museum, National Sci-
ing techniques and formats. Ensure
times disproved ence and Technology Centre, Can-
students engage in drafting, revising,
• relate planning and evaluating to editing and publishing permission berra.
each stage of designing and making notes. Materials and equipment: variety of
• show that technology can enable percussion instruments, wires,
people to gain access so as to organ- Mathematics strings, pieces of wood, metals, tape
ise and use information. Reading and interpreting timetables, recorder.
Skills organising simple retailing activities, Teaching strategies
informal measurement of time. 7 Observing to explore and dis-
Human Society and its Environment cover
• make accurate observations and de-
scribe these observations, or record Participating in planning an excur- 9 Manipulating to explore and dis-
them as diagrams, tables or data sion to supplement learning in this cover
and graphs area. 10 Proposing explanations
• state the issue or area to be organ- 18 Clarifying a design task
ised Personal Development, Health and
24 Evaluating designs
• describe needs and wants of people 32 Audio-visual technologies
in relation to design activities Investigating balance of work, rest
• suggest modifications to design pro- and exercise.
posals to improve the original de- Moving to sound.
sign. Creative and Practical Arts
Values and Attitudes Visual arts: sequences based on re-
Students will: membered experiences of the excur-
• demonstrate confidence in them- sion.
selves and willingness to make de- Drama: simple improvisation involv-
cisions ing recreation/leisure situation.
• show responsiveness to ideas Music: designing and making musi-
• work cooperatively in groups cal instruments. Composing musical
• show a commitment to fair treat- scores for various sound effects using
ment for all percussion instruments.
104 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make bush band instruments. [G] Investigate the variety of ways that sounds can be made
and uses for sounds. [G]
Gather materials similar in type to those used in bush
Band instruments. Also try a few other materials to see if Explore how we can make sounds.
they can be used to make original instruments. Identify parts of the body involved, eg vocal cords, shape
Use information gained from investigation to assist with of mouth and position of tongue.
the making of instruments. [TS9] Try to make instru- Identify that only moving (vibrating) objects make a sound,
ments that can change their pitch. Try to amplify the still is silent. [TS10]
sound some of the instruments make. Use a variety of materials and combinations to see what
Make the instruments and try them out. [TS32] Record sounds they can be made to make.
the sounds and play them back to listen to them. Consider Explore how to make the pitch higher or lower, shorten or
whether improvements can be made. lengthen string, larger and smaller drum skin etc.
Combine instruments to play in a Bush Band perform- Explore how to amplify sound. From these explorations
ance. make predictions on what alters sound. Test the predic-
Explore moving to the sounds made by the band. tions.
Explore how sounds are used, eg music, communication,
warning, measuring distance (sonar).
Design and make a device that carried sound over a long Investigate that sound travels through a variety of mate-
distance, eg string telephone. [I] rials. [I]
Set criteria for a successful design, eg decide distance to be Explore sound moving through solids, ie desk tops, fence,
travelled, description of a successful ‘transmission’. [TS18] rail etc. [TS9]
Draw up plans to help design the device. Explore sound moving through a liquid, eg using a
Consider materials to use for the ‘line’, eg string, wire, hydrophone.
hose and for other parts, eg funnels, cans. Predict which medium carried sound best. Test predic-
Conduct tests and make modifications if necessary. [TS24] tions.
Reflect whether this principle has been used elsewhere or
in the past.
Identify devices that are used today to send messages over
Design and make a sound map indicating locations and Investigate how sound is detected and measured. [G]
types of sounds in the playground. [I]
Activities Identify sounds in the environment. Collect sounds using
Identify sounds in the environments. Collect sounds using a tape recorder. Play back and identify each sound. Discuss
a tape recorder. Play back and identify. [TS32] the sources of sounds – living or a machine, moving
Discuss the sources of sounds – living or a machine, towards you or stationary.
moving towards you or stationary. Identify the parts of the ear and how it functions. [TS7]
Decide on a method of recording, eg pencil and paper. Discuss sounds that may be harmful to health.
Consider materials to use, eg suitable materials if record- Discuss ways of measuring sound, explore the decibel as
ing is done outside. a standard unit for measuring sound.
Select symbols that will be used to indicate the variety of
sounds. Decide on a way of denoting strength/loudness of
Listen to sounds. Make your record, indicating differences
between sounds. Show it to another person. Explain choice
of symbols. Has anyone else used the same ones?
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 105
Material World Stage 2
Characteristics of natural and made materials
Content focus • suggest modifications to design pro- Exploring the language use targeted
posals to improve the original de- for certain groups, eg teenage slang.
Built Environments sign
Products and Services Mathematics
• organise systems for small–scale
Earth and its Surroundings mass production Comparing characteristics of objects.
• recognise the appropriate use of Comparing length, mass, volume of
Outcomes tools, equipment, hardware and objects.
This unit contributes to the follow- software
• use basic construction tools, mate- Human Society and its Environment
ing syllabus outcomes.
Knowledge and Understanding rials and computerised databases Investigating how people use the en-
to refine observations. vironment to satisfy their physical
Students will know and understand and social needs.
that: Values and Attitudes
• structures are built from natural Students will: Personal Development, Health and
and processed materials and com- • demonstrate confidence in them- Physical Education
ponents selves and willingness to make de- Using exploration of human needs
• materials and resources are used to cisions and wants, and how they change, to
produce goods and commodities • have a positive view of themselves lead into science and technology ac-
• manufacturing processes convert and their capabilities tivities.
raw materials into useful products • show responsiveness to ideas
• materials are joined, formed, shaped Creative and Practical Arts
• persevere with activities to their
and finished completion Exploring ideas of texture and colour.
• natural resources are limited and • respect the rights and property of Designing paper with characteristics
so need to be used wisely others to meet particular needs.
• there are benefits and problems as- • work cooperatively in groups
sociated with human changes to • show informed commitment to im-
the physical environment proving the quality of their local When identifying the origins of mate-
• most materials come from the Earth environment rials use examples that are not too
and its surroundings. • be curious about and appreciate the complex combinations of substances.
Students will: natural and made environment Mass is the amount of matter making
• recognise that the results of inves- • gain satisfaction in their efforts to up an object. It is not the same as
tigations can lead to more ques- investigate, to design and make and weight.
tions to use technology. Distinguish between needs and wants
• show that designing and making of people.
can lead to the need for investiga- Assessment
Listed below are selected examples of Suggested resources
• recognise that designs are con- strategies that may be used in assess-
strained by time, skills, tools and Natural Materials, Burt, E
ing this unit of work. Bridges, Graham, R
• Discuss with students times when How we Build (Series)
• identify the forms and components
designing and making has resulted
used in the production of a design Computer software: The Factory, The
in the need to investigate.
• relate planning and evaluating to Super Factory, Puppetmaker, Toy
each stage of designing and making • Arrange interviews between stu- Shop
dents and members of the targeted
• relate the particular properties of People and places: museums: Power-
materials to end uses audience in order to assess how
house, Earth Exchange
well students have identified their
• explain that technology can be used Materials and equipment: variety of
to help people learn materials natural and made, moulds,
• Have groups of students discuss
• justify the selection of processes, paper
tools, equipment, materials, prod- and evaluate each phase of the mass
production activity. Teaching strategies
ucts and software to meet the re-
quirements of the task. • Have students construct a flow 6 Fostering curiosity
chart of the production process. 11 Predicting outcomes
Skills 14 Modifying understandings
Links with other 15 Explaining understandings
• state the issue or area to be investi- Key Learning Areas 17 Exploring needs
gated 18 Clarifying a design task
• propose explanations using simple English
19 Exploring ideas
observations Using talking and writing to coopera- 23 Evaluating design
• make a prediction based on data tively plan, select, consult and make
collected by themselves or others 25 Organising tools, equipment and
decisions in designing and making
• describe needs and wants of people processes
their product, recording ideas.
in relation to design activities
106 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a structure or device to perform a given Investigate the properties of materials. [G]
Activities Obtain a selection of materials, eg paper, cardboard, straws,
Negotiate the design task. plastics, wood, cotton wool, rubber, glass, ceramics, cork,
Clarify the requirements of the design. [TS18] pumice, metals, fibreglass, plasticine. [TS26]
Allot students into teams to develop their own structure. Classify the materials according to several different prop-
Specifications should include such things as being able: erties, eg ability to float, comparative mass, colour, attrac-
• to support a particular weight tion to magnets, transparency, flexibility, conducting
• to transport material heat/electricity.
List suitability for particular tasks, eg for writing on,
• to protect something
insulation, absorbing shock, roofing, allowing light to
• to keep something dry. pass through, playing with.
Consider availability of resources and range of materials, Explore how one or more of the properties may be changed,
eg cupboard, split pins, cotton wool, masking tape. [TS19] eg concerting a sheet of paper to increase its strength, heat
Make the devices. wood to cause it to burn and char, heating metal may cause
Present and demonstrate the devices and evaluate accord- a colour change. [TS19]
ing to the requirements of the design brief. Identify materials used at other times and other places to
perform a particular task, eg axe made of stone, fish hook
made of bone. Suggest why these particular materials
were chosen. Examine new materials which have replaced
conventional materials, eg ceramic instead of amalgam
tooth fillings, kevlar for canvas sails. [TS14]
Discuss which system of classification is most useful.
materials that can be usefully reused within the school, eg
Investigate materials that can be recycled, renewed and yoghurt pots. Organise recyclable materials into those to
conserved. [I] be recycled at school, eg food scraps made into compost,
and materials that can be sent to a recycling service, eg
Activities paper, glass.
Examine current waste disposal in the school. (If a recy- Identify how materials used at home and school could be
cling system already exists, evaluate its function.) Trace conserved. [I]
where waste products go. Measure the amount of rubbish Record for a period of two weeks how they conserved or
thrown away in a day, a week. Evaluate the effects of this wasted materials at home. [TS16]
on the school and wider community. [TS17] Design a chart to show the family ways in which com-
Identify materials that can be recycled, eg food scraps, mon household materials can be conserved.
paper, plastic containers, glass, aluminium cans. Separate Classify materials as renewable/non-renewable/recycla-
Design and make and organise a system to mass produce Investigate change of state from solid to liquid. [W]
a product using changes of state. [W]
Activities Discuss the properties of solids and liquids. Compare the
Suggest materials which can be moulded, eg plaster of properties of several materials. List materials which are
Paris, chocolate, water/ice, jelly, wax. [TS6] liquid at room temperature, eg water, ice cream, orange
Select product to be made, considering available moulds, juice, or solid at room temperature, eg butter, chocolate,
preferences of the class group or other market. Consider candle wax, toffee. [TS 6]
costs involved and price that needs to be charged. Publi- Discuss materials which can be changed from liquids to
cise the product’s availability. solids and solids to liquids, eg water, chocolate, solid
Identify steps of the process involved, eg mixing ingredi- cooking oil, candle wax.
ents, melting, filling moulds, cooling. Propose explanations as to how solids are changed to
Organise a suitable workspace, ensuring production needs liquid/liquids changed to solid. Gather materials and test.
are provided for, eg power points, access to refrigerator. Devise a method to demonstrate the changes, eg melt
Collect materials and equipment, including moulds. chocolate in sun, resolidify in refrigerator. Discover the
Allot roles for individuals. Ensure the production line temperature at which the materials will melt/solidify.
works effectively. (Extreme caution is needed when handling hot liquids.)
Make a prototype and evaluate materials, space and Consider the effect on people if the Earth warmed several
responsibilities. Effect any modifications, as required. degrees and a lot of the ice on the poles melted. [TS11]
Trial the production of larger numbers. Make the product
and distribute to purchasers.
Evaluate the whole procedure.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 107
A Look Inside Stage 2
The human body
Content Focus • appreciate the scientific and tech- Blood Lines (video), Red Cross Blood
nological contribution made by Bank
Living Things Australians. Computer software: The Human
Products and Services Body, Senses
Assessment People and places: Life Education cen-
Outcomes Listed below are selected examples of
This unit contributes to the follow- strategies that may be used in assess- Materials and equipment: stetho-
ing syllabus outcomes. ing this unit of work. scope, television ads on tape, newspa-
pers and magazine advertisements, a
• Discuss with groups the ways of
Knowledge and Understanding variety of materials for construction
maintaining a healthy body.
Students will know and understand of product
• Listen to students’ discussion dur-
that: ing group work. Teaching strategies
• plants and animals live in environ- • Have students explain how the de- 8 Researching to explore and dis-
ments that supply their needs vice for measuring lung capacity cover
• living things depend on other living works. 12 Clarifying an investigation
things to survive 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
• materials and resources are used to Links with other concepts
produce goods and commodities. Key Learning Areas 15 Explaining understandings
Students will: 16 Applying understandings
• recognise that the results of inves- English 20 Developing ideas
tigations can lead to more ques- 22 Considering appearance and
tions Exploring questioning for different
purposes, eg surveying other students, function
• give examples of predictions that interviewing guest speakers. 23 Evaluating design
are sometimes supported, some-
Exploring the language used in media
advertising, eg motive, persuasive lan-
• recognise that designs are con- guage.
strained by time, skills, tools and
• relate planning and evaluating to Graphing data in a variety of ways.
each stage of designing and making
• show that technology can enable Human Society and its Environment
people to gain access to, organise Investigating the ways in which ad-
and use, information. vertising appeals to our thoughts and
Students will: Personal Development, Health and
• propose explanations using simple
observations Extending understandings of role and
• devise ways of checking or testing functions of body systems. Promo-
predictions tion of positive health habits and be-
• suggest modifications to design pro- haviours.
posals to improve the original de-
sign Teacher notes
• use basic construction tools, mate- Some areas are served by mobile Life
rials and computerised data bases Education units.
to refine observations. Teachers should be aware of their role
Values and Attitudes as a model for appropriate behaviours.
• demonstrate confidence in them-
selves and willingness to make de- The Magic School Bus – Inside the
cisions Human, Cole, J
• have a positive view of themselves How our Bodies Work (series),
and their capabilities Macmillan
• show a commitment to fair treat- The Human Body – A Three Dimen-
ment to all sional Study, Miller, J
• show informed commitment to im- How My Body Works (series), Collins
proving the quality of the local en- About the Human Body (video), Film
vironment and Video Library
108 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a simple device that will assist in Investigate the systems of the human body. [G]
measuring lung capacity. [W]
Activities Research the systems that are part of the human body, eg
Clarify the requirements of the design, eg component to circulatory, respiratory, digestive systems. [TS8]
catch air breathed out, way of measuring/comparing. Listen to a guest speaker, watch a video, visit a Life
[TS12] Education centre.
Invite a guest to discuss the instruments used in measur- Identify characteristics that indicate performance of res-
ing temperature, blood pressure etc. Try these instru- piratory systems, eg pulse, lung capacity. Test class mem-
ments out. Note how they work. bers by measuring pulse, breathing rate. Record and graph
Generate ideas for a device to measure lung capacity. results. Predict how these may change after exercise. Test
[TS20] and explain the differences.
Discuss how the device will work, gauges, measuring Explore the path of the digestive system. Identify signifi-
readings, calibrating. Draw the ideas. cant organs, eg mouth/tongue/teeth, oesophagus, stom-
Make a sketch, label the parts. Show how it will work. ach, intestines and research their functions.
Seek the opinion of others. Identify the functions of skin, muscles and skeleton.
Make the device. [TS16] Use the device to test the lung Observe X-rays of different limbs. Discuss how skin,
capacity of students in the class. bones are treated when damaged, eg splints/casts on
Identify individual differences between class members.
Research ways to improve fitness, eg daily fitness pro-
gram, balanced diet.
Design a fair test to measure the effect of exercise on pulse Investigate how people’s behaviour and habits can affect
rate. [G] their health. [I]
Identify the things to be measured and how they will be Research diseases that seriously affect people’s health.
measured. [TS13] [TS8] Talk to experts, visit a Life Education centre.
Discuss what makes a fair test. Include the behaviour and habits that result in these
Suggest ways in which the effect of exercise on pulse rate diseases, eg smoking, poor nutrition, lack of exercise.
could be made a fair test. Identify how the data collected Identify things that influence people’s behaviour and
will be recorded. habits, eg the idea is popular with others.
Select appropriate method and trial the test. Discuss the Construct a survey to determine people’s current habits
test with other students who may suggest refinements. and/or attitudes, eg exercise regularly, wear hats in sun.
[TS15] Graph the results. Make hypotheses from results. Predict
the likelihood of individual students suffering from par-
Make any alterations before using the method and record-
ticular diseases at some time in the future. Explain how
their behaviour is contributing.
Explain the effects of exercise on pulse rate to the group.
Observe and discuss media campaigns designed to influ-
ence others. Identify different aspects of a campaign, eg
leaflets, TV commercial, radio ads, posters.
Task Identify positive behaviours that result in good or im-
Design and make a fashion accessory that will promote proved health, eg personal hygiene, sufficient rest. Re-
behaviour to avoid skin cancer. [I] search the benefits to our health.
Reflect on how everyday activities can affect the health of
Identify the cause of the problem, eg too much sun, fair
skin. Suggest ways of preventing the adverse affects, eg
using skin screens, hats, changing behaviour.
Decide elements to be incorporated in the design, eg
features that provide protection or ways of changing
Select appropriate methods and materials to meet identi-
fied requirements. Consider appearance as well as func-
tion, eg colour, style as well as durability. [TS22]
Make a model or prototype.
Trial the product. Survey reactions.
Make alterations to the design, if necessary, based on
survey results. [TS23]
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 109
Moving Pictures Stage 2
Making pictures move
Content Focus • work cooperatively in groups Teacher notes
• gain satisfaction in their efforts to
Built Environments investigate, to design and make and Standard shot sizes (still and moving):
Information and Communication to use technology. vls – very long shot; ls – long shot; ms
Living Things – mid or medium shot; cu – close up.
Natural Phenomena Assessment Camera angles and shot sizes can be
explored using practice devices, eg
Products and Services
Listed below are selected example cardboard frames, an unloaded cam-
Earth and its Surroundings strategies that may be used in assess- era or hands held to make a ‘frame’.
ing the objectives of this unit of work. Advertisements and music videos are
Outcomes • Students draw pictures of or photo- particularly useful for exploring the
This unit contributes to the follow- graph various objects or scenes, range of camera techniques, eg shot
ing syllabus outcomes. showing a variety of perspectives size, camera angles.
and sizes of shots. Many simple devices can be made to
Knowledge and Understanding • From the results of students‘ efforts explore the ideas of ‘persistence of
Students will know and understand to video or make computer anima- vision’. Refer to references on anima-
that: tions, ascertain the students’ skill tion.
• people use different technologies development in
to organise and communicate in- - using the video and/or computer Suggested resources
formation in different ways. technology appropriately; Film Animation for Schools, Gross, Y
Students will: - coordinating sound effects, dia- Hands On, Taylor, A
• demonstrate that investigations can logue, music, text and graphics.
Making It Move, Trojanski, et al
take many forms • Through class discussions assess
The Animation Game (video)
• give examples of predictions that the students’ ability to critically
evaluate the finished products. Animation: with Oliver Postgate
are sometimes supported, some-
• Through discussion ascertain the (video)
• recognise that designs are con- students’ ability to generalise the Computer software: computer graph-
strained by time, skills, tools and concept of animation, ie in anima- ics software, eg Deluxe Paint III,
materials tion each successive picture is only Fantavision, Survival 3D, Animate
• relate planning and evaluating to slightly different from the previous People and places: art galleries, Pow-
each stage of designing and making one in a series. erhouse Museum
• understand that the use of tools, Materials and equipment: flip books,
equipment, software etc requires Links with other eye puzzles, magazines, newspapers,
the development of specific skills Key Learning Areas photographs, framing device, cameras
• show that technology can enable Teaching strategies
people to gain access to, organise English 4 Manipulating to explore and dis-
and use, information. Reading stories/discussing what cover
Skills makes stories effective, eg introduc- 18 Evaluating designs
tion, problem and resolution. Have 24 Selecting and maintaining tools
Students will: students use this knowledge when and equipment
• state the issue or area to be investi- creating stories to animate. 30 Sound and lighting
Mathematics 31 Animation
• propose explanations using simple
observations Extending understandings of time. 34 Video production
• devise ways of checking or testing Measuring in seconds.
Human Society and its Environment
• suggest modifications to design pro-
posals to improve the original de- Investigating the human capacity for
sign aesthetic expression.
• evaluate materials and processes Personal Development, Health and
used Physical Education
• recognise the appropriate use of
Investigating, through movement, the
tools, equipment, hardware and
human capacity for aesthetic expres-
Values and Attitudes
Creative and Practical Arts
• show responsiveness to ideas Craft/design: extending understandings
concerning images and their
• be honest and open in their deal-
creation. Combining sound and im-
ings with others
110 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Investigate how pictures are created in different ways. Design and make an animated program. [G]
Identify different types of images from magazines and Decide on a short story to animate. [TS31]
newspapers. Classify according to students’ own criteria. Select a method of animating, eg cut outs, pixilation,
[I] computer graphics, models, line drawing. Explore and
Introduce standard shot sizes and identify the different evaluate a range of possibilities.
information provided by each type of shot, eg close ups Prepare characters, props and backgrounds, titles or cred-
show facial expression or detail, long shots give informa- its. Carefully plan the sequence of events and record for
tion about the setting. Predict how things might appear reference, eg using a storyboard or script.
from down very low, eg a tree, building, teacher, or how If using computer software to make the animation, decide
they appear from a high angle. Test using a camera, cut- on graphics to use to represent the plot, eg prepared
out or framing device. [TS4] graphics or individually drawn. Use the software to make
Collect and display examples of shot sizes, camera angles. the animation. View on screen or record on video.
Use a framing device to explore different camera tech- If using film or video, organise how each job is to be done,
niques, the information contained in them and how to eg camera operator, person responsible for movement of
create them. each cut out/model/role and a system for coordinating
View a variety of videos and observe the effects of different movement and shooting (be careful not to get hands in the
camera angles and shot sizes. Explain how the camera way!). Rehearse the sequence of action so each role or
techniques affect the messages. [W] move is familiar. Shoot the footage. View and evaluate.
Consider whether a reshoot is required.
Check video, film or computer equipment operation and
ensure techniques are well understood. [TS24]
Add soundtrack including sound effects, dialogue and
music as appropriate. [TS30]
Screen for the class/school audience. Be receptive to their
reactions. Compare different production methods and
Investigate how pictures appear to move. [G] Design and make a photo story exploring a theme/topic.
Explore how the eye sends contradictory messages to the
brain, eg persistence of vision. Using simple devices, such Individually or in groups, choose a subject, eg Me!, bicy-
as colour change top, thaumotropes or flip books, demon- cles, or a technique, eg looking tall, getting closer. Plan the
strate how movement changes what we see. Predict the types of images required, trying out different effects using
effect of varying the number of pages of a flip book, or the practice devices. Try to use different shots to convey
speed of movement. Try it out to test the prediction. particular messages. [TS34]
[TS34] Take photos/video images (this could be supplemented by
Explore other ways our eyes are ‘tricked’, eg ambiguous collected images if necessary).
images, optical illusions. Critically evaluate whether the resultant images/photos
Examine a piece of 16mm film. Observe the number of are as expected. If not, explore why and suggest solutions,
individual images and differences between each image. eg seems too far away – move closer for mid shots, image
Using a VCR with simple frame advance, observe the is blurry – camera needs to be held still, or supported on a
changes between images and how the images change. chair, railing. (This may require further practice or re-
Using a video camera, create simple animations using cut search.)
out figures, common items, people etc. Predict and test If necessary, retake photos/images making improvements.
what happens if items are removed, larger/smaller changes Try different arrangements and note any differences in
are made between shots or the camera is moved to a effect.
different position. Identify ‘special fx’ that may be gener- Arrange images for display. Add captions or text and
ated using these techniques, eg making people/objects present final product.
Explore how an image is animated on the computer by
moving, rotating or changing position of one or more
objects on the screen. Explore the effects of making the
Compare animation using computer technology with
other methods. Identify the features of each method and
discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 111
Eating Out Stage 2
Food production on a larger scale
Content Focus • organise systems for small–scale Creative and Practical Arts
Built Environments Drama: simple improvisations in as-
• recognise the appropriate use of sociation with fast food restaurants
Information and Communication tools, equipment, hardware and and role play based on the operation
Living Things software. of a restaurant.
Values and Attitudes
Products and Services Teacher notes
Earth and its Surroundings Students will:
• show responsiveness to ideas ‘Eating out’ may include eating at the
home of relatives or friends, eating at
Outcomes • persevere with activities to their a range of restaurants from different
completion cultures or eating out ‘at home’, ie
This unit contributes to the follow-
ing syllabus outcomes. • be honest and open in their deal- take–away food.
ings with others The fast food service could be pro-
Knowledge and Understanding • work cooperatively in groups vided at a school event, eg sports
Students will know and understand • be curious about and appreciate the carnival, fete, or simply as a special
that: natural and made environment event in itself.
• people create specialised environ- • gain satisfaction in their efforts to Consideration needs to be given to
ments to meet specific needs investigate, to design and make and individual dietary needs, eg kosher
• environments are sometimes modi- to use technology. foods, diabetics, vegetarian.
fied to fulfil new and different re-
quirements Assessment Suggested resources
• plants and animals live in environ- Listed below are selected example Kids in the Kitchen, Leng, V
ments that supply their needs strategies that may be used in assess- Understanding Science in the Home,
• living things depend on other living ing the objectives of this unit of work. Picton, M
things to survive • Conduct group conferences to as- Nutritious Snacks for Kids, Ryles, J et
• materials and resources are used to sess cooperatively how effectively al
produce goods and commodities the students have influenced their
• manufacturing processes convert designs. Computer software: desktop publish-
raw materials into useful products. ing software, eg The Print Shop,
• Have students keep a log book of
Printmaster, Children’s Writing and
Students will: their findings about the effects of
Publishing Centre; simulation soft-
• demonstrate that investigation can food preparation.
ware, eg Lemonade Stand, The Fac-
take many forms tory
• give examples of predictions that Links with other People and places: food outlets, su-
are sometimes supported, some- Key Learning Areas permarkets
• relate planning and evaluating to Materials and equipment: menus,
each stage of designing and making recipe books, newspapers, magazines
Observing restaurant menus, and
• relate the particular properties of compiling menus of their own. Teaching strategies
materials to end uses
Reading recipes and writing other reci- 8 Researching to explore and dis-
• justify the selection of processes, pes for others to use. cover
tools, equipment, materials, prod-
13 Trialling and testing ideas and
ucts and software to meet the re- Mathematics
quirements of the task. Informal measurement of tempera-
Skills ture, time and 2D space.
Students will: Organising simple retailing activities.
• state the issue or area to be investi-
gated Human Society and its Environment
• propose explanations using simple Investigating how commercial organi-
observations sations have affected Australian cul-
• devise ways of checking or testing ture and society.
predictions Personal Development, Health and
• describe needs and wants of people Physical Education
in relation to design activities Extending understandings regarding
• suggest modifications to design pro- the nutritional value of foods, and the
posals to improve the original de- need for hygiene in food preparation.
112 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Investigate methods of preparing food in large quantities. Organise a visit to a fast–food restaurant for lunch. [W]
Observe the methods of production while visiting a fast– Identify the class’s lunch needs and individual prefer-
food restaurant. Identify different roles of people. Identify ences.
purposes and function of machinery/utensils. [W] Suggest a range of possible venues. Consider: location, eg
Follow materials/ingredients from their raw state to how to get there, whether it would be crowded; the meal,
ﬁnished product. Compare processes used to produce eg whether all preferences and special needs can be catered
different goods. Create a ﬂow chart to record the processes for, prices; time, eg how long is needed, ﬁtting in with
observed. other arrangements; any special requirements as identi-
Reflect on how people of other cultures are able to cater for ﬁed, eg individual dietary needs; other arrangements/
groups of people, eg Aboriginal fish bake. preparations that may be required.
Given the range of factors, decide on venue, dates etc.
Organise transport, permission, funding etc.
Evaluate the meal in terms of nutritional value, value for
money, provision for individual preferences. Compare
with lunch at school.
Investigate the changes that occur in the preparation of Design and make a ‘healthy alternative’ fast–food service
foods. [TS8] for a day. [TS13]
Classify foods: eaten raw/eaten cooked/either. Discuss plans in the class group. Evaluate existing take–
Examine recipe books. Identify and compare the suggested away foods, noting positive and negative qualities. [G]
methods of cooking, eg baking, frying, grilling, boiling. Use computer simulation software to explore the proc-
Predict the effects of cooking foods, eg colour, texture, esses involved in mass production and marketing. [G]
consistency, flavour, odour. Try different ways of cooking Consider decisions regarding:
selected foods. Compare changes that take place, eg fried • food – selecting food items to supply, based on nutri-
potatoes, steamed potatoes. tional value and preferences of potential customers;
Explain why we cook some foods and not others. • prices – prices of ingredients, shop around to get the best
Identify other ways foods are changed before eating, eg prices; other costs involved, eg advertising, equipment,
beating cream or eggs, cooling/freezing, dissolving, grat- fuel, packaging; prices to charge for the product;
ing/mashing, adding other ingredients. Experiment and • methods – methods of food preparation, how to make it
observe the effect of these processes. appealing, equipment needed, cleaning up.
Reflect on the reasons why we prepare foods in a variety • packaging the food – type of wrapping to protect and
of ways. preserve the products, colours to use, materials avail-
• advertising the service – look at advertisements in
newspapers/magazines, TV, radio, as sources of ideas;
list qualities that could be promoted and consider pos-
sible techniques, eg appeal to the desire to be healthy,
good taste; decide on a way to advertise the service, eg
Task posters, word of mouth, announcements.
Investigate ‘eating out’ in the local area. [TS5] Make a set of plans to illustrate the steps to take in each
aspect of production. [W]
Activities Assign roles for the day, ensuring all tasks are covered
Identify the places where we ‘eat out’. Observe local area, equitably. [W]
consult phone books, newspapers. Group to show variety
of food available, different styles of venue, eg take away,
set menu, a la carte, cafeteria etc. [G]
Do a daily survey. Record results. Make inferences about
when people eat out. Suggest (other) times that we like to
go out to eat, eg special occasions, just for fun, when on
Consider all the data about where and when people eat out
and draw conclusions about reasons why.
Explore the ingredients of take–away food. Evaluate their
Explore the costs of eating out. Prepare a meal similar to
a bought one and calculate the costs involved. Suggest
reasons for any differences between the two.
Consider other advantages/disadvantages, eg saves wash-
ing up, quality of product, packaging, waste.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 113
On the Move Stage 3
Moving loads locally, nationally and internationally
Content focus • modify and apply their understand- Links with other
ing in the light of their investigation
Built Environments • use investigation techniques to iden- Key Learning Areas
Physical Phenomena tify opportunities for design activi-
Products and Services ties English
Earth and its Surroundings • develop a design proposal by select- Modelling with students reading/writ-
ing and refining ideas and justifying ing graphic and tabular information, eg
Outcomes choices timetables, classification tables. Refer
• select, reject or modify as appropriate to English strategy ‘Mapping factual
This unit contributes to the following the elements of design to evaluate the texts’.
syllabus outcomes. procedures and outcomes of a design
Knowledge and Understanding Investigating topology, numbers to
• test or propose ways of testing the
Students will know and understand that: extent to which a product satisfies 1,000,000 and bigger.
• people live in communities and build the design intentions
environments to service their com- Human Society and its Environment
• select appropriate tools, hardware,
mon needs Researching ways in which transport
materials, equipment or software on
• both aesthetic and functional factors systems facilitate interdependence of
the basis of their specific function
need to be considered when people Australians and people of other coun-
and in order to gather information
make changes to their environments tries, eg migration, trade.
• identify and report unsafe conditions.
• there are various forms of energy
Personal Development, Health and
• systems are designed to provide par- Values and Attitudes Physical Education
ticular services Students will:
• systems are used to deliver and dis- Identifying road user responsibility in
• demonstrate confidence in them- responding to traffic control systems.
tribute goods selves and willingness to make deci-
• environments on Earth have been af- sions and to take responsible actions Teacher notes
fected by technology. • exhibit self direction in their own
Students will: learning Students can investigate the use of power
• recognise that investigations may be • show flexibility and responsiveness sources such as hot air, batteries, air
conclusive/inconclusive to ideas pressure, solar energy, in a variety of
• describe the social, environmental or • initiate and persevere with activities ways before deciding on the one to use
economic implications of new mate- to their completion for their model.
rials and processes • be honest and open in their dealings Computer software such as Logo can be
• identify investigations which involve with others programmed with sets of instructions
discoveries leading to unexpected out- • respect different viewpoints and ways to control systems.
comes of living
• show some relationship between the • work cooperatively in groups Suggested resources
process of investigation and the proc- • show a commitment to fair treat- Street Sense (kit), Road Traffic Author-
ess of design and make ment for all ity
• describe the process of investigation • gain satisfaction in their efforts to The Know How Book of... (series),
exploring and discovering phenom- investigate, to design and make and Usborne
ena and events, proposing explana- to use technology Technology in Action (series), Lothian
tions initiating investigations, pre- • appreciate education as a continuing Computer software: programming lan-
dicting outcomes, testing modifying process. guages, Lego lines, Lego TC Logo; data-
and applying understanding bases, eg FrEdbase, Appleworks,
• describe the factors that influence Assessment Microsoft Works, Datasweet
design People and places: Mierals and Energy
• justify the decisions made in design- Listed below are selected examples of Centre, travel industry, Power House
ing and making strategies that may be used in assessing Museum, local area excursions
• justify the combination of materials this unit of work. Materials and equipment: Meccano,
and techniques in relation to the prop- • Have students interview potential us- Lego Logo, Dick Smith components,
erties required for specific end uses ers of their proposed transport sys- construction material, pictures, pictures
• identify that new technologies in- tem/modifications. Encourage stu- of traffic control means, eg lights, pe-
crease the options for designing and dents to use these results as part of destrian crossings
making their own self assessment of the de-
• explain that particular technologies sign. Teaching strategies
are significant causes of change in the • Have students create a concept map 8 Researching to explore and discover
way people live. illustrating their understandings of 11 Predicting outcomes
how traffic systems can be control- 15 Explaining understandings
Skills led. 20 Developing ideas
Students will: 22 Considering appearance and func-
• identify data which support a par- tion
ticular prediction 33 Control systems
114 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design modifications to a transport system to make it Investigate how things are moved throughout the local
more efficient. area.
Evaluate the local transport system. Consider how easy it Identify major transport systems in the local city/town, eg
is to get from place to place; how often facilities run, eg bus, train, taxi services, road networks. [TS8] Map the
trains, buses; costs; comfort; energy use; convenience etc. routes available and collect information about frequency
[TS20] Identify any shortcomings or needs for improve- of service, costs etc. Explore how people and goods can be
ment in the organisation or running of local facilities, eg moved from one point to another, combinations of sys-
infrequent train service, lack of protection from weather tems used, how long it takes, costs etc.
while waiting, no direct link between suburbs/towns.
Generate ideas for improvements by making comparisons
between local and other systems. Task
Present a detailed proposal to improve the service. Include Investigate how things are moved throughout Australia
drawings/plans, eg altered route system or timetable. and internationally.
Model the system where appropriate. Activities
Consider the social and environmental effects. [TS22] Identify major transport systems that operate nationwide
Evaluate the plan by presenting the proposal to other and internationally, eg air, ship, rail, road. Explore for
potential users. each transport form the characteristics of the system.
Contact appropriate authorities or organisations and Consider the destinations; time taken; quantities carried;
present the plan. energy used; frequency; how goods are carried and pro-
tected, eg containers; how people are accommodated;
Create a database to record findings. [TS38] Use the
database to compare and contrast the different means of
transporting goods and people. Identify advantages and
disadvantages of various options.
Predict/suggest the best means (system or combination)
of transporting goods from one place to another. Give
reasons for the suggestion.
Use computer technology to design a method of control- Investigate ways the traffic is controlled.
ling traffic in a model transport system. [TS33]
Activities Observe the variety of transport in a given area, town or
Identify aspects of the transport environment to be mod- locality and how it is organised.
elled, eg roads, rivers, rail, harbour, buildings. Suggest Predict the consequences of allowing unrestricted use of
where traffic control is needed, eg to stop traffic at a level vehicles. [TS11]
crossing, raise a bridge. [W] Identify techniques used to regulate or control individual
Generate ways of addressing the problem, eg warning vehicles or traffic flow, eg light houses, police officers,
light, boom gate, lighthouse. Draw a plan that demon- signs and signals, air traffic controllers, level crossings,
strates where devices will be located. road markings, roundabouts, traffic lights, one-way streets.
Choose the type of sensor, eg light, pressure, and decide Group or classify following students own criteria, eg
how it will be activated. [G] Discuss the type of software involves people, permanent/temporary, involves moni-
program to be used. Write a program for the computer that toring devices etc. [TS8]
will control the model. Identify those means that involve computer technology,
Construct the model including vehicles, structures and eg traffic lights, level crossings, toll booths. Identify ele-
control device. Test the program to ensure it runs. Make ments of the system, eg detectors, timers and how they are
adjustments if necessary. related or linked. Visit a traffic control centre or invite a
Reflect upon applications of similar systems, eg traffic guest technician, to aid investigation of the ways such
light, the sensor systems used. systems work.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 115
The Best Place to Live Stage 3
The services and products in our community
Content focus Skills Links with other
Built Environments • modify and apply their understand- Key Learning Areas
Information and Communication ing in the light of their investiga- English
Living Things tion
Physical Phenomena Collaboratively developing appropri-
• use investigation techniques to ate questions to ask councils etc.
Products and Services identify opportunities for design
Earth and its Surroundings activities Exploring purposes and features of flow
• develop a design proposal by select- charts. Jointly constructing flow charts
Outcomes ing and refining ideas and justifying as a way of organising information.
This unit contributes to the follow- choices Human Society and its Environment
ing syllabus outcomes. • select, reject or modify as appropri- Developing understandings about the
ate the elements of design to evalu- way the local area is managed and the
Knowledge and Understanding ate the procedures and outcomes of effect on our natural environments
Students will know and understand a design task and human society.
that: • produce a model, prototype, prod-
• people try to control the conditions uct or procedure to meet a specific Personal Development, Health and
in the environments they build design brief Physical Education
• people live in communities and • select appropriate tools, hardware, Identifying community services in re-
build environments to service their materials, equipment or software lation to health education and health
common needs on the basis of their specific func- promotion.
• Both aesthetic and functional fac- tion and in order to gather informa-
tion Creative Arts
tors need to be considered when
people make changes to their envi- • use appropriate equipment and tools Making pictures, mobiles etc out of
ronments to carry out a particular task, and garbage.
• the activities of people can change understand the technology involved Mathematics
the balance of nature to record and present ideas
Developing coordinate mapping skills
• there are environmental conse- • use resources with consideration
for the environment and adopt pro- through map reading, drawing pic-
quences of production and con- tures following directions through
sumption cedures which minimise waste.
coordinate names. Finding actual
• systems are designed to provide par- Values and Attitudes measurements from scaled drawings
ticular services and maps.
• systems are used to deliver and dis-
• demonstrate confidence in them-
selves and willingness to make de- Teacher notes
• environments on Earth have been cisions and to take responsible ac- The emphasis in this unit is in evalu-
affected by technology. tions ating existing products and services
Students will: • have a positive view of themselves and the impact of these on the local
• show some relationship between and their capabilities environment.
the process of investigation and the • show flexibility and responsiveness
process of design and make to ideas
• justify the decisions made in de- • initiate and persevere with activi- City, Macaulay, D
signing and making ties to their completion What a Load of Rubbish! Skidmore, S
• justify the combination of materi- • work cooperatively in groups Down the Plughole!
als and techniques in relation to Wind and Water Power, Sauvin, P
the properties required for specific • show informed commitment to im-
proving the quality of society and People Who Help Us – series (video),
end uses Ministry of Education, Victoria
• explain the need for safe, ergonomi- Computer software: programming lan-
cally sound work environments • gain satisfaction in their efforts to
investigate, to design and make and guages, Lego Logo, Space, Lego TC Logo,
• describe the process of design and to use technology Lego Lines; simulation software, eg
make which can involve identify- SimCity, SimAnt, Map Skills
ing needs and wants, defining a • appreciate the scientific and tech-
nological contribution made by People and places: Snowy Mountains
design task, generating and select- Scheme, State Pollution Control Com-
ing ideas, assembling or construct- Australians and members of other
societies and cultures mission, Department of Planning, local
ing products, systems or environ- council
ments, and evaluating outcomes • develop rational and creative think-
ing. Materials and equipment: rate notices,
• explain that the future must be local newspaper advertisements
considered when making choices Assessment
of particular technologies Teaching strategies
Listed below are selected examples of
• evaluate technological activity in strategies that may be used in assess-
6 Fostering curiosity
terms of social and environmental ing this unit of work. 7 Observing to explore and discover
cost and benefits 8 Researching to explore and discover
• explain that particular technolo- • Have students explain to others the 17 Exploring needs
gies are significant causes of change various services provided in their
18 Clarifying a design task
in the way people live local area.
19 Exploring ideas
• describe ways in which resources • Present a plan for new services to
can be conserved. the principal/council.
116 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a product or service to meet a need of a Investigate services as an aspect of the built environ-
person or group. [G] ment. [I]
Identify the problem or type of special need, as above. Identify the range of services that are supplied in the built
[TS17] Detail the specific requirements needed to address environment, eg water, electricity, garbage collection,
the problem. Suggest the type of product or service that roads, shopping centres, health care and education. Com-
may be of use, eg shopping service for elderly residents, pare to experiences of students from other cultures. Clas-
devices to assist people with specific tasks. Ideas should be sify into physical, social. Visit the places where services
based on research. Make a plan or detailed description of are supplied, eg hospitals, libraries. Identify particular
the product or service. [TS18] Consider the methods, characteristics of each site. Include how space is used or
equipment, techniques to be used in the proposed design. managed, materials used in construction, lighting, regula-
Suggest where new technologies could be employed. Dis- tions on behaviour, facilities available. Suggest reasons for
cuss with others the method of production or organisa- selections, eg carpet in a library to reduce noise, stainless
tion. [TS19] Can they make suggestions to assist? Con- steel, glass, in a hospital because of ease of cleaning.
sider costs and whether they could be reduced by mass Research how these services are provided or are control-
purchasing, or other organisational changes. Collect ma- led, eg local, state, national governments. Compare to
terials, basing choices on availability and research. Decide other areas, countries and communities - do they have the
on methods of informing intended users about the prod- same services? Identify similarities, differences. Match
uct/service. Try contacting existing organisations or self- services to the need they satisfy
help groups. Seek users’ evaluations of how well the
design meets their needs.
Design and make a model fun park. [W] Investigate the supply of a service such as electricity. [G]
Visit a fun park. Watch a video. Make a list of services that Identify services supplied to households, eg water, elec-
are included in the fun park, eg rides, food outlets, rest tricity, garbage collection. Identify the original source in
areas, shops. the supply of the service, eg powerhouse. Research activ-
Identify the possible needs people may have when visiting ity that occurs at such a site, eg producing electricity,
the fun park. List the services that will need to be pro- water purification. Go on an excursion, watch a video or
vided, eg food, rest areas, lost children area, first aid. listen to an expert guest.
Consider legal safety requirements for proposed services Analyse the steps required to bring the service to a house
and activities. or school, eg high tension wiring, transformer stations,
Make a plan of the fun park using modelling materials or street wiring. Make a flow chart to show how a service is
drawings. Indicate where activities will be situated, how provided, eg garbage collection. Compare to flow chart of
power will be supplied to equipment, food outlets, ambu- a different service.
lance station etc. Identify the people, and their roles involved at each stage,
Assign roles to carry out different tasks, eg making deci- eg pollution controller to check water. Identify the group
sions about layout, construction of individual pieces. that has responsibility for providing each service. Re-
Construct a variety of activities for the park. Decide search how the service is maintained, eg replacing wires
whether they are to be battery powered, or controlled by affected by storms.
a computer program. Construct other service buildings Explore how the service is paid for, eg people pay water
and facilities, ensuring all identified requirements are rates, government subsidy. Identify how the service is
addressed. used when it reaches the home or school, eg lights,
Devise a plan detailing how to proceed in the case of doorbell. Research the history of identified facilities and
emergency. Ensure this information is prominently dis- how they have been provided at different times in the past.
played. Include a map of the park. Research areas where services are not supplied and how
Advertise the park, using a number of different media, eg people compensate, eg on farms people have their own
posters, radio/television ads. Identify the main features to water tanks.
be used as a selling point.
Consider pricing structures, eg special arrangements for
groups, families etc.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 117
Out in Space Stage 3
Looking at environments beyond Earth
Content focus • develop a design proposal by select- Reading and using numbers to a mil-
ing and refining ideas and justifying lion and beyond.
Built Environments choices
Information and Communication • use appropriate equipment and tools Personal Development, Health and
Living Things to carry out a particular task, and Physical Education
Physical Phenomena understand the technology involved Exploring strategies related to sun
to record and present ideas. protection.
Earth and its Surroundings
Values and Attitudes Creative and Practical Arts
Outcomes Students will: Drama: organising, improving and per-
• demonstrate confidence in them- forming movement and language
This unit contributes to the follow-
selves and willingness to make de- through role play of space adventures.
ing syllabus outcomes:
cisions and to take responsible ac-
Knowledge and Understanding tions Teacher notes
Students will know and understand • exhibit self direction in their own In building an environment of outer
that: learning space students should be able to ex-
• people try to control the conditions • show flexibility and responsiveness plain how they’ve catered for people’s
in the environments they build to ideas needs. Models of the solar system
• people live in communities and • initiate and persevere with activi- should be large enough to demon-
build environments to service their ties to their completion strate the relative lengths of planet
common needs • be honest and open in their deal- orbits. Modelling to correct scale may
• information can be represented in a ings with others not be possible.
number of different forms, includ- • show a commitment to fair treat-
ing graphics, sounds and texts ment for all Suggested resources
• the sun is the source of most of the • be curious about and appreciate the Library of the Universe (series),
energy on the Earth natural and made environment Collins
• there are various parts to the physi- • gain satisfaction in their efforts to
Technology (series), Ashton Scholas-
cal environment, eg stars, planets, investigate, to design and make and
earth, air and water. to use technology
Students will: • appreciate education as a continu- Solar System (video), Classroom Video
• identify investigations which in- ing process Seasons and Days (video), Churchill
volve discoveries leading to unex- • appreciate the scientific and tech- Films
pected outcomes nological contribution made by Solar System (video), Encyclopedia
• show some relationship between Australians and members of other Britannica, Travelling through the
the process of investigation and the societies and cultures. Solar System
process of design and make Computer software: Solar System
• identify that new technologies in- Assessment database, Planetary Construction set,
crease the options of designing and adventure games, eg Mickey’s Space
making Listed below are selected examples of Adventure, Space Apprentice, Space-
• describe the process of design and strategies that may be used in assess- ship Earth. Orrery, Orbits, Destina-
make which can involve identify- ing the objectives of this unit of work. tion Mars
ing needs and wants, defining a • Describe the features of the device
People and places: Earth Exchange
design task, generating and select- which uses the sun’s energy.
Museum, Powerhouse Museum, ob-
ing ideas, assembling or construct- • Explain to another class their model
servatories, Energy Authority of NSW
ing products, systems or environ- of the solar system.
• Assess production of the play. Materials and equipment: magnify-
ments, and evaluating outcomes ing glasses, foil, various modelling/
• evaluate technological activity in construction materials
terms of social and environmental Links with other
cost and benefits Key Learning Areas Teaching strategies
• explain that particular technolo- 8 Researching to explore and dis-
gies are significant causes of change English cover
in the way people live. Viewing videos and reading plays to 9 Manipulating to explore and dis-
Skills gain ideas for play writing. Discuss- cover
Students will: ing structure of narrative stories. Us- 17 Exploring needs
• make detailed observations using ing writing to explain models of the 23 Considering appearance and
appropriate technologies solar system. function
• modify and apply their understand- Mathematics 33 Adventure games
ing in the light of their investiga- Explaining the basis of time measure- 35 Telecommunications
tion ment in terms of movement of the 37 Animation
• use investigation techniques to earth around the sun. Measuring in 39 Databases
identify opportunities for design kilometres.
118 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a model of the solar system. [G] Use a computer adventure/simulation game to stimulate
students’ interest and further investigate the solar sys-
Activities tem. [G]
Select appropriate materials to create a model of planets,
comets, moons, asteroids. Decide on a method of con-
struction, including organisation of equipment and steps Navigate through the fixed environment of the solar
in the process. [TS9] system. Record journey in diary or map form.
Demonstrate relative size of planets, distance from the Use the factual information provided in the game to help
sun, shape of orbit, relative time taken to complete an solve the problems posed. Experiment within the simula-
Design and produce a play or video based on a ‘Lost in Investigate what we find in ‘space’ and the environment
Space’ theme. and conditions beyond Earth’s surface. [G]
Identify the needs of people on earth. [TS17] Compare Identify planets and conditions beyond Earth’s atmos-
these to particular needs ‘in space’. Identify the different phere. [TS8] Use a database and other resources to re-
requirements of people in space, eg coping with weight- search planet features, eg distance from sun. [TS39] Use
lessness, oxygen–free atmosphere, food needs. the students’ model to explore the relationships between
Create an environment which would support life outside the sun and planets, the movement of planets and how
Earth’s atmosphere. Points to consider: this determines night and day, eclipses. Visit an observa-
• the interior of the space vehicle (props) tory or planetarium, or invite a travelling planetarium to
• the environment on another planet, eg land forms, the school.
plant life, creatures etc (props and backdrop) Identify conditions that characterise/sustain life on earth
• appropriate clothing (costumes) (including gravity). Research how the earth’s atmosphere
provides for our needs, eg air to breathe, protection from
• power sources, movement
the sun. Compare the atmosphere. Chart discoveries as
• social needs of people. similarities/differences.
Represent ideas in drawings, or a plan (eg use grid paper, a Reflect on our responsibilities in maintaining a life-sus-
computer graphics program). taining environment on Earth.
Build your model using available materials. Explain how
the planned apparatus would work to meet the identified
Create the story, script and/or storyboard. Organise the
production and perform the play or make the video. Investigate the contribution Australia has made to the
[TS32] exploration of space. [I]
Collect information from Siding Springs Observatory.
Contact OTC and CSIRO for information on astrospace.
[TS35] Post a message on Keylink or Fredmail Bulletin
Boards requesting answers from other students. Find out
about Australian satellites and telescopes.
Design and make a device or system that utilises the sun’s Investigate the sun, its energy and its effects on earth. [I]
energy or design a solar still. [G]
Activities Observe and identify the ways the sun is part of our lives,
Decide the purpose of your device, eg to cook with, dry eg heat, light, shadows. [TS8] Identify the times when the
substances etc. Draw a plan or model the design. Consider sun has a negative effect, eg sunburn. Explore and explain
appearance as well as function. [TS23] Make and trial how we cope with this. Explore how the sun’s qualities are
device. Evaluate. Select ways of launching the new prod- used to help people in our society and in other societies.
uct and promoting its potential sales.
Design a solar still using clear wrap, a pebble and a glass
with a little water in it. Put a rock/weight on the plastic
so that it sinks down a bit, then put rubber band around the
plastic and around the cup.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 119
Switched On Stage 3
Using and generating electricity
Content focus • record the economic, moral, social Avoid leaving batteries on for long
and environmental consequences periods of time as they will be quickly
Physical Phenomena of technological advances. ‘flattened’.
Products and Services
Values and Attitudes
Earth and its Surroundings
• exhibit self direction in their own Electricity and Magnetism, Lafferty, P
Outcomes learning Explore Together 3, Jacab, C
This unit contributes to the follow- • show flexibility and responsiveness Energy and Natural Resources (se-
ing syllabus outcomes. to ideas ries) Exploring Energy (series),
Knowledge and Understanding • show a commitment to fair treat- Macmillan
Students will know and understand ment for all The Flick of a Switch (video), Cooper,
that: • gain satisfaction in their efforts to D
investigate, to design and make and Computer software: simulation soft-
• there are various forms of energy
to use technology. ware, eg Rocky’s Boots, Robot Odys-
• a complete circuit is needed for an sey, Lego TC Logo, Make the Connec-
electrical device to work
• the sun is the source of most of the
Assessment tion!, SimCity
People and places: Minerals and En-
energy on the Earth Listed below are selected examples of ergy Centre, CSIRO Centre, Electric-
• systems are designed to provide par- strategies that may be used in assess- ity Commission
ticular services ing this unit.
Materials and equipment: electrical
• there are many physical phenom- • Have students set up a simple cir- components, wires, batteries, bulbs,
ena which change the environment. cuit. small electric motor or generator, for
Students will: • Have students demonstrate the de- conductivity test; pipe cleaner, thread,
• show some relationship between vice that uses a simple electric cir- cotton, toothpicks, foil, metallic look-
the process of investigation and the cuit. ing thread, plastic
process of design and make • Listen to students’ comments dur-
ing presentations. Teaching strategies
• justify the combination of materi-
als and techniques in relation to 8 Researching to explore and dis-
the properties required for specific Links with other cover
end uses 9 Manipulating to explore and dis-
Key Learning Areas cover
• explain the need for safe, ergonomi-
cally sound work environments English 11 Predicting outcomes
• describe ways in which resources Modelling and jointly constructing 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
can be conserved. questions to ask while on an excur- concepts
sion. 18 Clarifying a design task
24 Evaluating design
Students will: Human Society and its Environment 29 Learning safety procedures
• make detailed observations using Researching the use and management
30 Selecting and maintaining tools
appropriate technologies of renewable and non-renewable re-
• discuss the factors that might af- sources including the effects on life-
styles and the environment. 31 Evaluating chosen technologies
fect an investigation
• devise fair tests Personal Development, Health and
• devise a test that will support or Physical Education
disprove a prediction Health and safety, particularly with
• modify and apply their understand- regard to electricity in the home.
ing in the light of their investiga-
tion Teacher notes
• test or propose ways of testing the
extent to which a product satisfies Try to avoid complicated explana-
the design intentions tions.
• use appropriate equipment and tools It is important that students do these
to carry out a particular task, and activities themselves. Previous expe-
understand the technology involved rience that some students may have
to record and present ideas had with circuits will be diminished
if the teacher merely demonstrates.
• use resources with consideration Students should be warned of the dan-
for the environment and adopt pro- ger of household current. These ac-
cedures that minimise waste tivities should only be done using
• identify and report unsafe condi- batteries.
120 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a device that uses a simple electric Investigate the use of electrical circuits in our environ-
circuit. [I] ment. [W]
Observe items that are powered by simple electric cir- List items in our environment powered by electricity, eg
cuits, eg lights, toys, alarms, door bells. Decide on the type lights, toaster, computer, torch, portable radio, digital
of device to be made, eg eyes that light up on a simple watch.
model, a game that matches question and answer by Classify according to their electricity source, ie mains or
completion of circuit, an alarm, toy box, jewellery box or battery. Discuss the function of batteries.
manual dexterity device. [TS18] Identify common features, eg wires to carry the current,
Sketch a plan (circuit diagram) of the device. Include power sources.
construction of the housing, if applicable. Include a switch- Identify safety features of electrical goods, eg insulating
ing mechanism to turn on and off. wires. [TS28] Suggest behaviours that ensure safe use, eg
Collect materials and components needed. turning off at power point.
Make device and test its operation.
Using a simple circuit design, make a device to test which Investigate the conditions needed to be fulfilled to make
materials will/will not conduct electricity. [G] an electric circuit. [G]
Decide on the type of device to be made and draw a Research the basic components of a simple electric cir-
diagram to show how it will be constructed, taking into cuit, eg by observation, reference to examples.
account cost and durability. [TS30] Using a variety of materials to choose from, construct by
Assemble the apparatus and design a fair test, using guess and check a basic circuit using wires, battery, light
materials known to conduct electricity. [TS13] globe. [TS9]
Test a range of unknown materials. Discuss the factors Discuss how it could be turned on and off, eg by complet-
that may affect the investigation. ing then breaking a circuit.
From findings, suggest which materials could be used as Trial a variety of components to see how they work within
electricity insulators and conductors. [TS31] Find exam- the circuit, eg buzzer, motor, heater, light. [TS24]
ples of these applications. Predict the effects of additional batteries, bulbs, different
wiring etc. [TS11] Test and revise hypothesis.
Draw a plan of a circuit and label it to show the compo-
Predict which materials could be used to create a circuit
(those that conduct electricity).
Design and make a presentation demonstrating how Investigate the generation of electricity for everyday use.
energy may be supplied to a community without using [I]
fossil fuels. [G]
Activities Explore where the electricity we use comes from, eg power
Discuss the power needs of the community. Identify point, wires in the wall, circuit board, power lines, power
physical features that may be utilised, eg coastal town station, fuel source.
may use water. Research how electricity is produced, eg a visit to a power
Decide if the energy source would be appropriate. station, refer to videos, books.
Use drawings/models to generate and develop ideas. Observe how a generator operates. Research and trial the
Demonstrate source of power, transportation of power to range of ways of turning the generator, eg human action,
users, environmental impact. moving water, wind, air, steam.
Collect materials that would be needed, eg wires, genera- Do further research about the uses of fossil fuels. [TS8]
tor, light globes, construction materials. Identify advantages and disadvantages. Make predictions
Model the environment and present details of the plan. about impact of their use.
Critically evaluate group presentation. [TS24] Suggest alternative sources of energy, eg solar, nuclear,
List and discuss advantages and disadvantages.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 121
Way out Communication Stage 3
Communications to different places and in different times
Content focus ing and refining ideas and justifying Links with other
Built Environments • select, reject or modify as appropri- Key Learning Areas
Information and Communication ate the elements of design to evalu-
Physical Phenomena English
ate the procedures and outcomes of Exploring the purpose and features of
Products and Services a design task
The Earth and its Surroundings various communication forms, eg fax
• produce a model, prototype, prod- messages, letters, telegrams. Jointly
Outcomes uct or procedure to meet a specific constructing examples.
design brief Exploring the language of radio, eg
This unit contributes to the follow- • select tools, hardware, materials, ads, news items, radio plays. Con-
ing syllabus outcomes. equipment or software on the basis structing examples.
of their specific function and in
Knowledge and Understanding Mathematics
order to gather information
Students will know and understand • use appropriate equipment and tools Recording events as part of a sequence,
that: to carry out a particular task, and eg time. Tabulating information and
• both aesthetic and functional fac- recording in a variety of graphs and
understand the technology involved TimeLiner
tors need to be considered when to record and present ideas
people make changes to their envi- • identify and report unsafe condi- Human Society and Its Environment
ronments tions Recognising individual differences.
• information can be represented in a • record the economic, moral, social Considering past and present devel-
number of different forms, includ- and environmental consequences opments in communications tech-
ing graphics, sounds and texts of technological advances. nologies. Predicting future develop-
• technologies continually offer new ments.
ways of creating and sending mes- Values and Attitudes Personal Development, Health and
sages Students will: Physical Education
• there are various forms of energy • show confidence in themselves and Assessing effective communication.
• systems are designed to provide par- willingness to make decisions and
Creative and Practical Arts
ticular services to take responsible action
• have a positive view of themselves Selecting and assembling appropriate
• environments on Earth have been
and their capabilities materials for radio play production.
affected by technology.
Students will: • show flexibility and responsiveness Teacher notes
• describe the social, environmental to ideas
or economic implications of the • initiate and persevere with activi- Contact consultants for assistance
investigation of new materials and ties to their completion with electronic information service.
processes • be honest and open in their deal- Suggested resources
• identify investigations which in- ings with others
volve discoveries leading to unex- • respect different viewpoints and You Can Get There From Here
pected outcomes ways of living (kit),OTC. Radio Then and Now (kit),
• respect others’ rights and property NSW Department of Education. TV
• show some relationship between and Video Technology, Wayland.
the process of investigation and the • work cooperatively in groups
• show a commitment to fair treat- Making a Record, Bassett, A. Media
process of design and make for kids - Radio, Butler, M. Technol-
• justify the combination of materi- ment for all ogy in Action (series). Sound Effects
als and techniques in relation to • show informed commitment to im- (audio tape)
the properties required for specific proving the quality of society and
Computer software: database
end uses the environment FrEdbase, Carefile, Desktop, Data
• describe the process of design and • be curious about and appreciate the Manager, The Critics’ Choice, Make
make which can involve identify- natural and made environment the Connection!, TimeLiner,
ing needs and wants, defining a • gain satisfaction in their efforts to Compute-A-Graph
design task, generating and select- investigate, to design and make and People and places: OTC, local radio
ing ideas, assembling or construct- to use technology stations, SSP schools, hospitals, old
ing products, systems or environ- • demonstrate rational and creative people, homes, museums, post office
ments, and evaluating outcomes thinking. Materials and equipment: cassette re-
• explain that the future must be corders, pictures of rock paintings,
considered when making choices
Assessment hieroglyphics, radio, fax, modem
of particular technologies Listed below are selected examples of
• explain that particular technolo- strategies that may be used in assess- Teaching strategies
gies are significant causes of change ing this unit of work. 9 Manipulating to explore and discover
in the way people live. • Have students present the results 13 Trialling and testing ideas and con-
of their research and show how this cepts
Skills has influenced their decisions when 16 Applying understandings
Students will: designing and making. 17 Exploring needs
• identify data which support a par- • Ask students to describe how they 18 Clarifying a design task
ticular prediction would communicate to different 29 Selecting appropriate technologies
• use investigation techniques to places and in different times of his- 35 Telecommunications
identify opportunities for design tory. 36 Sound and lighting
activities 38 Publishing
• develop a design proposal by select- 39 Video production
122 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a program for people with special needs. Investigate how science and technology have been used
[G] to assist people with special needs in communicating. [G]
Decide on a story (or ideas) to be told. Consider traditional Predict situations or circumstances where people in the
stories from various cultures. community may have special needs in communicating.
Consider the special needs of the audience. [TS17] Specific conditions encountered by people could include:
Choose a way of presenting the story or text that allows for [TS17]
people with special needs. [TS40] • geographical isolations, eg living on an isolated cattle
Create each part of the story. Consider the information to station
be included and how it will appear. Think about how to • sensory impairment, eg blindness, deafness
create the feel required. • learning difficulties.
Select and produce aids that might accompany the story. • restricted mobility, eg the elderly, those unable to get
Devise a way of ensuring aids match the story when around easily
presented. • social isolation, eg being homebound, new to the com-
Present the program. Evaluate in terms of audience enjoy- munity
ment as well as personal satisfaction. [TS13] • physical disabilities, eg paraplegia, severe arthritis,
• language difficulties, eg non-English speakers.
Identify the difficulties that may be experienced.
Task Choose different methods of gathering information, eg
Design and make a way of communicating about present– interviewing people, direct observation or role play. Ob-
day life to people in future generations. [G] serve, in the local environment, adaptations that have
been made for people with special needs, eg universal
Activities symbols, subtitling for hearing impaired, pedestrian cross-
ing bleepers, English classes, community language broad-
Consider the range of ways to record messages. Refer to casting.
investigations for the ideas. [TS18] Choose methods to be Invite a guest speaker to visit the school.
used, eg illustration, audio recordings, photographs, vid-
Explore how computer technology has been used to pro-
eos, tapes, writing. Brainstorm subject matter to be in-
vide for people’s special needs.
cluded. What aspects of life would be interesting to future
generations, eg impressions of school, sporting results, Do a case study to discover changes that have occurred
current affairs? [TS16] Jointly decide on a period of time over time and developments that address the need, eg
for the information to be kept, eg 5 years, 20 years. Perhaps medical advances, refinement of devices to aid the senses,
a number of suggestions can be actioned. Make the items improved long distance communication, changes in so-
to be preserved. Evaluate, determining whether others can cial awareness and understanding. Compare and contrast
understand what is being said. Can they suggest things past situations to the present. Include the roles of scien-
that are missing? Consider ways of preserving the materi- tific research and technological innovation. Suggest fur-
als. Consider the materials used, where to store the mes- ther advances that may occur in the future.
sages, how long they are to be kept. Identify what things Explore an organisation catering for people with special
will affect the materials used, eg water, pollution and needs, eg Royal Blind Society. Research their function and
methods of preventing damage. Choose a method of pres- the services they provide.
ervation, and put into action. [TS29] Reflect on how and why attitudes to people with special
needs have changed since past times.
Use appropriate technologies to organise data and com- Investigate the changes that have occurred in communi-
municate information. [I] cation. [I]
Explore how to use a range of technologies, eg use an Using various resources, research communication meth-
electronic information service (Keylink, Fredmail) to com- ods used in the past, eg rock paintings, drums, morse code.
municate with radio service, other schools or pen pals, or [TS9] Observe examples that have been preserved and
to gain access to a remote data base, eg AAP. Use a fax to interpret the messages, eg Aboriginal rock paintings, Egyp-
communicate with schools or services in the local area; tian tomb paintings. Evaluate how successfully they have
use an electronic information service to make a newspa- been preserved. Experiment sending messages using other
per. [TS35] methods identified, eg semaphore, morse code. Identify
Identify communication systems. Observe in environ- advantages/disadvantages of each method. Research how
ment, eg satellite discs; visit facilities, eg post office; use communication technologies evolved to their present
a variety of resources to discover how they operate. Dem- forms. Record using a time line.
onstrate how some of these work, eg write for the bulletin
board to communicate with another school. [TS38]
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 123
Sailing, Sinking, Soaring Stage 3
Some properties and uses of air and water
Content focus • use resources with consideration for Mathematics
the environment and adopt proce- Describing and naming simple objects
Physical Phenomena dures that minimise waste and their properties.
Earth and its Surroundings • identify and report unsafe conditions Classifying and sorting objects into
• record the economic, moral, social groups according to their similarities.
Outcomes and environmental consequences of
technological advances. Personal Development, Health and
This unit contributes to the following Physical Education
syllabus outcomes. Values and Attitudes Examining water safety aspects.
Knowledge and Understanding Students will:
• have a positive view of themselves Creative and Practical Arts
Students will know and understand Craft/design: designing and making pa-
and their capabilities
that: per/balsa wood plane.
• initiate and persevere with activi-
• there are various forms of energy Drama: improvising dance and move-
ties to their completion
• there are various parts to the physical ment activities associated with float-
• respect the rights and property of
environment, eg stars, planets, earth, ing and sinking.
air and water.
• work cooperatively in groups Teacher notes
• show informed commitment to im-
• recognise that investigations may be Although density determines whether
proving the quality of society and
conclusive/inconclusive things float, it is not necessary to ex-
• describe the social, environmental or plain this concept at this level.
• be curious about and appreciate the
economic implications of the investi-
natural and made environment Collect a range of kite designs from
gation of new materials and processes
• appreciate the scientific and techno- around the world, especially those
• describe the process of investigation
logical contribution made by Aus- brought in by students.
which can involve exploring and dis-
tralians and members of other soci-
covering phenomena and events, pro-
eties and cultures
posing explanations, initiating inves-
• develop rational and creative think- Water, Soil and Air, Houghton G et al
tigations, predicting outcomes, test-
ing. Aircraft and Space Rockets, Johnson, H
ing, modifying and applying under-
standings Assessment Experiment With (series)
• describe the factors that influence Travel by Water, Pollard, M
design Listed below are selected examples of Kites to Make and Fly, Newham, J
• justify the decisions made in design- strategies that may be used in testing The Environment World Issues Series,
ing and making the objectives of this unit of work. Markham, A
• explain the need for safe, ergonomi- • Have students describe the results of Icarus (video), Film Australia
cally sound work environments testing materials and explain how Water, Walpole, B
• identify that new technologies in- they have incorporated their find-
Wondering About Air (video)
crease the options for designing and ings in their kite designs.
• Observe how prepared students are Computer software: publishing soft-
making. ware, eg Writing & Publishing Centre,
to try out a variety ideas in generat-
Skills Appleworks, FrEdbase, Compute-A-
ing a design proposal. Graph
Students will: • Have students demonstrate their
People and places: Sydney Maritime
• make detailed observations using ap- knowledge and understanding of
Museum, Sydney Children’s Museum,
propriate technologies methods of joining and shaping the Powerhouse Museum, State Pollution
• discuss the factors that might affect materials selected for model produc- Control Commission, Water Board
an investigation tion.
Materials and equipment: a variety of
• identify data which support a particu- • Observe and discuss with students materials for testing construction ma-
lar prediction the testing procedures for their pre- terials for boats and kites, soluble mate-
• devise a fair test dictions. rials
• devise a test that will support or dis- • Have a teacher - student interview con-
prove a prediction cerning the process of investigation. Teaching strategies
• select, reject or modify as appropriate 8 Researching to explore and dis-
the elements of design to evaluate the Links with other cover
procedures and outcomes of a design Key Learning Areas 11 Predicting outcomes
task 13 Trialling and testing ideas and con-
• produce a model, prototype, product English cepts
or procedure to meet a specific design Demonstrating how to access factual 16 Applying understandings
brief 20 Developing ideas
information on air, water, pollution.
22 Considering appearance and func-
• test or propose ways of testing the Modelling the language of prediction, tion
extent to which a product satisfies eg I think this will sink. 24 Selecting and using material
the design intentions Modelling the construction of informa- 27 Learning safety procedures
• select appropriate tools, hardware, tion in the form of a report. 29 Selecting and maintaining tools
materials, equipment or software on and equipment
the basis of their specific function in 30 Evaluating chosen technologies
order to gather information
124 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Use simple equipment to measure air and water pollu- Investigate the effect of pollution on air and water. [I]
Activities Discuss what a pollutant is, ie any substance which can
Measure solid air pollution at various locations around damage health. Research the more common forms of
the school playground, eg close to a corner window sill, pollution, eg exhaust fumes from cars, sewage into the
outside, inside etc. Monitor substances found at different oceans, chemicals discharged into sewers. Collect news-
locations in a local creek or drain, over a period of time, paper articles over a term about water and air pollution in
eg acids, mud, greasy slick, litter. Record and graph their local area and produce a scrapbook.
Task Investigate the properties of water. [I]
Design and make a water wheel. [G]
Activities Observe the properties of water, eg flows, exerts a push/
Draw ideas for constructing a wheel. Discuss and decide pull, expands when freezes. Use a fair test to identify
what materials could be used, eg plastic, wood, something which materials may dissolve in water, eg sugar, salt,
waterproof. [TS25] Collect materials and construct wheel sand, flour. [TS13] Discuss with students what is meant
and trial finished product. Discuss possible uses for fin- by a fair test and how this applies to this investigation, eg
ished product, eg generate electricity, grind cereal into equal amounts of water, equal amounts of the materials to
flour etc. be tested etc. Identify that water can exist as a liquid, solid
or gas. Identify that air can be dissolved in water.
Design and make a sailing boat that will float. [G] Investigate buoyancy with various materials. [G]
Collect scrap materials, eg plastic containers, polystyrene Using a range of readily-available objects observe whether they
foam, straws, paper, cloth. Experiment with designs for a float or sink. Collect a wider variety of objects, particularly
sailing boat. [TS23] Consider shape, materials, staying up- ensuring a variety of different materials, eg coins, woollen
right, travelling in straight lines. Use drawings or a model to objects, plastics, other metals, plasticine, fabrics. Predict
help develop the design. Explore ways of joining and shaping which will float and which will sink. [TS16] Test the predic-
materials. Select materials that best fit the need, eg can float, tions and observe the results. Discuss common characteris-
be joined, be shaped. Make the boat, including the sail. Test tics of items that float, and of items that sink. Can students
the design’s sea worthiness and ease of movement. Make suggest any modifications that could be made to materials to
repairs or alterations if necessary. [TS30] Consider ways of make them float. Examine and discuss safety devices used on
improving its performance. Research how some Australians boats and when swimming. Predict the types of materials and
have been involved in and Australian technology has been shapes that could be used for this purpose. Test the predictions
used in sail boat design, eg America’s Cup yacht. by direct observation of flotation devices brought in. Research
correct procedures for use of safety devices, eg talk to experts,
refer to pamphlets, videos. [TS28]
Design and make a kite. Devise a useful purpose for the kite. Investigate the properties of air and how moving air (wind)
[I] moves objects. [G]
Collect a variety of kites. Compare the different designs, Observe the properties of air, eg a gas, exerts a push/pull,
noticing how they fly, materials used, how they are control- compressible, takes the shape of its container. Feel the
led. Use these examples as a source of ideas for individual effects of the wind, eg by running into the wind, running with
designs. Establish criteria for a successful kite. Develop the wind behind, running across the wind. Observe things
designs using drawings or models as needed. [TS20] Present that are moved by the wind, eg clothes blowing on the line,
the designs for discussion with peers. Select and obtain flag, windmill, leaves. Devise a way to observe and record the
materials that are appropriate for specific design. Consider direction of the wind, eg by making a paper windmill.
the best methods of construction, including joining materi- Measure the strength of the ‘pull’ of the wind. Try different
als. Evaluate work at each stage of making. On completion, ways of measuring. Compare the mass and strength of
test fly the kite. Compare to others. Make adjustments as different materials and how they may be moved in the wind.
desired, especially to alter performance, eg lengthening/ [TS13] Predict those that would be strongest, lightest, best
shortening the tail. Evaluate according to initial criteria. as sails etc. [TS11] Devise fair tests to check the predictions.
[TS31] Brainstorm ways of using the kites for a useful Use your investigation to suggest material for use in kite
purpose, eg to advertise a school event or a product suspend- construction. [TS25] Consider the purpose of each compo-
ing a sign from the kite. nent, eg the frame, the fabric, and the qualities that would be
suitable, eg strength, lightness, appearance. Explore the
flight of gliders in the wind, eg using paper or balsa planes.
Predict how the glider could be made to fly further, higher or
in any other specified way. Make changes and test the new
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 125
What’s the Weather? Stage 3
Natural occurrences and their effects
Content focus Skills from an address by guest speaker or
Students will: during an excursion.
Built Environments Exploring the purpose and features of
• make detailed observations using
Information and Communication appropriate technologies written explanations.
Physical Phenomena • devise a test that will support or Jointly constructing explanations of
Products and Services disprove a prediction natural phenomena.
Earth and its Surroundings • produce a model, prototype, prod- Mathematics
uct or procedure to meet a specific
Exploring aspects of position, focus-
Outcomes design brief
ing on mapping.
This unit contributes to the follow- • test or propose ways of testing the
Measuring temperature, volume and
ing syllabus outcomes. extent to which a product satisfies
wind speed using both formal and
the design intentions
Knowledge and Understanding • select appropriate tools, hardware,
Students will know and understand materials, equipment or software Human Society and its Environment
that: on the basis of their specific func- Investigating the influences of natu-
• people try to control the conditions tion and in order to gather informa- ral phenomena on lifestyles and envi-
in the environments they build tion ronments as part of cultural study on
• information can be represented in a • use appropriate equipment and tools a current affairs issue.
number of different forms, includ- to carry out a particular task, and
ing graphics, sounds and texts understand the technology involved Teacher notes
• technologies continually offer new to record and present ideas.
Weather conditions to measure and
ways of creating and sending mes- Values and Attitudes monitor should include temperature,
sages rainfall, wind direction and speed.
• there are various forms of energy
• initiate and persevere with activi-
• the sun is the source of most of the ties to their completion Suggested resources
energy on the Earth
• work cooperatively in groups Our Planet (series), Eagle Books
• there are environmental conse-
• show informed commitment to im- World Disasters (series), Macmillan
quences of production and con-
proving the quality of society and Weather (video), Mason, J Classroom
the environment Video
• systems are designed to provide
• be curious about and appreciate the Volcanoes (video), Classroom Video
natural and made environment
• there are many physical phenom- Computer software: communications
• gain satisfaction in their efforts to software, eg Telecom V3, U-Connect,
ena which change the environment
investigate, to design and make and K-Connect, Diga, Apple Access II,
• there are various parts to the physi- to use technology.
cal environment, eg stars, planets, Netcomm
earth, air and water. People and places: Forestry Commis-
Assessment sion, museums, World Vision or Com-
• recognise that investigations may Listed below are suggested strategies munity Aid Abroad, Dick Smith elec-
be conclusive/inconclusive that may be used in assessing this trical components, State Emergency
unit of work. Services
• show some relationship between
the process of investigation and the • Have students predict the weather Materials and equipment: electrical
process of design and make for various times of the future year. components, eg wire, batteries, bulbs,
• Students can demonstrate the mercury (trembler) switches, barom-
• describe the process of investiga- eter, rain gauge, weather sections of
tion which can involve exploring windspeed device to successfully
measure the wind’s speed/direction. newspapers
and discovering phenomena and
events, proposing explanations, ini- • In conferences, students could be Teaching strategies
tiating investigations, predicting encouraged to justify explanations 10 Proposing explanations
outcomes, testing, modifying and supporting or disproving results of 11 Predicting outcomes
applying understandings weather predictions.
16 Applying understandings
• describe the factors that influence • Consider whether students dem-
18 Clarifying a design task
design onstrate rational and creative
thought. 19 Exploring ideas
• justify the combination of materi-
als and techniques in relation to 22 Selecting solutions
the properties required for specific Links with other 31 Evaluating chosen technologies
end uses Key Learning Areas 35 Telecommunications
• evaluate technological activity in
terms of social and environmental English
cost and benefits. Demonstrating ways of taking notes
126 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make an instrument to indicate windspeed or Investigate weather patterns. [I]
direction on a windy highway, bridge or airport. [I]
Activities Observe weather patterns over time by collecting weather
Discuss the need to measure natural conditions, eg to information/maps from newspapers, TV or radio. Discuss
warn of changes. Research and identify the ways that observations of temperatures, wind direction and cloud
natural conditions are measured. Decide on requirements patterns in different areas.
of the device, eg must demonstrate wind direction and Research methods used to measure weather patterns, eg
strength, be clearly visible. gauges, weather balloons, satellites.
Brainstorm ideas about how the indicator will work. Use Record and graph rainfall readings over time and in differ-
examples from the environment as models. [TS18] ent parts of the state/country. Predict wettest/driest areas
Draw a plan of the design. Discuss it with others. Trial or times of year. [TS11] Test predictions by comparing
selected materials for visibility, durability. readings with other months of same year and same month
Make the device and trial it. in other years. Note which months are the wettest, driest,
Visit a local weather station and observe the ways weather
information is gathered and disseminated.
In groups, design and present a weather report. [G] Use an electronic information service to collect informa-
tion about weather throughout NSW. [I]
Identify the sorts of details required in weather reports.
Gather information from around the state, over a period of Define the information required, eg temperature, wind
time. speed, wind direction, rainfall. Write the message to be
Provide each group with identical information. Select used. [TS35]
details to be included. Design and prepare graphics, text Use the bulletin board to post a message to schools in
and method of presentation. (Extension: try to predict NSW. Log in and read replies.
tomorrow’s weather.) Assign roles to be filled, eg graphics Analyse the data received. Compare similarities and dif-
creation, director, presenter. ferences around the state. Propose explanations regarding
Class presentation: compare each group’s report and note patterns that emerge. [TS10] Continue data collection to
similarities and differences. [TS16] support/disprove proposed explanations.
Design a plan to cope at school, in the event of a disaster. Investigate natural phenomena. [G]
Activities Research natural occurrences that may cause a disaster, eg
Identify a phenomenon that may affect the local area, eg earthquake, volcano, flood, cyclone. Use books, slides,
flood, fire, earthquake. videos, a guest speaker.
Discuss the action that will need to take place. [TS22] Include causes, variations in force, areas most likely to be
Include alerting people, evacuation, accounting for every- affected, early warning systems, occurrences in Australia.
one, communicating with the outside, aiding the injured, Discuss what makes a natural phenomenon become a
equipment that may be required, informing everyone of disaster, eg its effect on the environment and people.
procedures. Evaluate technologies which could aid com- Reflect on whether an earthquake in an unpopulated area
munication. [TS31] or cyclone in the middle of the ocean, would be considered
Make a plan of the action to be undertaken. [TS19] a disaster.
Consult with other classes to ensure their needs are List phenomena that may occur in Australia. Identify
considered. Discuss the plan with a friend. Can they areas most likely to be affected by each variety. Research
identify any important steps that you have missed? whether any disasters have occurred in your local area. If
Conduct a drill to trial the plan and evaluate its success. so, describe the damage sustained.
Research organisations and systems involved in dealing
with disasters in Australia, eg SES. Visit their headquar-
ters or invite a member to visit the class.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 127
An Ancient Land Stage 3
Changes that have occurred over time
Content focus • use appropriate equipment and tools Suggested resources
to carry out a particular task,
Living Things understand the technology involved First Facts (series), Macmillan
Earth and its Surroundings to record and present ideas. Australian Dinosaurs, Pride, M
Values and Attitudes The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth,
Outcomes Students will:
This unit contributes to the follow- Eyewitness Guides (series), Collins
• have a positive view of themselves
ing syllabus outcomes. and their capabilities Living in Australia (series), Macmillan
• show flexibility and responsiveness 64,000,000 Years Ago (video), Na-
Knowledge and Understanding tional Film Board of Canada
Students will know and understand to ideas
Dinosaurs (video), Ministry of Educa-
that: • initiate and persevere with activi-
• the activities of people can change ties to their completion
• respect different viewpoints and Computer software: graphics soft-
the balance of nature ware, eg Explore-a-Science Dinosaur
ways of living
• groups of living things have changed Construction Kit, Tyrannosaurus Rex,
over long periods of time • respect the rights and property of Super Print, What Makes a Dinosaur
others Sore, The Print Shop, Fantavision,
• there are various parts to the physi-
cal environment, eg stars, planets, • be curious about and appreciate the Slide Shop, Graphics Bank, Geoworld,
earth, air and water. natural and made environment. PC Globe
Students will: People and places: national parks, lo-
• describe the process of investiga- Assessment cal area, Gould League, Soil Conser-
tion which can involve exploring Listed below are strategies that may vation Service, local historical soci-
and discovering phenomena and be used in assessing this unit. ety, Mineral and Mining Museum,
events, proposing explanations, ini- • Have students explain the features Australian Museum, Earth Exchange
tiating investigations, predicting in their model of different landforms Materials and equipment: construc-
outcomes, testing, modifying and (the focus should not be the model tion materials, pictures of erosion,
applying understandings but their understanding of the fea- containers of sand and soil, collection
• justify the combination of materi- tures). of natural materials, eg leaves, bark
als and techniques in relation to • Listen to students’ explanations of Teaching strategies
the properties required for specific their created environment to visi-
end uses 7 Observing to explore and dis-
• describe the process of design and
make which can involve identify- 8 Researching to explore and dis-
Links with other cover
ing needs and wants, defining a
design task, generating and select- Key Learning Areas 10 Proposing explanations
ing ideas, assembling or construct- 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
ing products, systems or environ- English concepts
ments, and evaluating outcomes. Demonstrating taking notes from a 15 Explaining understandings
variety of sources, eg research speak- 16 Applying understandings
Skills ers, videos. Modelling organisation of
Students will: 25 Selecting and using materials
information to facilitate making com-
• make detailed observations using parisons. Writing stories about the 27 Understanding materials
appropriate technologies past.
• devise a test that will support or
disprove a prediction Teacher notes
• modify and apply their understand- The emphasis in this unit is on the
ing in the light of their investigation changes that have occurred over long
• select, reject or modify as appropri- periods of time.
ate the elements of design to evalu- Because Aboriginal people have occu-
ate the procedures and outcomes of pied Australia for many years, records
a design task of geological and species changes, eg
• produce a model, prototype, prod- sea level, volcanoes, species extinc-
uct or procedure to meet a specific tion, are found in Dreaming stories.
design brief The first archaeological finds of fos-
• select appropriate tools, hardware, sils of extinct megafauna were found
materials, equipment or software following such references.
on the basis of their specific func-
tion in order to gather information
128 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a model of particular landforms. [G] Investigate different landforms. [W]
Identify a range of different landforms, eg coastal, desert, Identify natural landforms, and their characteristics, in
mountain/valley. In groups research the characteristics to the local environment, eg hills, rivers, valleys, beaches.
include for each model. Select a method of representing Research and identify natural landforms in other environ-
the landforms, eg plasticine modelling, papier-mache, ments. [TS8] Research how land masses have changed
plaster of paris. Sketch ideas, trying out different combi- over time. Compare representations of what Australia
nations of elements. Evaluate and make refinements. may have looked like at different times over many thou-
Make a final plan of the model. Choose and collect sands of years. Compare with current shape and size.
materials suitable to the environment being represented, Suggest reasons for rise/fall in sea level. [TS15] Observe
eg sand for beaches, twigs etc. [TS25] Create the model weather and other natural conditions, eg running water,
using appropriate methods of shaping, joining and com- wind in identified areas. Predict the effects of these ele-
bining materials. Label the features. ments on the land. Create a model to test the predictions.
Research using videos, reference books or invited speak-
ers, to collaborate the results. Collect a variety of rocks
from the local area. Classify by various attributes. Identify
common characteristics. Research to determine how they
were formed, eg ask an expert. Observe weathering in local
environment, eg areas of erosion, roadside cuttings. Ex-
plore how these effects occurred. Suggest ways of prevent-
ing further erosion or addressing the problem. [TS16]
Design and make models of animals and their habitats by Investigate animals that existed in prehistoric times. [I]
changing the classroom into a prehistoric environment.
Explore sources of evidence of life in prehistoric times, eg
Activities fossils, amber. Make predictions as to how these were
Identify the range of creatures to be modelled, eg land formed. Test ideas, by simulating/trying proposals or
animals, flying animals, species that live in water. Re- through research.
search individual features that need to be represented, eg Research animals that existed in prehistoric times.
physical characteristics, foods eaten, style of movement. Identify species that were peculiar to Australia, eg
Consider relative sizes. Make suggestions of methods to diprotodons, giant mammals. Include information on their
use in reproducing the model. Visit theatres, museums characteristics, habitat, place in the food chain.
and observe techniques used. [TS7] Use as models or Identify species which have become extinct, eg dinosaurs.
obtain advice. Explore materials that could be used, eg Suggest possible causes. Explore changes which may have
papier-mache, plaster of paris, plasticine. Consider ways caused extinction of species, eg climate, balance of nature.
of making appropriate sound effects, moving parts, light-
Discuss the features of plants and animals which led to
ing effects. [TS36] Create the models using appropriate
methods of shaping, joining and combining materials.
[TS27] Create the landscape considering materials needed
to simulate the textures, colours and atmosphere re-
quired. Position the models. Invite other classes to make
the trip back in time.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 129
Light Up My Life Stage 3
Light and visual images
Content focus • use appropriate equipment and tools Creative and Practical Arts
to carry out a particular task, un- Creating props, costumes etc as ap-
Built Environments derstand the technology involved propriate.
Information and Communication and record and present ideas. Using inks and oil paints on slides for
Physical Phenomena Values and Attitudes visual effects.
Products and Services Students will: Music
• show flexibility and responsiveness Explore the use of tone and colour to
Outcomes to ideas create scary, pleasant, peaceful
This unit contributes to the follow- • work cooperatively in groups moods/atmospheres.
ing syllabus outcomes. • gain satisfaction in their efforts to
Knowledge and Understanding investigate, to design and make and Teacher notes
to use technology.
Students will know and understand Students will make observations
that: about light while exploring and ma-
• both aesthetic and functional fac-
Assessment nipulating materials and objects.
tors need to be considered when Listed below are selected examples of Advertisements and videos are useful
people make changes to their envi- strategies that may be used in assess- for exploring the effects of sound and
ronments ing the objectives of this unit of work. lighting.
• information can be represented in a • Discuss informally the processes
number of different forms, includ- experienced in creating the puppet Suggested resources
ing graphics, sounds and texts show, shadow play or tape/slide
program. Media for Kids, Butler, M
• technologies continually offer new
ways of creating and sending mes- Light and Dark, Catherall, E
• Have students create a flow chart of
sages the sequences in their play, show or Light Fantastic, Kerred, R
• the sun is the source of most of the program developed. Tracks into Primary Science, Freer, K
energy on the Earth • Have the students use a computer and O’Toole M
• light can pass through some mate- for telecommunications and/or Lode (series), Longman Cheshire
rials and not others and when it multi-media productions. Computer software: Energy Efficient
does it forms shadows • Have children predict when light House, Make the Connection!, Slide
• systems are designed to provide will/will not pass through a variety Show
particular services of materials. People and places: computer educa-
• there are many physical phenom- • See if children can adapt, changing tion contacts, theatres, professional
ena which change the environment. size and position, strong/weak/mul- producers, community theatre groups,
Students will: tiple lights, to produce the desired Powerhouse Museum
• show some relationship between effects on puppets and shadows. Materials and equipment: video cam-
the process of investigation to the eras, video cassette recorders, audio-
process of design and make Links with other visual equipment, appropriate props
and equipment, simple lights, sound
• describe the factors that influence Key Learning Areas effects, film, coloured screens
• justify the decisions made in de- English Teaching strategies
signing and making Exploring the purpose, audience and 8 Researching to explore and dis-
• explain that particular technolo- features of entertainment. cover
gies are significant causes of change Focusing on the descriptive language 17 Exploring needs
in the way people live. associated with light, shadows and 32 Audio-visual technologies
reflection. 35 Telecommunications
Students will: Mathematics 36 Sound and lighting
• discuss the factors that might af- Measuring and calculating duration 41 Computer graphics
fect an investigation of events. Reading and interpreting
• devise fair tests timetables.
• modify and apply their understand- Personal Development, Health and
ing in the light of their investiga- Physical Education
tion Identifying the need for protective
• develop a design proposal by select- clothing and equipment.
ing and refining ideas and justify-
ing choices Human Society and its Environment
• produce a model, prototype, prod- Organising and presenting informa-
uct or procedure to meet a specific tion. Extending understandings re
design brief aesthetic needs and how they are sat-
130 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a shadow play or puppet show. [G] Investigate the effect light has on materials. [I]
Predict what ‘leisure’ will be like in the future. [TS11] Shine light from a slide projector on to the wall or onto a
Suggest some new activities that might exist, eg day trips screen. Observe the shape of the light beam. Explore ways
to the moon, hologram shows, computer simulator dome. of affecting this beam of light. Observe light passing or not
Select an activity to make a play or puppet show. Identify passing through several materials, eg wood, glass, woollen
characters to be illustrated. Choose the light source, eg cloth. Collect a range of materials, eg clear plastic, cotton
overhead projector, slide projector, light behind sheet. cloth, nylon, metal, coloured liquid, lighting gels. Predict
Explore materials that may be suitable. Consider the whether the light will pass through easily (transparent),
characteristics required, eg allowing no light, some light, partially (translucent), or not at all (opaque). Test predic-
coloured light through, and how they can be cut and tions. Record observations. Describe other characteristics
joined. Select materials and make the puppets. Try them of transparent materials. [TS36]
out and discuss possible improvements. Organise other
aspects to enhance the performance, eg sound effects,
music and voices, darkening the room. [TS32] Combine
all the elements and rehearse the production. Invite friends Task
to watch the play.
Investigate sources of light. [W]
Identify light in the environment, eg light from the sun,
ceiling lights, candles etc. [TS8]
List possible light sources, eg the sun, candles, stars, fire,
glow worms, light globes. Group according to common
characteristics, eg uses electricity, can be used outdoors,
used when the sun’s light is not available.
Design and make a representation of a natural change in Investigate how sound and lighting can be used to create
the surroundings. [W] ‘special effects’. [G]
Choose a scenario to which ‘special effects’ can be added. Collect a variety of materials, eg cellophane, cotton mate-
(This could be part of a class play.) Discuss the type of rial, coloured overhead projector sheets, filters.
effects that would complement the chosen scene. Trial these materials to see if they can change sources, eg
Discuss the various lighting changes to be observed in the overhead projector, torch.
environment, eg sunrise, sunset, lightning, cloudy day, Observe the effects.
gathering storm. Try out various ways of representing Record observations of the success of various materials, eg
lighting effects with various light sources. no light passed through, the light turned purple.
Discuss the sounds that are often heard at special times, Trial more than one successful material at a time. Discuss
eg birds chirping at sunset. Try out various sounds and the results of combining different colours.
combinations of sounds that might represent natural
occurrences, eg thunder, rain, leaves rustling. Add the
‘special effects’ to the scene and evaluate their success.
Add a different set of ‘special effects’ to the same scene and
discuss the result.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 131
Environment Matters Stage 3
Effects of human activities on the environment
Content focus • describe ways in which resources managed and the effects of manage-
can be conserved. ment practices on natural environ-
Built Environments ments and human society.
Students will: Personal Development, Health and
Products and Services Physical Education
• modify and apply their understand-
Earth and its Surroundings Investigating potential health hazards
ings in the light of their investiga-
tion caused by environmental damage.
Outcomes • use resources with consideration Creative and Practical Arts
This unit contributes to the follow- for the environment and adopt pro- Organising movement and language
ing syllabus outcomes. cedures which minimise waste through simulation, addressing issues
Knowledge and Understanding • identify and report unsafe condi- of environmental damage.
Students will know and understand
• record the economic, moral, social Suggested resources
and environmental consequences
• people try to control the conditions of technological advances. The Greenhouse Effect – Exploring
in the environments they build the Theory, Morris, B et al
• people live in communities and Values and Attitudes The Environment and Health, Ward, B
build environments to service their Students will: The Ozone Crisis, Mackness, B
common needs • demonstrate confidence in them- The Humpback Whale, Green, C
• the activities of people can change selves and willingness to make de-
the balance of nature cisions and to take responsible ac- Survival (series), Watts
• there are environmental conse- tions Protect Wildlife (series), Watts
quences of production and con- • respect the rights and property of The Battle of Billy’s Pond (video),
sumption others British Children’s Film Foundation
• systems are designed to provide par- • work cooperatively in groups Drowned Land (video), ABC
ticular services • respect different viewpoints and Scars on the Landscape (video), ABC
• systems are used to deliver and dis- ways of living Sands of Time (video), Yowie Films
tribute goods • show informed commitment to im- People and places: Forestry Commis-
• there are many physical phenom- proving the quality of society and sion, Soil Conservation Service, Aus-
ena which change the environment the environment tralian Conservation Service, national
• there are various parts to the physi- • be curious about and appreciate the parks, Gould League, State Pollution
cal environment, eg stars, planets, natural and made environment Control Commission
earth, air and water • appreciate the scientific and tech- Computer software: databases, eg
• environments on Earth have been nological contribution made by Goodbye Forever? A Database of
affected by technology. Australians and members of other Threatened Mammals, Australian
Students will: societies and cultures. Mammals Database, SimAnt,
• describe the social, environmental
or economic implications of the Assessment Teaching strategies
investigation of new materials and Listed below are strategies that may 8 Researching to explore and dis-
processes be used in assessing this unit. cover
• explain the need for safe, ergonomi- 10 Proposing explanations
• Have students assess the effective-
cally sound work environments 11 Predicting outcomes
ness of the recycling system they
• describe the process of design and have implemented in the school 13 Trialling and testing ideas and
make which can involve identify- and recommend any modifications. concepts
ing needs and wants, defining a • See how effectively students are 14 Modifying understandings
design task, generating and select- able to transfer their ideas for im-
ing ideas, assembling or construct- 22 Selecting solutions
proving the environment into their
ing products, systems or environ- lives outside school.
ments and evaluating outcomes
• What are the observable differences
• explain that the future must be in students’ behaviour toward their
considered when making choices immediate environment?
of particular technologies
• evaluate technological activity in Links with other
terms of social and environmental
cost and benefits Key Learning Areas
• explain that particular technolo-
gies are significant causes of change Human Society and its Environment
in the way people live Developing understandings about
ways major world environments are
132 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a product to satisfy an identified need, Investigate the effect of human activity on environments
taking into account environmental costs. [G] both in Australia and the rest of the world. [I]
Evaluate how selected products satisfy human needs. Out- Identify characteristics of natural environments, include plants
line the environmental impact of the item’s production. and animals in particular areas. [TS8] Visit national parks,
[TS30] Include packaging, production methods, the prod- watch videos, etc. List human activities that interact with/
uct’s use and eventual disposal. Design modifications to impact on natural environments, eg land for farming; hunt-
minimise the effects on the environment, eg an environ- ing/fishing; mining; urban development; use of resources;
mentally sound product may be poorly packaged, a simple quality of air/water; use of pesticides, cars/planes. Suggest
object may be made of rare rainforest timbers. [TS20] effects of identified activities, eg farming leads to reduced
Describe the design problem, including environmental re- natural habitats/animal food sources . [TS10] Directly ob-
quirements. [TS10] Generate ideas using drawings, words serve and critically appraise effects of human activity, eg soil
or both. Outline solutions or make a model of the product. salination, air/water pollution, species endangerment. Use
Include disposal procedures. Research large-scale produc- reference materials. Research causes of problems, identifying
tion methods. Analyse the design solution, identifying its as many reasons as possible, eg species endangered through
strengths and weaknesses. [TS21] How is the item received habitat destruction, introduced species, hunting. Present pros
by others? Get an expert opinion. Present your proposal/ and cons of human activity. [TS10] Explore conservation in
suggestion to the original producers. traditional Aboriginal societies. Make predictions for the
future, eg forest felling causing species extinction, green
house effect. [TS11]
Design and implement/maintain a system to recycle mate- Investigate the ways people, world wide, are addressing the
rials within the school. [W] problems of environmental damage. [W]
Examine current waste disposal in the school. (If a recycling Review the range of effects human activities have on natural
system already exists, evaluate its function.) Trace where environments. Evaluate the necessity of human activities, eg
waste products go. Measure the amount of rubbish thrown farming is harmful to indigenous plants/animals, but necessary
away in a day, a week. Evaluate the effects of this on the to provide food. Use arguments to justify judgements. [TS10]
school and wider community. [TS11] Identify materials Classify consequences as preventable or able to be addressed.
that can be recycled, eg food scraps, paper, plastic contain- Propose ways of preventing problems.
ers, glass, aluminium cans. Separate materials that can be Research current means of addressing problems using pam-
usefully reused within the school, eg yoghurt pots. Organise phlets, organisations, references. Areas of enquiry may include:
recyclable materials into those to be recycled at school, eg
• identify and contact concerned organisations, eg ACF, State
food scraps made into compost and materials that can be
Pollution Control Commission. Discover aims, activities, etc.
sent to a recycling service, eg paper, glass. Define the
Contact government agencies and explore legislation or statu-
purposes of recycling system, eg to gather suitable food
tory requirements/controls Make judgements about their effec-
scraps and organise compost area. Generate ideas and illus-
trate the steps of the system. Consider location of rubbish
collection points, ways of encouraging their use, systems for • suggest ways of reducing use of resources and waste. Research
separating different materials, storage, collection by outside recycling systems. Identify actions being taken in the local
agencies etc. Include an ongoing management plan that may community, state, other countries.
allow for shared responsibility. Trial the plan over a period • explore the roles and functions of zoos and botanical gardens
of time and evaluate its effectiveness. [TS13] Make changes in protecting animals and plants under threat.
as required. Compare amounts of ‘rubbish’ thrown away Evaluate methods/solutions suggested. Consider their com-
before and after implementation of the plan. plexity, expense, applications to other situations.
Propose ways that individuals can have some effect. Assess how
current activities are changing society’s attitudes and actions.
Task Reflect on whether ‘technology’ is a destructive force or is it part
of the solution to environmental survival?
Investigate the use of renewable and non-renewable re-
Don’t forget to include raw materials, energy use, paper
Activities cartons and plastics for wrapping, fuel used in transporting the
raw materials and finished products to market. Find out what
Research the availability of this service, such as how fre- processes create pollution of one kind or another. What type
quently garbage is collected, are recycled paper/plastic/ of pollution does the power create? What type of pollution or
bottles collected etc. [TS8] toxic waste is created in the manufacturing of the plastic and
Make a list of everything your family has thrown out in one the paper from pulp (investigate atmospheric, ground water,
day (or go through your trash can in the house — this may have and surface water). What impact does logging/mining have on
taken a couple of days to accumulate). Make a second list loss of top soil, animals losing their habitat, extinction of
which shows how many of these items have only been used species, or the quality of life of future generations? Investigate
once. Have students brainstorm/design items which do not what health effects are caused by these toxic chemicals
use up our fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. entering the environment. Research some of the ways in
Research how some of the thrown-away material is manufac- which local councils or the State Pollution Control Commis-
tured (eg plastic detergent containers, poppers, aluminium sion, Water Board and Department of the Environment re-
cans). Do a flow chart showing how it goes from manufacturer move the toxic waste.
to the store.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 133
A Change for the Better Stage 3
Inheritance and environment
Content focus • show a commitment to fair treat- may be called brother/sister, family
ment for all may be extended, not ‘nuclear’. Rela-
Living Things • respect different viewpoints and tionships need to be defined and lan-
Earth and its Surroundings ways of living guage explained before commencing
• show informed commitment to im- family trees.
Outcomes proving the quality of society and Researching human alterations to
the environment plant/animal characteristics should
This unit will contribute to the fol-
• be curious about and appreciate the be very simple – not an investigation
lowing syllabus outcomes.
natural and made environment. of genetics.
Knowledge and Understanding
Students will know and understand Assessment Suggested resources
Listed below are selected examples of Animal Acrobatics, Nelson
• information can be represented in a
strategies that may be used in assess- Young Naturalist (series), Hodder &
number of different forms, includ-
ing this unit of work. Stroughton
ing graphics, sounds and texts
• Encourage supportive peer assess- The Great Whales (video), Educational
• living things show variation within
ment of how well animal models Media
are suited to the described environ- Computer software: interactive story
• the activities of people can change
ment. writing programs, eg Family Tree and
the balance of nature
• Conduct conferences with students Family History, Story Tree, Venture
• groups of living things have changed Writer. Graphics software, eg
to discuss information selected
over long periods of time. MacDraw, MacPaint, Mouse Paint,
from different sources. Focus on
Students will: the students’ ability to select and Deluxe Paint III, 1st Paint, Picture It.
• describe the process of investiga- evaluate available information. Database software, eg Appleworks,
tion which can involve exploring Microsoft Works, Carefile, Datasweet
and discovering phenomena and Links with other People and places: Gould League,
events, proposing explanations, ini- Native Plant Growers’ Association,
tiating investigations, predicting Key Learning Areas The Royal Botanic Gardens, farms,
outcomes, testing, modifying and zoos, local nursery, field study cen-
applying understandings. English
tres, national parks, Australian Mu-
Discussing the purpose and audience seum
Skills for oral reports. Role playing a range
Students will: Materials and equipment: plant and
of oral languages techniques, eg re-
animal photographs, modelling ma-
• make detailed observations using porting to small group or whole class.
terials, Osmiroid measuring instru-
• modify and apply their understand-
ing in the light of their investigation Developing and practising a range of Teaching strategies
• use investigation techniques to 7 Observing to explore and dis-
identify opportunities for design Human Society and its Environment cover
activities Researching the environment of par- 8 Researching to explore and dis-
• select, reject or modify as appropri- ticular cultural groups. cover
ate the elements of design to evalu- 15 Explaining understandings
ate the procedures and outcomes of Personal Development, Health and
Physical Education 26 Organising tools, equipment and
a design task processes
• produce a model, prototype, prod- Exploring growth and development –
uct or procedure to meet a specific human reproduction cycle.
design brief Creative and Practical Arts
• record the economic, moral, social Drawing animals and plants from di-
and environmental consequences rect observation at various stages of
of technological advances. development. Developing a sequence
Values and Attitudes of annotated drawings.
• demonstrate confidence in them-
selves and willingness to make de- Care and sensitivity is needed when
cisions and to take responsible ac- looking at students’ inherited charac-
tions teristics. The creation of a family tree
• show flexibility and responsiveness could be done in groups.
to ideas Teachers need to be aware that family
relationships may be described differ-
ently in various cultures, eg cousins
134 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and publish a way of representing a person’s/ Investigate how characteristics can be passed from one
animal’s place in their family group which illustrates generation to the next. [I]
inherited characteristics in people or other animals. [I]
Activities Identify characteristics that may be ‘inherited’. [TS8]
Use an example of a family tree to explore its features. Choose characteristics, eg eye colour, tongue rolling,
Refer also to computer software. attached or detached ear lobes. Chart results of interview-
Decide how the family information is to be set out. ing each family member, including cousins, aunts and
Explore possible ideas by drawing sketches or plans. Evalu- uncles, grandparents where possible.
ate by sharing ideas with a friend. Assess whether they can Observe characteristics of animals that are passed on
follow the relationships. toeach generation, eg skin/fur colour, size, features.
Select the information to be included in each field, eg Research how the characteristics of domestic animals
names only, or names with descriptions. have been changed by people, eg breeding beef cattle,
Enter information into each section, on paper or compu- merino sheep to maximise wool yields, breeding dogs and
ter. Print out the final design or publish as appropriate. cats to meet particular criteria.
Report characteristics appearing regularly in the family.
Investigate animals’/plants’ inherited traits. [W]
Generalise about the passing on of information from
parent to offspring. [TS7]
Predict outcomes of substitute parenting.
Discuss what will grow if a tomato seed is planted. Why?
What will hatch if a duck sits on a chicken’s egg? Why?
Design a model to illustrate how animals are suited to a Investigate how species of plants and animals are suited
particular environment. [I] to their environment. [W]
Negotiate whether models should be created individually Visit a zoo. Include a lesson with the education officer.
or in groups. Identify the specific characteristics of given animals, eg
Plan steps required in production of the model. [TS26] kangaroos have large back legs, eat grass etc, possums
Include initial sketches, organisation of materials and have long claws, large eyes, dark fur, are nocturnal. In-
tools, final construction and presentation. clude physical features, habits, food, behaviour.
Using information gained through investigations identify Research the characteristics of environments, eg desert,
the features and behaviours of selected animal(s). List savannah, alpine, marine, jungle. Include vegetation, col-
physical characteristics of their environments to be in- ours, landforms, climate, availability of water. [TS8]
cluded. Match animals to their native environment. Identify fea-
Explore appropriate materials to be used for animal mod- tures that make them particularly suited to their environ-
els and for background setting. Consider how well they ment, eg kangaroos’ fur colour blends with soil or vegeta-
can be moulded, coloured/decorated etc. tion colour, largely inactive in heat of day etc. Note
Consider how the model may be made to demonstrate the similarities and differences between species in a specific
relationship between the animals and their environment, habitat. Suggest reasons for these. Research the relation-
eg animals moving from one area to another to demon- ship between species, eg food webs and chains, competing
strate camouflage. Present findings to class. for similar food source etc. Case study a particular species.
Prepare a report detailing how it fits into its environment
and satisfies its needs.
Visit a botanic garden to observe plants growing in a
specific environment. Include a lesson with an education
officer. Observe plants that are found in particular areas,
eg arid, mangroves, rainforest, temperate. Identify charac-
teristics common to each habitat, include leaf type and
size, fruit, seed pods, flowers, plant size etc. Research how
characteristics may aid the plant’s survival in that area.
Make generalisations about plants from different habi-
Observe other examples and predict where the plants
come from. Give reasons for predictions. Research to test
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 135
Visual Ventures Stage 3
Film or video production
Content focus ate the elements of design to evalu- Human Society and its Environment
ate the procedures and outcomes of Use skills developed in this unit to
Built Environments a design task extend ways of organising and pre-
Information and Communication • produce a model, prototype, prod- senting work in this area.
Products and Services uct or procedure to meet a specific Exploring the ways people are repre-
Earth and its Surroundings design brief sented in a variety of media.
• select appropriate tools, hardware, Creative and Practical Arts
Outcomes materials, equipment or software
Drama: developing scripts and char-
on the basis of their specific func-
This unit contributes to the follow- acterisation for video.
tion and in order to gather informa-
ing syllabus outcomes. Craft/design: designing and making
Knowledge and Understanding • use appropriate equipment and tools props, backdrops.
Students will know and understand to carry out a particular task, and Music: investigating sounds and mu-
that: understand the technology involved sic to complement images, exploring
to record and present ideas use of music/sound in films and video.
• information can be represented in a
number of different forms, includ- • record the economic, moral, social
ing graphics, sounds and texts and environmental consequences Teacher notes
• technologies continually offer new of technological advances. Allow students time to gain confi-
ways of creating and sending mes- Values and Attitudes dence in using the video.
• have a positive view of themselves
• describe the social, environmental and their capabilities Lights, Camera, Action, Curriculum
or economic implications of the Development Centre
• exhibit self direction in their own
learning Making a TV Series, Trussell-Cullen, A
• show some relationship between
• initiate and perservere with activi- Media for Kids– Film, Butler, M
the process of investigation and the
ties to their completion Media for Kids – Television, Butler,
process of design and make
• develop rational and creative M
• justify the decisions made in de-
thinking Social Themes and Language (series)
signing and making
• appreciate the scientific and tech- Electronic (series)
• identify that new technologies in-
nological contribution made by The Electronic Rainbow: An Intro-
crease the options in designing and
Australians and members of other duction to Television (video)
societies and cultures.
• describe the process of design and Computer software: graphics soft-
make which can involve identify- ware, such as SuperStory Tree,
ing needs and wants, defining a
Assessment HyperStudio, Deluxe Paint III, Poster;
design task, generating and select- Listed below are selected example multimedia tools, eg Slide Show, Slide
ing ideas, assembling or construct- strategies that may be used in assess- Shop, Hypercard, Linkway, Linkway
ing products, systems or environ- ing the objectives of this unit of work. Live; databases, eg Appleworks,
ments and evaluating outcomes • Have students present their video Microsoft Works, Carefile, Datasweet
• explain that the future must be to another class. People and places: art galleries, Power
considered when making choices • Have students use lighting and House Museum, ‘Stage Lights’ Exhi-
of particular technologies sound to create different moods. bition
• explain that particular technolo- Materials and equipment: video cam-
gies are significant causes of change Links with other eras, video cassette recorders, simple
in the way people live. lights, sound effects, props, televi-
Key Learning Areas sion programs, cameras, film, lights,
Skills coloured screens, percussion instru-
Students will: English ments, video clips, music
• make detailed observations using Exploring a variety of ways of con-
appropriate technologies ducting audience research, eg value Teaching strategies
• identify data which support a par- scales, interview, sampling. 7 Observing to explore and dis-
ticular prediction Exploring the features of shooting cover
• modify and apply their understand- scripts or storyboards. Jointly con- 8 Researching to explore and dis-
ing in the light of their investigation structing examples. cover
• develop a design proposal by select- 16 Applying understandings
ing and refining ideas and justify- Developing strategies for recording
ing choices and analysing audience research data
• select, reject or modify as appropri- using computer software.
136 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and make a video production presenting a story to Investigate the diversity of TV programs and techniques.
sell a product or idea, or inform the audience. [G] [I]
Identify potential audience and conduct audience research Identify the range of television programs presented in a
if applicable. Consider how this may affect the final week, including advertisements. Watch samples of each
product. type of program and note similarities/differences in tech-
Select the subject matter of the program, eg drama, com- nique. Consider: camera, eg use of framing, angles, shot
edy, advertisement, news presentation, music video, ani- size; set, eg type of setting places, objects, decor; charac-
mation, or combination of these. ters, eg type, age, appearance; editing, eg number and
Carefully plan the production using a storyboard or shoot- length of each shot, pace and effects on atmosphere; story
ing script. Ensure details are finalised regarding: line or type, eg drama, sport, comedy, music video.
• script—including sound effects, music, camera tech- Identify techniques typical of different program formats
nique and use these discoveries to aid video production.
• actors or characters
• sound recording if any
• props, costumes and make-up
• lighting. Task
Gather required equipment, props etc. Investigate how sound and lighting can be used to create
Test to ensure equipment is fully functional and that moods and feelings. [G]
operators are familiar with correct and safe operation.
Shoot the film/video footage. Activities
Evaluate results concurrently and reshoot when neces-
sary. Observe uses of sound and light in media products. Experi-
Edit to eliminate errors and create the desired effects, eg ment with simple light positioning, colour and strength to
changes in pace, shot sequence. make people look healthy, scary, shocked.
Explore the sound effects made using everyday objects or
Add music or sound effects.
instruments. Predict the sorts of music that might be used
Screen and enjoy. to create specific moods. Trial different pieces of music to
Reflect on and discuss how the production would differ if test the prediction.
made professionally. Include consideration of costs and
how the production would need to be funded.
Investigate who makes TV programs. [I]
Visit a production company or studio. Observe and record
the varying roles people take. Use a flow chart to demon-
strate relationships between jobs or roles.
Research the costs of production. Compare different pro-
gram types. Suggest ways that funds may be raised. Test
the predictions by seeking information from broadcasters,
ad companies. Compare non-commercial and commercial
broadcasters. Consider the implications of this for pro-
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 137
Food for the Tucker Box Stage 3
Food production, preservation and packaging
Content focus • use resources with consideration Creative and Practical Arts
for the environment and adopt pro- Craft/design: designing and making
Information and Communication cedures which minimise waste packaging for a variety of purposes.
Living Things • record the economic, moral, social
Products and Services and environmental consequences Teacher notes
of technological advances.
Outcomes Food code books are available to indi-
Values and Attitudes cate, by numerical code, the additives
Knowledge and Understanding Students will: put into commercially-produced
• demonstrate confidence in them- foods. These numbers are indicated
Students will know and understand
selves and willingness to make de- on the packaging.
cisions and to take responsible ac- Case studies of food production in a
• information can be represented in a tions variety of communities could include
number of different forms, includ-
• work cooperatively in groups traditional Aboriginal food produc-
ing graphics, sounds and texts
• respect different viewpoints and tion, as well as other cultures/places
• the activities of people can change in the world.
ways of living
the balance of nature
• there are environmental conse- • show informed commitment to
quences of production and con- improving the quality of society Suggested resources
sumption and the environment Identifying Food Additives, National
• systems are designed to provide • gain satisfaction in their efforts to Health & Medical Research Council
particular services investigate, to design and make and Survival, Parbury, N
to use technology. Where Food Comes From, Usborne
• systems are used to deliver and dis-
tribute goods. Explainers
Assessment Feeding the City (video)
• describe the social, environmental Listed below are selected example The Fisherman (video)
or economic implications of the strategies that may be used in assess- Computer Software: desktop pub-
investigation ing the objectives of this unit of work. lishing software, eg Multiscribe,
• justify the combination of materi- • Observe the packaging students Microsoft Works
als and techniques in relation to design for distribution of goods over People and places: Department of
the properties required for specific long distances. Health, Australian Institute of Food
end uses • Consider how effective the compu- Science, Australian Nutrition Tech-
• explain the need for safe, ergonomi- ter-controlled system designed by nology Foundation, UNICEF, Austral-
cally sound work environments the student is. ian Museum, supermarkets
• explain that the future must be Materials and equipment: packaging
considered when making choices Links with other from foods, magazines
of particular technologies Key Learning Areas Teaching strategies
• evaluate technological activity in
5 Researching to explore and dis-
terms of social and environmental English cover
cost and benefits Designing labels for packaging of prod- 7 Proposing explanations
• explain that particular technolo- ucts. Investigating the details of label
gies are significant causes of change 8 Trialling and testing
in the way people live. 13 Clarifying a design task
Skills Investigating properties of 3D objects.
Students will: Measuring area and volume using for-
• make detailed observations using mal units.
Human Society and its Environment
• modify and apply their understand-
ing in the light of their investiga- Developing understandings about
tion interelationships between trade and
transport systems inside and outside
• develop a design proposal by select-
ing and refining ideas and justify-
ing choices Personal Development, Health and
• produce a model, prototype, prod- Physical Education
uct or procedure to meet a specific Developing understandings about
design brief consumer health, eg reading food la-
• use appropriate equipment and tools bels.
to carry out a particular task, and
understand the technology involved
to record and present ideas
138 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Design and model a computer-controlled system to be Investigate food production and processing from raw
used in a food processing operation. [I] material to domestic use. [I]
Select simple processes to be modelled in the classroom, Visit a food processing factory. Record as a flow chart the
eg weigh an ingredient, add one ingredient, turn on mixer, steps from raw ingredients to distribution.
deliver to another place. Observe how the process is controlled. Aspects may in-
Devise a system to carry out the process automatically. clude: ingredients weighed or combined; processes ap-
Identify the steps of the process to be modelled. plied, eg baking, preserving; products packaged and loaded
Consider the elements that the system needs to contain: for delivery. Identify how the machines ‘sense’, ‘decide’
• the sensors, eg light, movement, mass. Make selection and ‘act’ automatically.
according to the way it is to be triggered Explore how local conditions and available technologies
• the means of processing information, eg write the ap- inﬂuence food production. Identify and case study a vari-
propriate computer program ety of communities within and outside Australia. Clarify
aspects to be researched, eg geography, lifestyles, soil
• the reaction. Organise the mechanisms to carry out the
quality, use of fertilizers, tools and machinery, climate,
Trial the process and evaluate its operation.
Organise information to enable comparison, eg using a
database. Compare and contrast conditions and resultant
food production. Suggest explanations for differences.
Assess environmental effects of different methods.
Design and make packaging for local produce for long- Investigate how food items are preserved. [I]
distance distribution. [G]
Activities Classify foods as fresh or preserved.
Select item to be marketed. Visit a delicatessen and identify different ways foods have
Identify characteristics that make the product attractive been preserved, eg salted, smoked, chemical additives,
to purchasers, eg effectiveness, appearance. Identify char- refrigerated, packaged. Compare with their fresh state and
acteristics that make it difﬁcult to transport overseas, eg note changes, eg colour, texture, smell, ﬂavour. Compare
short life, liquid nature, fragility. the effect of different preserving methods on the same
Define the desirable qualities of the package, eg must be item, eg peas that are frozen, tinned, dried.
durable, attractive, stackable. Preserve the item if neces- Experiment using different methods to preserve foods, eg
sary. apples dried, bottled, refrigerated, stewed and frozen.
Design the packaging, considering need to preserve the Compare results of preserving various products. Suggest
item, need to protect the item, need to contain the item, why some methods are more effective with different
appearance, packaging costs, available materials. foods. Research the nature of food preservatives as indi-
Draw ideas for the package. cated on packaging.
Make a prototype.
Test the design in terms of criteria set initially. Try Task
devising a way to simulate the travelling conditions in
order to test durability, preservation of goods. Investigate where food has been produced. [I]
Make necessary adjustments to the prototype.
Evaluate in terms of effectiveness, cost, Activities
environmental effect. Visit markets, supermarkets. Identify origins of food items,
Reflect on how technological developments have been eg areas of Australia, other countries.
able to prevent food wastage. Explore how food items can be transported from distant
places. Compare packaging, whether fresh or preserved,
date of manufacture. Compare costs of locally-produced
items with similar imported products. Suggest reasons for
Predict how items have been transported to our markets.
Research to test the predictions.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 139
The Teaching Strategies are designed to [TS11] Predicting outcomes
support teachers in their implementation of
Science and Technology K-6. In particular [TS12] Clarifying an investigation
they will help teachers when designing their [TS13] Trialling and testing ideas and
own units or when adapting the sample units
of work which are provided in the syllabus.
They include information which will be useful [TS14] Modifying understanding
when programming and when planning class
[TS15] Explaining understanding
activities. These strategies also provide an
explanation of particular terms used in the [TS16] Applying understanding
syllabus and support document.
The strategies are organised into five groups. Group 3: Designing and
The first group suggests strategies for improving
the learning environment. The next three making process
explain how teachers can plan for the
development of skills related to Investigating, [TS17] Exploring needs
Designing and Making, and Using Technology. [TS18] Clarifying a design task
The final group supports the development of
skills related to a range of specific technologies. [TS19] Exploring ideas
[TS20] Representing ideas by modelling
Group 1: Managing the [TS21] Drawing to develop and record ideas
learning environment [TS22] Selecting solutions
[TS1] Cooperative learning [TS23] Considering appearance and
[TS24] Evaluating design
[TS3] Evaluating resources
[TS4] Students’ negotiated learning
Group 4: Using technology
[TS5] Language development (to be added
after completion of K-6 English
Syllabus) [TS25] Selecting and using materials
[TS26] Organising tools, equipment and
Group 2: Investigating processes
process [TS27] Understanding materials
[TS6] Fostering curiosity [TS28] Learning safety procedures
[TS7] Observing to explore and discover [TS29] Selecting appropriate technologies
[TS8] Researching to explore and discover [TS30] Selecting and maintaining tools and
[TS9] Manipulating to explore and discover
[TS31] Evaluating chosen technologies
[TS10] Proposing explanations
142 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Group 5: Using specific
[TS32] Audio-visual technologies
[TS33] Adventure games
[TS34] Control systems
[TS36] Sound and lighting
[TS40] Video production
[TS41] Computer graphics
The strategies that follow
use the following general
• Introduction section describes key elements
in the strategy and details essential issues
that should be addressed.
• Skill Development, if appropriate to the
particular strategy, summarises the levels
through which students progress as they
acquire relevant skills.
• Managing Learning Experiences gives
teachers suggestions of activities they may
use with their students. These are not
exhaustive and can be modified and used as
appropriate and directed to the needs and
abilities of their particular students.
• Special Considerations provides advice on
issues that may affect students with particular
• Useful Resources provides advice on some
resources that may be used when working
through the strategy.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 143
Managing the learning
Purpose of the management strategies
The strategies in this group are designed to assist teachers in their efforts to provide a supportive,
yet challenging science and technology learning environment for their students. They are
strategies which are student-centred and involve teaching practices which benefit all students.
They are also the types of classroom practices which allow the teacher to be not only a facilitator
but also a learner along with his/her students. These strategies can be used either alone, or in
combination, to ensure the aims and objectives of this syllabus are realised by students and
[TS1] Cooperative learning
[TS3] Evaluating resources
[TS4] Students’ negotiated learning
[TS5] Language development (to be added)
144 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Cooperative learning [TS1]
Introduction If students’ outcomes are judged by comparing
one student’s performance with another and
Cooperative learning works for young rewarding the best performance, they are not
students in pre-school as readily as for a team going to be taught to value shared learning
of scientists working on a complicated experiences. The only possible way to assess
investigation. It provides continual the ability of students to work cooperatively is
opportunities for the development of to record for each student what they have
important leadership and group skills. These achieved and where they need to go next. This
skills are essential not only for learning in can be done by observing how well students
school but also for success in the workplace are able to put into practice the skills needed
and getting on with people at home, since to undertake group work.
most human interaction requires cooperation. Students must be guided into this form of
When working in a cooperative environment learning. When physically placed in a group,
students are more positive about school, subject students do not necessarily work
areas and their teachers. Students learn cooperatively. They require guidelines and
more, achieve more and have more fun in structures for working. Perhaps the most
cooperative learning groups. Learning to work important thing to ensure is that each group
together and solve problems in a cooperative member has a definite role to play.
way promotes the self esteem of everyone
because all the students and their teachers
have an important and valued role to play. Managing learning
In cooperative learning situations the experiences
clarifying of problems, together with
The following recommendations provide
suggestions for their solution, provide students
teachers with suggestions for improving
with opportunities to communicate their ideas.
students’ cooperative working ability.
This contributes to the development of
thinking skills and greater levels of • Ensure that students experience a variety of
understanding. roles when working in groups, eg recorder,
questioner, organiser, time-keeper.
Students have to practise cooperative skills
long enough to integrate these skills into their • Observe how the student contributes to the
behaviour. But practising cooperative skills is group in order to maintain productive
not enough. Students need to discuss, describe working relationships. This could be noted
and reflect on their use of these skills in order when students are brainstorming, clarifying
to improve their performance. ideas, organising information, finding
Students develop skills that are used when
forming groups, such as managing the group’s • Observe how students manage the
activities to complete the task and to maintain differences of opinion and conflicting points
productive working relationships within the of view. Are the students able to see the
group. problem from another viewpoint, able to
negotiate, reach a consensus etc?
Students develop the ability to take on
leadership roles. They need to develop skills • Ensure students develop skills such as:
to enable them to manage the differences of making space for people, staying with the
opinion and conflicting points of view which group, using a quiet voice, taking turns,
will occur when they are working in a group. listening to what other people have to say
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 145
• Assess the group as one entity instead of Special considerations
individually, so that students realise that
success depends on the achievement of the Inclusive cooperative learning is especially
whole group, not individuals, eg break the important when students in the classroom
task into subtasks, the successful come from different backgrounds and have
completion of which is necessary to a wide range of abilities. The inclusion of
complete the overall task. exceptional students into regular classes
• Establish activities in which the whole requires a collaborative effort. Cooperative
learning also has important implications in
class is involved and where everyone has a
role to play, eg class newspapers, plays, the development of mutual respect and better
understanding between boys and girls.
whole class discussions.
• Regularly change the membership of small
groups to provide a variety of learning Useful resources
experiences for all students. Grouping
can be based on gender, ability, cultural Hill, S&T, The Collaborative Classroom
background, and student preferences. Johnson, D et al, Circles of Learning
• Groups can compete against each other, Sharan, S et al, Small Group Teaching
but it is important to avoid cliques that can
Edwards, A et al, Investigating Classroom
undermine class cohesiveness and morale.
• Pit a small group against some external
force, eg gravity, to see how long they can
keep a paper aeroplane suspended using
• Create an imaginary situation where the
group has to work together within restraints
established by the situation, eg if you were
designing an environment in outer space
for people to live in, what things would you
need to consider?
146 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Introduction Ask students to:
• reflect upon what they have learnt from an
Reflecting is the act of thinking about what activity
has been learnt. It often involves putting
learning into a new context, looking at the • reflect upon and identify the processes they
experiences in a new light, interpreting what have employed
has been said or done for different applications • consider how these processes may be applied
or in novel situations. in another situation
Therefore reflecting is not only an excellent • discuss different approaches to situations
review of learning, but leads to: by possible options.
(a) the valuing of the learnings
(b) the valuing of the learning process Special considerations
(c) encouragement of lateral thinking
Teachers must provide time both during and
(d) transfer of learnings to alternate settings at the end of any learning experience for
(e) fostering of innovative styles of thinking. students to contemplate the content and
processes in which they have engaged. This
Reflecting is one strategy which allows time needs to allow for individual, small group
students to become aware of the relationships and whole-class reflection.
between investigating, designing and making.
Reflecting is one strategy that must not be
The encouragement of lateral thinking through formally assessed by the teacher. There are no
reflecting upon the learnings of a unit of work right or wrong answers. Indeed, any judgmental
is effective for all age groups and at all stages. stance is sure to stultify the reflecting process
Even very young students are capable of and discourage students from reaching their
reflecting upon their observations and own conclusions.
experiences. Initially students are more likely
to be able think about situations which are
familiar to them but later they should be able to
consider the social implications of their
To encourage reflecting, the teacher should
pose a question, allow the students to explore
it through introspection, question further and
Opinions can be formed through individual
introspection and/or group consensus.
The students can then be encouraged to express
their conclusions individually either in writing
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 147
Evaluating resources [TS3]
Introduction ditioning often reinforces the stereotypical
images of certain materials and equipment,
A resource is anything which could be used to placing limitations on student choices.
facilitate or enhance the development of skills,
knowledge, understandings, values and
attitudes. It is something which can contribute Managing learning
to the learning environment and to the
interactions between learners and teachers.
A resource may be anything from a tangible The following ideas could be used by teachers
object, such as a book, computer software or in their classrooms.
video recording, to something intangible, such • Supply students with a range of resources
as the viewing of a dramatic performance or from which to choose. Through this
the recounting of an anecdote. experience they will develop the ability to
Resources need to be selected for their relevance make appropriate choices.
to the needs and learning experiences of each • Ask students to explain why they chose to
student and their applicability to the use a particular resource. It is the
curriculum. While teachers frequently appropriateness of choice that is important,
evaluate resources, students also need to eg to record information a student may
develop skills in evaluating the resources they choose a video, while another may choose
use. a still camera for the same job.
While ostensibly increasing students’ • Provide a checklist which assists students
knowledge, materials can, either overtly or to identify the qualities that are desirable in
subtly, develop misunderstandings on the a resource.
basis of sex, race, culture and disability. It is
difficult to show that the message from any • Introduce discussion of images portrayed
one book, kit, illustration or person has a in resource material, eg Does the resource
negative effect on the attitudes of any one present positive images and role model?
child. Rather it is the impact of all these on all Which groups of people are seen as being
children over a period of time which must be active and/or passive? Which as being
considered. dominant/subservient? Which people as
being superior/inferior? Which as having
To remove from resource collections all stereotyped characteristics and roles?
materials which have elements of bias is
unrealistic and unnecessary. Such materials • Apply specific criteria, depending on the
can be used constructively to assist students in topic, theme or area and encourage
detecting and understanding this issue. It is students to give their own answers and
only when such materials are the sole reference interpretations of the resource, eg Does it
and are used uncritically that they serve to present a non-violent point of view? What
perpetuate prejudice and misunderstandings. kind of language and/or images are used?
Is the language appropriate and non-
Often it is difficult to find materials which disparaging?
meet all criteria. In many instances one
criterion may be sacrificed for another. The • Place the material into its historical context,
emphasis should be on providing a balance in the attitudes and values current at the time,
the total collection in use. eg What values and attitudes are being
rewarded or reinforced? Do they inflate or
Students are quite accepting and uncritical of deflate a self image?
materials presented to them. Social con-
148 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Discuss with the class, depending on level influences which affect students’ choices of
of understanding of the students, whether resources. Students’ self concept is influenced
the resource is unbiased, eg Which groups by the nature of the material they use and the
of people are omitted or ignored? Is the attitudes and values of others towards that
inclusion of groups representative or material.
Teachers should ensure that the atmosphere
• Identify areas of bias in resources, eg values is secure and non-threatening, as the whole
presented in newspapers or magazines. area of prejudice and bias can be emotive.
Special considerations Useful resources
All members of the school community should CEU, Handle with Care
understand the need to critically evaluate
Tasmanian Media Centre, Resource
resources used by students.
Management Guide for Australian Schools
Schools should provide opportunities for
McIntosh, J, Taking Stock
parents and teachers to discuss the types of
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 149
Students’ negotiated learning [TS4]
Introduction conﬁdence and self-direction. It can lead to
increased motivation which will result in
Negotiated learning involves the deliberate more meaningful and worthwhile learning.
planning of the learning program with the Students are more likely to be willing learners
assistance of students. This can occur from if they can establish some sense of ownership
the earliest years of early childhood education. over their own learning.
Negotiating is a very useful device which Because of the nature of this style of learning,
allows students to work at their own level and students can talk among themselves, discuss
pace. It caters for the individual interests of problems, delegate tasks, make their own
the students as well as helping them to become decisions and are free to see what other groups
independent learners. It allows the teacher to are doing. This provides students with the
individualise learning and provide opportunity to share and clarify ideas with a
opportunities for students to take more control wider audience. Teachers who have used
over their learning. negotiation techniques in classrooms find
that the level of student language increases
In order to become successful independent
and the number of student-initiated questions
learners, students need to develop a range of
skills, which include planning and setting
goals, making responsible choices, managing Significant outcomes of negotiated learning
resources and time effectively and evaluating include exploration of ideas in greater depth,
their learning. increased confidence when presenting
opinions and greater willingness to question.
Negotiating the learning process involves the
development of the teacher’s understanding
of the learning process and how to provide Managing learning
conditions in which learning can best occur.
This means a shift away from teacher-centred experiences
learning situations to one where a teacher
becomes the facilitator of learning experiences. Listed below is a range of strategies which
students can use to negotiate their learning.
Negotiation does not mean that teachers divest
themselves of power and responsibility. They can:
Teachers are, and always will be, responsible
• make a list of their own favourite ‘finding
for teaching. However, negotiation does
out’ activities. This can be a basis for further
involve teachers using their power and
responsibility in ways which will empower
students, ie allow students to exercise their • initiate their own play activities with
own powers and responsibilities. equipment that may be in the classroom,
eg students decide to make a shadow play
What distinguishes negotiated learning from
with an overhead projector after they have
other teaching strategies is that it doesn’t only
seen it used
call for active learning by the student but gives
an emphasis on teaching students to see • share their interests with others by holding
themselves as learners. a hobby day
Negotiated learning is an on-going process • initiate and design explorations. They could
which is based on the developing relationship also discuss the procedure for recording
between students and teachers. It enables the results
teacher to help develop students’ self- • determine the method of presentation of
models or work which they have created
150 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• make organisational decisions relating to
equipment and materials in the classroom
setting. All students have a right to be heard within
the learning context. Teachers should avoid
In many situations teachers can:
judgemental positions which categorise or
• encourage students who have particular downgrade students. The teacher has a special
interests and skills to share them with the responsibility in a negotiated learning
whole class. This modelling of behaviour situation to ensure that each student receives
will provide a stimulus for other students the opportunity to participate in the process
and develop the self esteem of the presenter of negotiation.
• use observations made by students in their Negotiated learning focuses on the individual
own time as a focus for further activities student learning at a rate appropriate to his
• use something a student brings to school or her needs. The teacher must be responsive
to initiate an investigation or as a stimulus to the varying individual requirements within
for discussion or other activity the class.
• establish learning centres within the Students from diverse language backgrounds
classroom: students set them up, collect need to be provided with opportunities to
materials, establish routines and even plan express their areas of interest. This may
some of the activities involve using their first language to
communicate their desires. Classroom support
• hold workshops to address particular in the form of an interpreter may assist this
skills or processes. Attendance should be process.
negotiated or voluntary and students who
attend can be praised for their willingness
• create databases about students’ areas of
• provide electronic information services or
student newspapers for use by students.
The information to be communicated can
be open to negotiation.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 151
[TS6] Fostering curiosity
[TS7] Observing to explore and
[TS8] Researching to explore and
[TS9] Manipulating to explore and
[TS10] Proposing explanations
[TS11] Predicting outcomes
[TS12] Clarifying an investigation
[TS13] Trialling and testing ideas and
[TS14] Modifying understanding
[TS15] Explaining understanding
[TS16] Applying understanding
152 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Fostering curiosity [TS6]
Introduction • Capitalise on observations made in students’
own time, eg after school, on the weekend,
Curiosity involves the students’ intrinsic in the holidays. These observations could
desire to learn or know about something.
include animals seen on farms, in zoos or
Investigations can be initiated as a result of a
animal parks or in the wild, things seen at
sense of curiosity. As an activity, investigating the beach such as pumice rock (porous and
capitalises on and develops curiosity. It can
consequently floats on water), pieces of
be fostered in a stimulating and exciting algae, skeletons of sea urchins, cocoon
environment and by responding positively
shells, astronomical observations such as
when students demonstrate curiosity.
an eclipse of the moon, ‘falling stars’,
Most students possess curiosity about artefacts, satellites passing across the sky or comets.
events, phenomena, places and living • Build on students’ own curiosity about the
things. Teachers can use strategies to build on
world around them, eg the variety of
this existing curiosity and further enhance it.
animals and plants, both native and
Whatever arouses curiosity will vary among introduced, how machines at home and in
students because of social, cultural, economic community work, or curiosity about their
or physical backgrounds. own bodies.
To encourage curiosity, students need to be • Develop interests through set activities, eg
provided with a variety of resources. These a teacher may set up a science morning for
resources could be familiar things from the the class with a variety of investigations on
classroom, playground or objects with which offer. They could include:
students have had little experience.
• investigating transpiration with celery
and coloured water. Note any changes,
Skill development especially colour in the leaves
• pendulum investigations — the long
By the end of Stage 1, students should be able and the short
to identify areas of interest and inquiry. They
should be able to recognise the purpose of an • making a shadow measuring device to
investigation and seek further information as find out about the movement of the sun
a result of their own curiosity. as it appears to move across the sky.
At Stage 2, they should be able to undertake • Discuss students’ own interests, eg the
an investigation as a result of something that teacher might like to ask students to list
has aroused their curiosity and also be able to their favourite investigative activities. From
clearly state the issue to be investigated. this, develop a ‘plan’ of the interests of the
group or class. This will provide a good
By the end of Stage 3, students should be able basis on which to plan future activities.
to initiate investigations independently in
order to satisfy their own curiosity. • Develop new and related interests, eg map
students’ interests and develop strategies
related to these, to excite students’ interest
Managing learning in other areas. This includes negotiated
• Build on incidental learning, eg ‘Why is
Listed below is a range of strategies which the puddle smaller now?’
teachers can use when planning and managing
learning experiences to foster curiosity.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 153
• Encourage as learning models students who Special considerations
have particular interests and are willing to
• Encourage students to tinker with
Ensure that someone describes visual changes
equipment, eg camera, magnifying glass,
to students with visual disabilities.
bug catcher, magnets, Meccano,
construction blocks, straws, and explore Students with special needs may require
what can be done with the equipment. Give specialised or modified equipment when
praise for any construction activity while tinkering. Some students with gross or fine
encouraging further imaginative work. motor coordination disabilities may need
extra assistance or specialised equipment,
• Encourage students to explore materials, eg
for observation or manipulation. This may
wood, leather, paper, rock, woollen cloth,
influence the range of activities.
Lego, pipe cleaners, paddle pop sticks, paper,
cardboard. When students discuss the Aboriginal students, if they have not attended
properties of materials, this can lead them pre-school, may lack experience. They may
in different directions. Ask students if there also have deficits in standard English.
is something they want to investigate that
isn’t available to them. Attempt to obtain ESL/NESB
these materials. Students with English language and
• Ask students to express their observations experiential deficits may need more structure
through drawings, talking, role play etc, by — questioning and prompting.
using leading questions, eg if the unit is on
small animals, ask ‘What small animals
have you seen in your yard?’ or ‘What did Useful resources
they look like?’
Anderson et al, Investigate (series)
• Use television or radio programs— Balding, J, Springboards
documentaries, children’s shows, serials,
movies, soapies etc—as a stimulus, eg if Stacey, D, Nifty and Thrifty Science
you know there was a specific program on Activities
the night before ask who saw the program Fredericks, A, Think About It – Science
and what they found interesting or exciting, Problems of the Day
or if there was something they didn’t
understand or want to know more about. Simple Science (series), Hodder and Stoughton
• Use an excursion to stimulate curiosity.
Have specific questions for the students
when they go on excursions so that their
observation has a direction to follow but
allow them to have an interest in other
aspects as well. Use this curiosity where
possible to relate it to a planned
• Use items that students bring to school to
initiate an investigation, eg a small animal,
items the student has found such as a rock,
a strange plant or part of a plant, a toy.
154 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Observing to explore and [TS7]
Introduction similarities and differences (eg touching,
smelling, seeing different types of plants). They
An observation is data acquired through the should be able to make progressively more
senses. Through observation, students are able detailed records as observing skills are refined.
to obtain direct information related to their By Stage 3, as students mature, they should be
environment. Accurate observation requires able to use diagrams and interpret data. They
checking each observation against others. It should be able to identify trends as they emerge
does not involve an interpretation of what is in the data. They should also begin to use a
observed. For example, students are wide range of increasingly complex tools and
investigating the distances they are able to equipment to assist with observations.
push a toy vehicle. They could observe and
measure the actual distances that the vehicle
moved. Interpretation of the information could Managing learning
be that one student is the strongest because
that vehicle travelled the greatest distance experiences
and this would not be included as an Listed below is a range of strategies which
observation. teachers can use to develop skills in observing
Students should appreciate that the term when planning and managing learning
‘observing’ is not restricted merely to the experiences.
operation of seeing. It refers equally to using • Play games to identify objects by touch,
any of the five senses: sight, taste, smell, taste, smell, sight, sound.
hearing and touch. When making
observations, students should be encouraged • Isolate one sense and use the other senses to
to use all relevant senses to discover identify objects, eg blindfolding, blocking
information. Experiences should include nose.
observations of a quantitative nature • Compare how the senses influence each
concerning, for instance, number, size and other, eg while blindfolded, listen to
mass. Students should also include someone whispering , smell and taste an
observation of changes occurring over time. onion while the nose is blocked.
Competence should be developed in the use
of devices to assist observation such as rulers, • Explore sense thresholds, eg getting closer
lenses and scales, since this permits a to a warm object.
refinement of observation. To obtain accurate • Use devices to aid observation, eg binoculars,
data students should record more than one magnifying glass.
set of observations, eg in an activity where the
• Discover changes in objects or events, eg by
students are measuring the distance they are
sketching and labelling, explore how plants
able to push the toy vehicle each distance
grow from seeds, describe observations
should be measured and recorded twice. The
using all the senses.
importance of accuracy of record keeping is
particularly relevant. • Make qualitative observations and record
them in verbal or written form, eg record on
tape a description of the behaviour of a
Skill development specific animal.
At Stage 1, students need to develop skills in • Make tables which classify objects on the
identifying. This should involve observing basis of the senses, eg sweet smells, loud
using one or several senses to readily identify noises etc.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 155
• Record observations that can be Useful resources
quantitatively measured and compared, eg
how high students in the class can jump. Skills Guide for Teachers, Addison-Wesley
• Record observations in graphic and/or Chapman, P et al, Introduction to Science
Gould League, The Urban Book
• Make a graph which demonstrates a
Gould League, Urban Survival
phenomenon over a period of time, eg record
the noon temperature over a month. Hope, C, Seasons Themes Through the Year
• Use various tools to measure observations, Stokes, D, Monsters and More Mini beasts II
eg stopwatch, tape measure, thermometer. Ward, D, Streets
What is the Difference (series), Hodder &
Special considerations Stoughton
Research shows that Aboriginal students tend The Know How Book of (series), Usborne
to have well developed and high-order spatial The Young Scientist Investigates (series),
and observation skills. These skills could be Oxford
catered for and utilised in these teaching
156 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Researching to explore and [TS8]
Introduction databases or people. They should also select
and devise ways of gathering information.
When researching, students are concerned By Stage 3, students should be involved in
with finding information that is relevant, researching and deciding about issues which
understandable and useful. Students need arise at school. They should become
to recognise that information can come from competent in the gaining of information from
a variety of sources, including other people, a variety of sources and be able to experiment
places, equipment and machines. with new techniques and skills as technologies
The amount of technological and scientific change.
information is increasing at a rapid rate with
the result that students cannot ‘learn’ all the
information available to them. Students need Managing learning
to develop skills in accessing and using experiences
information as an important aspect of
investigating. Listed below is a range of strategies which
teachers can use to develop research skills
People within the community can play an
when planning and managing learning
important part in supporting students’
understanding by providing information.
Libraries can be a source of information in • Evaluate resources on the basis of
a wide variety of forms: audio cassettes, suitability, information offered, credibility
computer software, pictures and video tapes. and relevance to students’ needs, and select
the most appropriate of these sources
accordingly. Resources made available to
Skill development students must be non-sexist in language
and should not contain stereotyped roles.
When students arrive at school the range of It should be appropriate to the development
knowledge about the gaining of information of the students, be accessible to the students,
is wide and varied. All students, however, have instructions that can be understood
will have drawn on the information in their and describe clearly activities that can be
environment in some way and have begun to done.
develop skills in using that information. The
school builds on the students’ present abilities • Provide opportunities to access a variety of
and aims to further develop those skills. resources. There is a need to ensure that all
such resources are suited to the particular
The school has the responsibility to determine developmental level of the students, eg
the needs of students and teachers in books, pictures or magazines in the
providing access to resources. classroom, school library, community
The school also has the responsibility to library or the home; data on disks;
provide adequate procedures for teachers information available through keylink;
and students to approach people and other other students or teachers; guest speakers;
resources in the community. radio or television; other resources in the
classroom or playground.
At Stage 1, students should gather information,
eg survey, interview, listen and recall. • Define exactly what it is the student needs
to find out, and whether it is applicable to
At Stage 2, students should research familiar
the exercise or purpose of the activity.
environments in a number of ways, eg books,
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 157
• Make decisions about selection from • Organise and present the information that
information obtained. Students should students obtain through a variety of
decide whether information is closer to fact methods, eg posters, reports, tapes, video
or opinion and access the credibility of tapes. Students need to consider the nature
sources which express opinion. Teachers of the audience for the presentation and the
should encourage the critical discussion of type of information being gathered. They
information encountered in terms of would need to select a form of technology
credibility, bias and other characteristics, appropriate to the audience and the content
eg if information has come from a particular of the material, eg when visiting a science
company the instructions may be biased and technology museum to gather
towards using apparatus that is made by information about machines, students
that company. would need to take notes and draw
• Make decisions about the relevance of diagrams. They could give an oral and
information students obtain to the original visual presentation to other class members.
task, eg when students gather information • Assess the information students obtain and
on how cities are planned they may gather set goals for further development, eg
a whole range of information on things students who were researching how people
such as the site for a city, the type of rock in various cultures or places use their leisure
it should be built on, the maximum time would need to assess if they have
population suitable for its facilities, the included different groups of people such
maximum height for buildings and where as children, families and young adults.
green areas should be located. The students They may then decide to examine leisure
may then decide that setting a maximum activities within one particular sub-culture
size for the population and specifying the by comparing the amount of time each
type of rock may not be appropriate to the group has for leisure.
158 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Manipulating to explore [TS9]
manipulating by providing opportunities
Introduction for the students to share experiences.
Manipulation involves purposeful handling By continuing to manipulate materials and
of materials and objects to explore and discover objects students should develop further
various phenomena. Through manipulation understandings of properties, capabilities and
students can better develop important skills characteristics of a wide range of natural and
such as observing and classifying and gain a made materials.
better understanding of their environment. By Stage 3, students should be able to
Manipulation can involve playing or tinkering manipulate a wide range of objects, materials
with equipment. The teacher can set up guided and processes, including making models and
play activities, catering for the needs and using equipment such as cameras, tape
interests of both boys and girls, and can guide recorders, thermometers, electrical equipment
the explorations and discoveries required from and kitchen utensils.
students. Outcomes may be planned or
Students may be organised into investigations
that may be less directed, or involve more experiences
negotiation or group work. Where Listed below is a range of strategies which
investigations are less formally structured, teachers can use to develop skills in
students are able to negotiate the direction of manipulation when planning and managing
their learning. learning experiences.
Students should be encouraged to use all their • Students need to play and work together
senses to observe what occurs as a result of and at the same time be given equal access to
their manipulation. Students should be
equipment. This equipment needs to cater
encouraged to discuss explanations offered by
for the needs and experiences of all students
others. in developing their abilities. Special
consideration will need to be given to the
Skill development grouping of students and choice of objects
or equipment for students with physical
When students begin school they will have disabilities.
already explored many objects and • Manipulate material to make a model or
environments. It must be remembered that model system, eg make a model aeroplane,
their experiences will be extremely varied manipulate water and sand to simulate
and some students will have had limited erosion.
opportunities for manipulatory play.
• Pool discoveries with the class using a
In general, many boys will have had greater variety of media for expression. Ensure
access to, and experience with, equipment that all students are able to contribute,
which can be assembled and pulled apart. using both qualitative and quantitative
Opportunities for ‘catch up’ experience should descriptions.
be provided whenever the need arises.
• Manipulate to explore the function or
In the first few years of formal education, the condition of an object that might have
school builds on these experiences by exposing changed, eg placing the two north ends of
students to a wide and varied range of materials magnets together or moving an ice cube
and tools. Teachers should develop the skill of from the shade to a sunny position.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 159
• Handle living things with care to find
more about their characteristics, eg care
for animals in the classroom to observe Research shows that Aboriginal students have
their behaviour, needs and characteristics. well-developed high-order spatial and
• Use tools to investigate a range of articles, observational skills. In managing learning
how they are assembled and how they work, experiences in manipulating to explore and
eg use tools to disassemble an unwanted discover these skills could be catered for and
• Use specific materials to explore specific
technologies, eg dressmaking, knitting, Useful resources
miniature furniture making, leatherwork.
Dalton, J, Adventures in Thinking
• Discover the scientific principles behind
toys by playing with them, taking them Vickery et al, The Process Way to Science
apart and putting them back together again Investigating (series), Harcourt Brace
and make discoveries which are incidental Jovanovich
Make and Discover (series), Collins
• Explore ways of repairing toys or equipment.
Dunn, S, Design Technology, Children’s
• Use measuring instruments and devices Engineering
that are extensions of the senses, eg
balances, stop watch, measuring jugs, hand
160 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Proposing explanations [TS10]
Introduction Managing learning
Proposing an explanation, or inferring, involves experiences
providing a tentative explanation for an Listed below is a range of strategies to involve
observation. Students constantly propose such students in proposing explanations which
explanations as they strive to make sense of teachers can use when planning and managing
their environment. This should be actively learning experiences.
encouraged by the teacher. Students attempt to • Form explanations based on observations,
fit explanations of observations related to their eg students propose an explanation for the
environment into a framework of prior cause of an inland midden (a pile of material,
experiences. The environments and past usually sea shells, produced by people).
experiences that students have are often varied
• Model an event to illustrate the cause and
and must be taken into consideration when
effect process, eg a student could use the
providing educational experiences for students.
effect of heat from the sun on an ice cube to
Proposing explanations will involve making simulate molten rock causing a lava flow,
one or more observations during an investigation. or explain why a building falls when a base
Students should draw one or more inferences block is removed.
from an observation or set of observations. It is • Discuss the adequacy of test results, eg
essential that the student is able to distinguish whether the test provided clear results,
between an observation and an inference. whether the results of an investigation
Students should engage in formal and informal support an explanation, whether the results
activities which will develop their understanding prompt other questions, and whether new
of cause and effect relationships. explanations are needed.
Testing of the proposed explanation may: (a) • Discuss reasons for changing a design in a
support this explanation, (b) prove it to be false specific way, eg students improve the design
or (c) indicate that a revision of the original of a shopping trolley by discussing and testing
statement is warranted. effective designs and subsequent redesigning
of the trolley.
Skill development Special considerations
Initially students should be provided with
activities where they may form explanations ESL/NESB
using only one factor (variable). This is based Provide ESL students with suitable language
upon only simple observation and one inference. experiences to assist them in making
To form explanations, data must be interpreted. explanations, eg through group work, using
By the end of Stage 3, it should be possible for matrices, vocabulary activities or problem
them to distinguish between results which solving strategies.
support and do not support a particular Aboriginal students may also need language
explanation, and to formulate an explanation experiences.
of these results. At this stage, too, students
should be able to use more complex methods of
observation and identify the variable. Useful resources
National Parks and Wildlife (kit)
Harlen, W, Primary Science – Taking the
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 161
Predicting outcomes [TS11]
Introduction Managing learning
When students predict, they attempt to forecast experiences
outcomes based on selected information. Listed below is a range of strategies for
Predictions are the foundation for forming predicting outcomes which teachers can use
hypotheses. An hypothesis is a general in planning and managing learning
statement that attempts to provide an experiences.
explanation based on previous experience.
• Gather information using one or more of
Predicting can be viewed as a way of applying the five senses, and organise the information
information which has been gathered and to determine similarities, differences or
organised. Predictions can be made even if patterns in order to make a prediction, eg
they are not correct, but they must be record observations over a period of time
accompanied by information which supports comparing ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ potted plants in
the prediction. Once predictions have been order to predict the water requirements of
made they can be tested for their validity. plants.
Practice should be given in forecasting • Recognise patterns in phenomena in order
consequences, with students recognising cause to make a prediction, eg explore the
as well as effect. Students should develop playground for examples of plants which
skills in designing objective procedures and a reach toward the sun.
language competency which will allow them
to justify their predictions clearly. • Record findings in an appropriate medium
so that a prediction can be made, eg
pictographs of foods eaten for lunch to
Skill development predict the most popular lunch bought from
the school canteen.
At Stage 1, students should be encouraged to
interpret information and make predictions • Analyse observations and discuss whether a
based on their own observations. They will be complete prediction can be made or whether
able to justify these by using appropriate more data need to be investigated.
arguments. Predictions should be based on • Share predictions with small groups or the
direct relationships, eg ‘If this… then….’ class. Predictions can be made even if they
By Stage 2, they should be able to make a are not correct, but they must be
prediction using the data collected by other accompanied by observations made which
students. support the prediction. All predictions must
be tested and results used to substantiate or
At Stage 3, students should be able to identify disprove the prediction, eg predict whether
and use specific data which will support a plants to be grown in a red pot grow better;
particular prediction. These students will predict whether a plastic or metal spoon
be able to place greater emphasis on accuracy. will heat up first when placed in hot water,
At this stage students should be introduced predict whether wet or dry sand will build
to the word hypothesis. Students should be the sturdiest castle.
provided with opportunities to develop skills
in formulating hypotheses. • Control variables and forecast their effect
upon investigations. A control must be set
up when a factor is being tested, eg put one
plant in a cupboard and one in sunlight to
162 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
test a prediction that the sun has an effect Special considerations
on plant growth.
• Design tests which challenge predictions Special Needs
associated with selected variables, eg
Predicting outcomes is difficult for students
teacher gives a reference pitch while
with learning difficulties. Many concrete
students investigate by blowing glass
examples are required in practising these skills.
bottles with different levels of water to
To predict may be an unrealistic outcome for
match that pitch.
some students and the students’ needs should
• Design tests in order to disprove predictions, be evaluated accordingly before practising
eg devise a way to compare the view of a skills in specific areas.
tree from a low angle with a drawing which
In predicting outcomes Aboriginal students
has been made to predict how it might
may need to use their own language, Aboriginal
English. Aboriginal students may perform
• Make an alternative prediction when testing better using diagrams.
disproves a previous prediction.
• Work with students to develop the idea that
predictions are ‘educated guesses’ based on Allow the students to record their predictions
observations, ideas and their previous in their own language.
experiences. Provide opportunities/ Show students how to record their predictions
experiences for the students to make using diagrams, to cater for students who do
predictions from their observations or past not have the language to express their ideas.
experiences with similar situations, eg large
ice blocks take longer to melt than others Use the students to translate predictions to
because they are the biggest. the class so that NESB students feel included
in the class discussions.
• Use specific predictions made from their
observation to form a general statement
(hypothesis), eg large ice blocks take longer Useful resources
to melt than small ones.
• Suggest the different facilities that could Markle, S, Science Sampler
be available in the future, eg make drawings
or models of different forms of transport
(On the Move 3).
• Use survey results to discuss how lifestyles
may be affected by a particular building
design, eg how a building may be better
insulated (Hot or Cold).
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 163
Clarifying an investigation [TS12]
Introduction managing Science and Technology learning
experiences by the following.
It is only through regular and frequent
• Discuss and make decisions concerning
opportunities to investigate that students will
what, why and how about the investigation.
be able to clarify investigations.
• Identify any steps that need to be taken in
Providing students with non-threatening order that an investigation can take place.
activities using materials and objects with Isolate particular steps, identify why they
which they are familiar encourages them to
are important and consequently how they
experiment. These investigations can verge will be approached.
on active play. Investigation arises naturally
out of curiosity, so it must be encouraged. • Devise a plan for carrying out the
investigation. This might include forming
Students should be encouraged to state what
questions to be answered, where or how the
they intend to do and suggest reasons for their answers will be found or how the particular
proposed course of action. Teachers need to
findings may be presented.
offer guidance at this stage and help students
develop the ability to determine what action • Define terms by drawing answers from
may cause a particular result and the students, eg concerning transport: ‘How do
procedures that will achieve this result. you travel to and from school?’ ‘How is
using a car or a bus different from walking?’
Students should develop the ability to see
Use pictures or other prompts to assist
that an investigation is a series of orderly responses.
steps undertaken to acquire knowledge.
• Practise identification of all the variables
Students need to be able to analyse the steps associated with a particular activity.
in an investigation and decide how they are
going to contribute to the intent of the • Further clarify the task before, during and
investigation. after an investigation to eliminate
• Allow the use of a variety of materials in all
Skill development activities. It may involve the exploration of
By Stage 2, students should be able to clarify media, eg a student constructing a bridge
a problem by asking questions of others. from paper may not know of the
strengthening effects of rolled paper. This
At Stage 3, students should be able to discuss exploration may improve the quality of the
factors that might influence an investigation result. Students could substitute cardboard
and be able to recognise the limitations that for paper.
may be placed on the investigation process.
They should also be able to discuss issues, • Record activities in a variety of ways so that
phenomena or events that have led other students can make sense of their results, eg
people to investigate. make a video, keeping a diary on a daily
basis of the activities carried out for one or
two weeks. It allows the student to keep on
Managing learning task by continually clarifying their task.
This can also be useful to students who can
experiences compare their activities with those of others.
Teachers can develop student skills in
clarifying an investigation when planning and
164 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Record activities in a variety of ways, eg Special Needs
photographs, comic strips, so that the
investigation or design and make activity The use of specialised equipment might be
becomes clearer in the mind of the students. necessary for students with physical
By recording, students can see the direction disabilities.
and will discover if a clear trend is emerging,
Pictorial/diagrammatic recording could be
eg make a checklist of characteristics of
incorporated for visually impaired students.
living and non-living things. Look for any
Consider a cassette recorder.
overlap. Does this seem feasible? By testing
it will be seen that certain characteristics ESL/NESB
belong only to living things while others
belong to non-living things. Students with language deficits will need a
much more structured approach with liberal
• Reflect on the initial clarification by use of prompts and cues.
ascertaining whether the results of an
investigation answer a problem or support Group work for these students may be more
an explanation. appropriate than individual work. Careful
consideration of the group composition would
• Apply a newly-discovered understanding to be necessary to provide unobtrusive peer
other uses. support.
Special considerations Useful resources
Aboriginal Students Barman et al, Science Skills Guide for
Aboriginal students learn well through
demonstration and imitation and these Ainley, D, Science Problems to Investigate
processes are important for this strategy. Mills, G, Scientific Problems Solving – An
However these processes should be balanced Introduction to Technology
with others. Aboriginal students may have
deficits in standard English. Carin, A et al, Teaching Science Through
Use a range of students to demonstrate to the
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 165
Trialling and testing ideas [TS13]
Introduction one in the wind and one out of the wind. To
discover the result the amount of water left in
Testing involves devising, designing and each glass would be measured after a similar
carrying out activities to determine whether a period of time.
proposed explanation can be supported or a
prediction verified. Testing can be carried out
in a variety of ways, including Skill development
experimentation, researching an idea or
By Stage 2, students should engage in informal
activities which develop their understandings
For students to be able to design their own of cause and effect relationships in developing
tests, they should be encouraged to be their own ‘experiments’. They should predict
systematic without losing the curiosity, outcomes by proposing explanations and test
imagination and creativity embodied in the to see if their predicted outcomes eventuate.
day-to-day testing of ideas. As students develop skills in predicting and
In teaching students how to select appropriate testing they are encouraged to design more
methods of devising tests, teachers should formal experiments which will facilitate the
encourage students to try different test designs. manipulation of a variable. Students should
become competent at using instruments which
Experiments try to establish cause and effect record information precisely. Analysis of data
relationships by manipulating variables to associated with experiments should be
determine their influence on the outcome of expressed both orally and in writing. With
the experiment. guidance, students should devise activities
Providing students with familiar materials which seek to verify previous results. Some
and objects encourages them to experiment may use the predictions of others for these
with confidence in a non-threatening activities.
environment. At the end of Stage 3, students should be able
Students should be encouraged to state what to question their own explanations, formulate
they intend to do and give reasons for their hypotheses and devise ways of testing,
suggested course of action. By stating their depending on whether the explanation is
intended course of action they will in fact supported, or the test was inconclusive. Finally
predict an outcome. Once a problem or task students should become competent in
has been stated, the students should begin to designing their own experiments and trials
predict possible results of their experimental where they control variables to clarify the
activity. best possible scientific outcome. In doing
this, students are setting their own agenda;
Students should be able to identify all the using language they need to explain their
factors in their experiment. They need to work, building into their work an open-
realise that all factors, except the one they are endedness that could be developed as far as
testing, should be held constant. They need to time/teaching/learning constraints allow.
set up two situations for comparison, one with
the variable, one without (this is the control),
eg the problem might be to find out if water Managing learning
evaporates faster if there is a wind. The
constant factors may be two glasses containing
the same amount of water (one experiment, Listed below is a range of strategies for trialling
one control). This involves placing and testing ideas and concepts which teachers
166 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
can use to develop these skills when planning Testing/experimentation is a feature of
and managing learning experiences. Western science. Many cultures do not use
• Observe the relationship between cause this.
and effect, eg students devise a test to If testing is based on socio-cultural factors, eg
discover the outcome of placing an iceblock eye colour, be sensitive to Aboriginal people.
on hot cement as against cold cement.
• Predict expected outcomes of a particular
investigation, eg removal of any block from Allow for group work and translators.
a tower. Labels need to be made for language
• Select or devise an appropriate method to development.
test an expected outcome, eg plants die if Allow for individual testing of different
we don’t water them. investigations as the student must see the need
• Conduct the investigation using the chosen to test predictions in order for them to be
test and record results, eg try picking up meaningful.
different materials with a magnet to find
out what is common to materials attracted
by magnets. Useful resources
• Manipulate a variable in an experimental Ward, A, 1000 Ideas for Primary Science
situation, eg use materials with different
properties when investigating insulating Carin, A, Teaching Science Through Discovery
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen
test, eg did the investigation support or
disprove the original explanation?
• Test a prediction by designing and making,
eg students design and make a container to
cover seeds so that they can be tested in
• Trial a design, device or idea.
• Before, during and after an investigation,
discuss in groups, testing alternatives.
Aboriginal students may need to be encouraged
to trial and test ideas because they may not be
interested in this strategy to explain things
which are fixed in their culture.
If students are doing this the teacher must
start with the students’ interests.
Aboriginal students may know their
environment and therefore may not need to
test or trial.
Be careful not to stereotype individuals or
groups when testing socio-cultural
backgrounds or concepts.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 167
Modifying understanding [TS14]
Introduction At Stage 2, they should be able to suggest
appropriate ways to test an explanation for
Modifying understandings concerns the ability some event.
to change one’s preconceived ideas to By Stage 3, students should be able to compare
accommodate the new understandings arrived the outcomes of tests with predicted outcomes
at through trialling and testing. Students need and so be able to modify their understandings.
to appreciate the value of testing preconceived
notions to arrive at a change in outcome. In
doing this, students are being encouraged to Managing learning
assess their ideas critically and then
substantiate them using arguments developed experiences
from their testing. This process will encourage Listed below is a range of strategies which
the development of trialling and testing to teachers can use to develop skills to modify
explore other variables. This in turn will lead understandings when planning and managing
to new testing to substantiate the outcomes. learning experiences.
Initially the teacher will spend much time • Verbalise predictions about certain
guiding the student towards improving those phenomena, eg students say they think
particular skills to promote clearer that earthworms are random in their
understanding, at times directing the student responses to environmental change or that
in the kind of thing to look for. there will be no difference in pendulum
Students tend to be more able to modify arcs between two tyres on different lengths
understandings when the classroom is of rope.
supportive and open to the discussion of ideas. • Compare the outcomes of the test with the
Once a student is able to verbalise an predicted outcome so that understandings
understanding it can be more easily recognised can be modiﬁed, eg in studying pendulum
and therefore questioned. Students need the arcs, the students may discover that the
opportunity to trial ideas before they are rope length actually affects the time of the
finalised or made public. In a positive and swing.
encouraging environment students can take
risks and move from subjective evaluation to • Choose an appropriate test for the
demonstrating confidence in testing their explanation that has been proposed, eg in
understandings. The encouragement of this seeking to explain the behaviour of
skill development has a compounding effect earthworms, the test may involve the
as students become better ‘functional learners’. observation over a day of worms placed on
wet and dry surfaces.
• Propose an explanation by clarifying the
Skill development variable(s), eg the only difference in our
At Stage 1, students should be able to accept investigation of the growth of two plants is
that the result of a test may be different from the colour of the containers we used.
what was originally expected. As skills in
verbalising develop, students should be
encouraged to question their own
understandings as well as those of others.
168 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Explaining understanding [TS15]
Introduction Students should examine proposed
explanations and data accurately so that they
Explaining understandings is the will be able to explain new understandings.
interpretation of observations to establish At the end of Stage 3, they should then be able
relationships and patterns between them. to verbalise, demonstrate, illustrate, report
Because of their natural curiosity, students etc the understandings acquired through
appreciate understanding and knowing how investigation and apply these by predicting
things work, or what has happened. In the proposed explanations of a similar
explaining understandings, students are investigation.
involved in talking about, drawing or writing
about an observation, an activity or an
outcome. Students can report what they have Managing learning
discovered by using various media. This can
take several forms: written reports, talks,
demonstrations, drawings, working models Listed below is a range of strategies involving
etc. explaining understanding which teachers can
In developing understandings through use when planning and managing learning
investigations, students can be actively experiences.
challenged because they are highly motivated • Explain understandings in an informal
to explain the results or understandings to setting, eg free access to a variety of play
others and to demonstrate their new-found equipment. Through group negotiation
discoveries. students determine the use of the
Within the framework of explaining equipment, then explain how they arrived
understandings, appreciation by others must at those decisions.
always be encouraged. An emphasis on the • Explain understandings in a formal setting,
part of the investigator to explain the eg groups of students may be asked to
understandings in an acceptable manner explain what happens in a presentation to
should also be encouraged. While explaining, their peers.
students should also identify the processes
that helped them arrive at their • Explain understandings, eg ask students
understandings. to explain to the class a new discovery they
have just made.
• Explain by comparing and contrasting
Skill development new and previous understandings.
At Stage 1, students should explore informal • Engage in group discussion within the class.
situations and could also explain their • Challenge students’ findings and encourage
understandings to others. They should then them to argue their explanations logically.
be engaged in a directed activity where they
have the opportunity to explain their • Investigate based on certain explained
understandings. understandings, eg icebergs float in the
ocean just as ice cubes float in a glass of
By Stage 2, students should be able to design water.
an investigation to verify understandings
and will then subsequently contrast these • Challenge understandings through
understandings with past experiences. investigations, eg students find that by
rubbing sandstone, one can get sand, but
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 169
when presented with a piece of granite etc, • Create a reference group, eg consult experts
wonder why it can’t it be rubbed to get soil. from the local community such as parents,
business people, scientists etc.
• Predict, using understandings, other
investigations or situations, eg students • Prepare presentations in the form of models,
could predict the resulting landform from videos or talks for a variety of audiences, eg
the weathering of a rock outcrop. Possible to parents or community members to
changes could be holes formed in sandstone explain discoveries or other understandings.
by wind carrying sand particles, or holes • Publish findings, perhaps writing for a
formed in watercourses by pebbles being
‘discovery’ column in the school newspaper,
swirled around in rock. Another result could or writing to a local newspaper.
be the effects of soil being deposited on the
bed of an inner curve of a slowly-flowing
170 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Applying understanding [TS16]
Introduction Managing learning
In applying the understandings that have been
discovered, students will develop appropriate Listed below is a range of strategies which
problem solving strategies and work on using teachers can use to develop skills in applying
these to solve increasingly more sophisticated understandings when planning and managing
problems. learning experiences.
It is vital that all students are encouraged to • Apply students’ understandings by
apply their understandings, because by doing encouraging investigations which develop
so, they are being engaged in thinking and lateral thinking, open-endedness and
developing strategies, ideas and empathising incidental learnings. Interaction,
within a total life and social plan. questioning and reflection are essential
Teachers are in the business of developing elements of this learning situation.
‘functional learners’— students who are • Seek and understand how alternative
encouraged to develop ideas, investigate and explanations to natural phenomena have
take risks. Students will have the confidence been applied by other people living in other
to apply their understandings so that they places and/or other times, eg Dreamtime
are actively thinking through problems by explanations of Aboriginal people.
themselves or with the help of a teacher or
their peers. • Manipulate investigations so that
understandings will be developed which
In engaging students in using understandings can then be applied to solve problems and
generated through investigations they can be make products.
encouraged to apply these to other situations
so that there is lateral thinking, open-
endedness and incidental learning. Special considerations
For Aboriginal students with a language deficit
At Stage 1, students should be able to relate or disability in standard English there may be
their knowledge and understandings to a need to make more use of concrete examples
particular domestic, environmental or and directions.
industrial situations and as time passes
should be able to interpret their observations ESL/NESB
accurately and use these to better understand
This strategy may be difficult for students
with a language deficit so there is a need to use
By Stage 3 they should be able to identify and concrete examples and directions.
give accurate explanations for some natural
phenomena that have been given by people
living in other times or in other places of the
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 171
Designing and making skills
[TS17] Exploring needs
[TS18] Clarifying a design task
[TS19] Exploring ideas
[TS20] Representing ideas by
[TS21] Drawing to develop and
[TS22] Selecting solutions
[TS23] Considering appearance
[TS24] Evaluating design
172 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Exploring needs [TS17]
Introduction Managing learning
Exploring and identifying needs and wants experiences
precedes designing and making activities.
Listed below is a range of strategies which
It involves the examination of social or teachers can use in exploring needs when
environmental issues and an exploration of planning and managing learning experiences.
needs in the students’ living environment as
• Interview people, eg family, peers, people
well as within other cultures and times. The
with special needs, to find out their needs.
exploration of needs should relate directly
The needs of food, transport/mobility could
to the student so that relevance will aid
• Observe the needs of living things in a
When considering needs, students should be
particular environment, eg plants in the
aware that conflicting needs may exist.
Personal needs might contradict community
needs. Students must practise establishing • Select a need and expand on it, eg the need
priorities in order to identify the benefits and for food in a variety of situations, the needs
disadvantages to various interest groups. of a baby compared with the needs of an
adult and the needs of a very elderly person,
The needs of people from a diverse range of
the needs of people on a special diet such
cultures and from other times should also be
as a diabetic or an athlete on a high
considered in addition to the needs of
carbohydrate diet before an event.
individuals within the immediate
environment. A comparison of the needs of • Identify present technology and suggest
groups within cultures should also be included. improvements to better satisfy needs, eg
look at past/present/future ideas. In
The opportunity should also be provided
transport consider the technologies
for students to explore and discuss needs
involved in the buggy pulled by a horse,
and ‘wants’ and the relationship that exists
the bicycle, the motor car, the Very Fast
Train, aeroplanes, spaceships. Investigate
Students, will then develop skills to explore technological developments for the
and identify the needs of people and other wheelchair, eg manually operated by
living things. someone else, manually operated by the
person in the wheelchair, electronically
operated, wheelchairs that can go up and
Skill development down stairs.
By Stage 2, students should be able to employ • Investigate a product that has been reported
a variety of methods of research and to have problems and try to improve the
investigation to identify the needs of other design, eg a pencil sharpener that continues
people and living things. to break the lead when it sharpens.
At the end of Stage 3, students should be able • Research the needs of people from a variety
to use questions and research the results of of cultures, eg look at the needs of people
their investigations to identify needs and to in a hot climate (cool clothing, air
suggest how new technologies can meet their conditioning, cool leisure activities)
needs in improved ways. compared with those in a cold climate
(warm clothing, central heating, hot and
more fatty meals, indoor sport).
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 173
• Research how people’s needs have changed popular. Recent changes in entertainment
over time with changing technologies, eg include VCRs to give people more choice of
entertainment one hundred years ago could TV programs and compact discs(CDs) to
have been singing around the piano or improve the quality of music and the
going to a dance. With the invention of the longevity of discs.
radio and movies, entertainment would • Identify, verbalise and list needs associated
have included listening to radio plays and/ with a particular group, eg what are the
or music on the radio and going to the requirements for a school bag for preschool/
movies occasionally. When television was secondary students?
introduced to Australia, this largely took
over from listening to the radio as family • Analyse the needs of a target group, eg what
entertainment and the movies became less are the needs of a rheumatic person?
174 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Clarifying a design task [TS18]
Introduction Managing learning
It is important for the student to have a clear experiences
statement of the problem or task he or she has
Listed below is a range of strategies which
to solve or address. This statement is called a
teachers can use to develop skills in clarifying
design brief or task.
a design task when planning and managing
It is equally important that students are learning experiences.
given sufficient opportunity to develop an
• Use observation, analysis, interviews,
understanding of the nature of the task or
research and/or discussion to clarify a design
brief. In clarifying the task students will:
task, eg when designing improvements to
• establish the objectives that are to be satisfied the school playground, identify problem
or the needs that are to be addressed, eg locations within the school environment,
transmit a message from one classroom to discuss ‘black spot’ accident areas in the
other classrooms; lift a load from the playground. Analyse the characteristics of
floor to the tabletop these areas to determine why accidents
• identify the restrictions or limitations that occur there.
might be applied to the design process, eg • Discuss the nature of a problem with the
the design must: use only electricity stored target group, eg discuss with mothers who
in a battery; use equipment available from bring their babies to school how they
the resource room; be completed in three negotiate flights of stairs with their prams.
weeks; cost less than five dollars
• In small groups discuss a problem in order
• state the criteria to be used when assessing to clarify the task, eg produce several
the design, eg the vehicle will carry the load solutions to the problem. Through group
from one side of the room to the other; the negotiation select one solution and devise
advertisement should attract a further 10% one list of procedures to complete the task.
• Explain the objectives of the task to another
student or to a teacher.
Skill development • Observe how an inexperienced person
copes with a problem, eg discuss how they
At Stage 1, students should be encouraged to cope with an ‘out of reach’ shelf.
state clearly what they are designing, eg ‘I am
making a bridge out of straws’. • Analyse the target objectives associated with
everyday items, eg a pencil case is able to be
By Stage 2, students should be able to identify locked, is light weight and is easy to open.
some limitations which may exist in carrying
out a design task, eg ‘I cannot use a drill • Write design briefs, then swap briefs so
because I haven’t learnt how to use it yet’. that peers have the opportunity to write the
target objectives associated with the briefs.
At Stage 3, students should be able to further
clarify their design tasks by questioning or
other research methods. They should also be Useful resources
able to identify cultural, social or legal
influences on design activities. Williams, P et al, Design and Technology 5-12
Dunn, S, Design Technology – Children’s
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 175
Exploring ideas [TS19]
Introduction able to estimate resource requirements (time,
materials, tools, skills) and check on their
It is important that all students are provided availability.
with frequent opportunities to explore and
At Stage 3, they should be able to develop and
develop their own ideas for designs. The
justify their ideas and design proposals by
successful generation of ideas will often
selecting and reﬁning ideas by using models
depend upon the students’ modelling, drawing
and drawings. If necessary, they should be
and other communicating skills. However it is
able to develop and present these ideas and
important that teachers distinguish between
make modiﬁcations where appropriate.
the actual value of a student’s ideas and how
Students should also be able to reﬂect on and
successfully they have been interpreted.
evaluate the elements and assess the
Students should be encouraged to: implications of the availability of the resources
• think laterally required to carry out their tasks.
• explore how other people have solved similar
problems Managing learning
• work collaboratively to develop ideas experiences
• explore made and natural forms
Listed below is a range of strategies which
• research, using a wide range of materials. teachers can use when planning and managing
It is essential that students appreciate the learning experiences.
value of exploring a range of ideas and of re- • Brainstorm to generate ideas. Brainstorming
developing particular ideas that are considered is a popular creative technique which, when
to have merit. correctly executed, will facilitate the
The success of particular ideas should be generation of ideas. It is useful for developing
assessed in terms of the intent of the task. creative thinking processes and promoting
Through their exploration of the task, students discussion. Students’ language development
will gain an appreciation of the range of is enhanced since clarity and brevity of
acceptable solutions. The explorations will statements is encouraged. All students need
inevitably lead students to ideas that can be to experience a diversity of roles in group
developed further. work; one being the recorder of brainstormed
• Discuss what is involved in brainstorming
Skill development before practising a brainstorming situation.
In brainstorming, students should
At Stage 1, students should be able to suggest
appreciate that quantity is not a goal, that
opportunities for investigations and design judgement is deferred, that developing
activities and suggest practical changes that another’s ideas is permitted and that novel
could be made.
ideas are acceptable. Brainstorming is a
At Stage 2, they should be able to explore ideas structured activity which progresses
for investigations and their design proposals through established stages and must not be
in order to identify where decisions still need confused with discussion groups.
to be made, and suggest possible courses of
• Investigate a stimulus to generate ideas, eg
action, including modiﬁcations to improve hermit crabs’ ‘homes’ leading to a study of
their original proposals. They should also be ‘homes’ of different animals.
176 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Analyse features of a stimulus which • Develop and revise a range of ideas. Discuss
generates ideas for solving speciﬁc problems, and develop these ideas with another student
eg visit an exhibition home to examine how or expert. Modify and further develop the
speciﬁc problems have been solved by ideas.
• Practise lateral thinking after experiencing
• Document different suggestions to solve a role modelling situations by teachers or
problem. Evaluate the good and not so good experts.
points of all the suggestions – select the
• Research previous attempts at solving
most appropriate suggestion.
similar design tasks.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 177
Representing ideas by [TS20]
Introduction characteristics of both natural and
manufactured materials and components. They
In science and technology, models can be should safely manipulate a range of appropriate
regarded as two- and three-dimensional hand tools and equipment. Current research
representations of forms, environments, indicates that primary school students are
images and systems. Modelling is an important capable of developing quite complex models
means by which students can develop, express, that ‘work’ and can be controlled by computer
record and communicate their ideas. languages such as ‘Logo’.
Modelling is done to model key features; after By Stage 3, students should be provided with
this students can be creative. Modelling is opportunities to choose appropriate means of
intended to preserve a key feature of what’s modelling their ideas. They should be provided
being modelled. It encourages group work with learning experiences that will encourage
and expression. The process of modelling can them to develop ﬂuency in expressing their
assist students to develop an understanding of ideas through modelling.
function, form, visual and tactile
Students should be encouraged to examine
and explore different types of models and experiences
understand how and why they have been
Listed below are a range of strategies which
made, eg ‘visual’ models of aeroplanes can be
teachers can use when planning and managing
constructed from commercial kits. It is also
possible to make ‘working’ models of kitchen
appliances to show how they might work or • Make models from plastic materials, eg
function. ‘playdough’, plasticine, clay.
In many instances computers can be used to • Make working models using construction
model by means of graphic programs. blocks and modelling systems, eg Lego,
Students should be encouraged to interpret
and discuss their modelling and their models. • Make model structures using strip timber
This provides a useful way of clarifying and cardboard triangular corner gussets.
understanding and developing vocabulary. • Make working models and ‘mock up’ a
housing or body for an appliance or machine.
Skill development • Use computers to model ideas using
graphics, eg Logo.
At Stage 1, students should make three-
dimensional models from materials that can • Have children bring their own models from
be moulded. As students develop manipulative home to represent an idea.
skills they should be encouraged to expand • Enlist local cultural community
the range of materials with which they work. involvement where appropriate, eg visitors
They should also be challenged to produce explain methods and materials used:
different types of models, eg working models architectural models, clothes designs.
from construction blocks etc.
• Form a human model of a graph, eg students
In Stage 2, students should explore the line up to indicate likes/dislikes.
properties, capabilities and working
178 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Special considerations ESL/NESB
Students should be encouraged to interpret
Aboriginal Students and discuss models in their ﬁrst language.
This may involve translation and could involve
Incorporate group work and movement in
peers and parents in assisting the explanation
the lesson which is suitable for Aboriginal
students. Ensure not all directions come from
the teacher so that students may also direct
activities. Useful resources
Girls Aitken, J, Creative Technology
Ensure suggestions for models meet the Dunn, An Introduction to Craft, Design and
interests of both girls and boys. Allow girls to Technology
work together until they gain confidence.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 179
Drawing to develop and [TS21]
Introduction Skill development
In science and technology, drawing is an At Stage 1, it is important that students should
important means of expressing, recording be provided with opportunities to express
and communicating ideas. A drawing can themselves freely by drawing. They should use
be a product in its own right, eg a poster, an their own schema, codes or symbols when
illustration or a sign. More importantly the creating images.
process of drawing can be used to explore
At Stage 2, in order to develop drawing skills,
ideas and solve problems.
they should be encouraged to observe carefully
Learning activities in this Key Learning Area the form and detail of the objects they draw.
will require students to use a range of This will be reflected in the images they
technologies and methods to produce create and record. They also should be
drawings. Freehand drawing will enhance encouraged to add notes to their drawings
the students’ ability to manipulate ideas.
when details are difficult to clarify graphically,
More formal drawings will enable students
eg ‘This has hairs on it’, ‘The handle turns’.
to communicate, present and evaluate
information, ideas and proposals. Computer By Stage 3, as students need to use more complex
technology will extend the range of images scientific and technological concepts, they
that a student can create. It provides a means should also develop a need to record and express
of storing information and images for further their ideas using the codes, symbols and systems
use. that are part of graphical language. These
The process of drawing will lead students to a codes, symbols and systems should be
clearer understanding of form, shape, colour, introduced only in response to the student’s
texture and symbols and will enable them to need to record and express ideas.
appreciate the images in their environment.
At all stages it is important that students are
Accuracy in drawing is dependent on, and can
provided with experiences that will promote
lead to, the development of observation skills.
fluency in expressing ideas through freehand
Fluency in drawing is developed through drawing.
practice. Frequent opportunities should be
provided for students to express themselves Managing learning
graphically by sketching and freehand drawing.
The computer should be used extensively as a experiences
Listed below is a range of strategies which
Students should be encouraged to interpret teachers can use when planning and managing
and discuss drawings and illustrations. This learning experiences.
provides a useful way of clarifying
understandings and developing vocabulary. Drawing from One’s Imagination
It is a particularly important strategy to be • Visualise an animal or machine of the future.
used with students of non-English speaking Make a model of it, using any model-making
background. materials, eg clay, card, wax, plasticine.
It is not recommended that in developing and Make a drawing of the animal or machine in
recording ideas, students construct formal its possible surroundings.
drawings using geometrical instruments.
However, students should be introduced to the • Model a design from construction blocks.
notion that codes, symbols and drawing Draw the model. Redraw the model from
systems are a part of graphical language. different positions. Use the drawings to tell
the class about the design.
180 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Make a drawing of a design. Make a model Using Codes, Symbols and Systems
from the drawing. Modify the model. Make • Read and interpret drawings that use
a drawing to present to the class or group. common symbols or codes.
• Redesign an existing object, product or • Use drawings that include symbols or codes
environment. Draw it from observation. to make a model. Discuss the meanings of
Change the drawing to reflect the changes the drawing with an expert.
that could be made to the design.
• Use symbols or codes when making a
Drawing from Observation drawing of a design. Use the drawing to
• Model a design from construction blocks. explain the design, eg develop an electrical
Cover the model. Attempt to draw it from circuit for a torch. Discuss how the torch
memory. Uncover the model. Redraw it operates.
from direct observation. Compare the • Use simple line diagrams to demonstrate
drawings. Describe the differences. such things as electrical circuits, travel
• Use rubbings to record details of natural or directions, how to thread sewing machines.
made objects. Draw the object, including all Research the symbols that are commonly
details included in the rubbing. used in such diagrams.
• Make a drawing to represent an idea that is • Use a computer to create, manipulate, alter
expressed in another form, eg in writing. and place images and illustrations.
• Use sequenced sketches to record
phenomena and events observed in an Useful resources
investigation, eg growth of a plant,
movement of a machine. Use the drawings Design World journal
when discussing the observations and Visual Arts Syllabus K-6
• Explain how a product, appliance, tool or
piece of equipment functions. Make
drawings to illustrate the explanation.
Learning from Other Peoples’ Images
• Explore how, over time, societies and
cultures have used images to record ideas,
eg Aboriginal art, images carved on rock,
images on the walls of the pyramids. Discuss
the drawing techniques used.
• Use X-ray technique to show details inside
something students have designed. Use the
drawing to explain how the design works.
• Cut out and collect drawings and images
that have been created for magazines.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 181
Selecting solutions [TS22]
• Would it perform the identified task?
Selecting the appropriate solution involves
constantly referring back to the task identified Ergonomics
in the design brief. The selected solution • How big?
should satisfy the identified need and address • What shape?
all the limitations, restrictions and latitudes
• Can it be used/applied without
In the process of exploring ideas, students • Is it easy and efficient to use?
should be encouraged to make several attempts
at solving a problem and each of these attempts Appearance
should view the problem from a different • What will it look like?
perspective. There is little value in producing
several solutions using the same approach. Technology
Any idea generated, no matter how • Can it be made to work?
insignificant, should be preserved. From these • Do you have the technology to make it?
isolated ideas can come a combination of
interesting or inspiring innovations that may Safety
provide a solution. With all the information • Is it safe to make?
at hand it is possible to select the most efficient • Will it be safe to use?
way of addressing the problem.
In selecting the final solution all attempts
should be looked at, whether they are in the • What will be the consequence of making it?
form of brief notes, sketches, models, The important aspects of selecting the
drawings, even recordings. This collection appropriate approach are that:
of possible solutions should be regarded as
• it should satisfy the design brief
an ‘ideas box’ from which a solution might
immediately present itself or, from the variety • the student should feel satisfied that the
of isolated concepts, a combination of ideas outcome can be achieved.
may form one suitable outcome.
When selecting the appropriate solution it is
important to consider some of the following By Stage 1, students should be able to identify
questions. the basic requirements of a design brief and
select a solution that addresses the expressed
Time need for the design.
• How much time is available to complete
the task? At Stage 2, the students should be able to
explore different solutions and select features
• Is the design too elaborate or too basic? from different solutions to come up with a
Materials single, more suitable, outcome.
• What materials are available? At Stage 3, students should be able to select
• How much would they cost? solutions having considered the societal and
environmental consequences of their
• Are the facilities available to work with
selection. This will allow them to make
the particular material?
modifications to their design to satisfy these
182 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Managing learning were these identified? How did the one
selected satisfy the need of the person or
Listed below are a range of strategies which • Select from a variety of venues a suitable
teachers can use when planning and managing place to have a school function, eg sports,
learning experiences. picnic etc. Describe why this venue was
• Provide a range of design briefs and get
students to brainstorm a list of aspects • Draw up a grid. On one axis show the
they will look for when selecting a suitable criteria to be considered for a particular
outcome. design brief, on the other axis the possible
solutions. For each solution place a tick in
• Display/provide a range of containers.
the box to establish the criteria that the
Describe what the content of the container
particular solution satisfies. Compare the
will be and how it will be dispensed. The
boxes for each solution to determine which
class can select an appropriate container
one best satisfied the criteria of the design
and explain the reasons for their choice of
• Select from a variety of transport systems
how to get from one place to another. Why
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 183
Considering appearance [TS23]
Introduction stimuli might include different natural
resources. Nature provides the students with
In the design process, consideration must be millions of different forms even though they
given to functional, material and visual all perform similar functions. The advantage
requirements. The aim of the process is to of natural over made resources is that the
produce not only something that works, but ideas have to be actively transferred from one
something that is pleasing to the senses. medium to another to meet the design task.
Appearance is a result of deliberate attention
to construction, shape, form, colour Skill development
combinations, texture and how well it will
complement its final environment. At Stage 1, students should generate and select
The arrangement of components also ideas to best meet the design task objectives
influences an object’s appearance. Designs by using pictures, drawings and models, and
characterised by unified appearance facilitate give simple reasons why they have chosen a
the eyes taking in and giving a pattern to these certain idea. They should be able to combine
objects. In turn, the brain can better process materials and demonstrate that these are
the information it receives about the object. appropriate for the task in hand.
Three means of promoting unified appearance By Stage 3, they should go a step further by
in designs are rhythm, symmetry and using graphical and written data to record
proportion. their exploration of different ideas for their
Function is the job something has to do. Some design proposals. Students should be able to
articles are designed to perform more than use and manipulate a wide variety of
one function. That means one has to look at materials and tools. They should also have
several different aspects of function. Function the knowledge of a wide range of the working
includes size: eg will the dog fit into its new characteristics of materials and techniques
kennel?; strength: eg will the garden seat hold so that they can improvise when faced with
the weight of three people; adaptability: eg unforeseen difficulties.
will the article be used by more than one
person for more than one purpose?. Another
important aspect of function is ‘life’ or
durability, eg how long is the item to remain experiences
in service? Compare the function of a milk
bottle with that of a milk carton. Listed below is a range of strategies which
teachers can use when planning and managing
Function and appearance must always learning experiences.
complement one another, although different
cultures have different ways of interpreting • State and explain likes and dislikes, eg
these qualities. There are times, however, survey likes and dislikes of others, carry
when one aspect might dominate the outcome, out market surveys to determine which
depending on the design task. designs are most ‘saleable’.
Students should be provided with the resources • Compare proposed designs with the
and opportunities to produce different results. requirements of the brief; does it fulfil
A wide range of resources is necessary from requirements?
which to produce these different results. Such • Analyse existing products in terms of their
effectiveness, appearance and value.
184 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Decorate an object, eg decorate a glass jar Special considerations
with paint, pasted pictures, fabric or any
other accoutrements to improve its Aboriginal Students
appearance as a flower vase.
When there are Aboriginal students in the
• Display and arrange research materials, class, students should be encouraged to look
eg on mobiles, walls, windows and display at artefacts from Aboriginal cultures.
boards related to a theme under discussion. Aboriginal students should not be placed in
Pay particular attention to appearance, the position of being required to be experts on
layout, positioning and function. all aspects of all Aboriginal cultures.
• Make a model or representation, eg cut and Aboriginal students with Standard English
paste pictures from furniture magazines, deficit or disability will need to be allowed to
brochures and leaﬂets to arrange the use their language, Aboriginal English.
furniture and ﬁttings. This is done on a
prepared and selected background to ESL/NESB
represent the carpet.
Encourage students to look at objects from
• Bring in a variety of objects from home to different cultures. Appreciate that some objects
discuss appearance and function. will not be familiar to everyone, so an
• Redesign existing products to improve their opportunity should be provided for explanation
function/appearance. and use of students’ ﬁrst language.
• Devise means of testing designs for strength Take care not to promote a particular culture.
and endurance. Accept different opinions of appearance and
the need for function in different cultures.
• Identify service conditions and discuss
how a design might be affected by such
conditions. Useful resources
• Identify the market for the design and
discuss how to design for particular markets,
eg the young, the aged. Royal Australian Institute of Architects, The
• Arrange lengths of timber on blocks, bricks
or boxes for class seating at an outdoor
activity. Remember to investigate the length
of the spans between the supports, how
easily seating can be adapted, how strong
the seats would have to be and for how long
the arrangement is needed.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 185
Evaluating design [TS24]
relating to their own designs, students are
Introduction better equipped to alter defects which have
Evaluating designs occurs throughout the come to light.
design process and not just as a final step.
During the design process students evaluate
how a design is developing in relation to the
ﬁnal product, whether materials are suitable In Stage 1, students should recognise and
and whether alterations are needed before discuss with others the strengths and
proceeding. limitations of what they have done and make
Students should be critical of their own comparisons about what they like and dislike
work. They need to appreciate that an about familiar products, systems or
important part of the designing and making environments.
process is to look at something they have By Stage 2, they should be able to make
designed and made and decide if it fulfils adjustments to their original intention when
the original design brief. The brief may be to designing as a result of problems or
design and make a gift for someone. Students improvements that occur to them.
need to decide if the gift they have made is
appropriate to the person they made it for At the end of Stage 3, they should be able to
and if they are happy with the quality of the critically evaluate the materials, components,
gift. Students should develop proficiency in procedures, techniques and processes used
evaluating not only the outcomes of their and suggest possible improvements where
own designing and making activities, but necessary. They should also be able to evaluate
also the products of their peers and the form and function of existing products,
commercial designers. By evaluating the systems or environments and those from other
varied designs of others, students not only times and/or cultures. Students should be able
become more informed consumers, but also to make comparisons and make some simple
acquire ideas for their own solutions to value judgements about the social and
problems. economic implications of these products,
systems or environments. They should be able
Students should develop skills in using the to evaluate the ways in which their designs
design objectives when evaluating outcomes. have developed, justifying their decisions and
Firstly, the designer should talk about and evaluating outcomes in terms of original
try out their solution or watch a peer try it. intentions. They should then draw conclusions
This aspect of evaluation is essentially about the outcome of design tasks in meeting
objective in nature. Students should develop users’ needs and how they might be improved.
skills in systematically measuring whether
performance satisﬁes the perceived needs.
This facilitates more accurate observation Managing learning
and appraisal than mere guesswork.
Secondly, judgement of a solution is inﬂuenced
by personal opinion. This aspect of evaluation Listed below is a range of strategies which
is unavoidably subjective in nature. teachers can use to develop skills in evaluating
designs when planning and managing learning
The information gleaned from evaluations
should be recorded in formats which allow
reference to the original design and • Explain what they like and dislike, eg bring
specifications. By analysing evaluations a few toys to school. Show all the toys to a
186 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
small group. Select your favourite toy and • Make comparisons about the social and
explain why you prefer it to the other toys. economic environment in analysing and
• Identify a number of environments in the identifying target objectives associated with
school and discuss why students prefer a design, eg what needs would be associated
certain areas. Make a painting of a favourite with a picnic storage container? List these in
environment. Label the aspects underlying terms of standards which can be assessed
students’ subjective evaluations, eg the sand objectively: does it leak? is it lightweight?
pit area, the grassed area under the trees, Use the container to determine the degree to
the sick bay. which the target objectives have been met.
Students devise a recording format and
• Analyse pictures of contrasting indicate ratings for each inferred design
environments and explain why students speciﬁcation. Discuss the picnic storage
prefer certain environments and which is container with peers and explain subjective
their favourite, eg sea shore, shopping centre, assessments to each other.
• Evaluate ideas at the start of the design
• Objectively evaluate outcomes against process, eg ‘I thought of two ways to use
design objectives, eg students display their the sun’s energy and I decided to make
designs and talk about what they have something that would cook an egg.’
done. Analyse whether or not the electrical
circuits of a scary creature should light
up. See if the pulley system which operates Useful resources
the creature’s tongue produces the desired
effect. Have a number of other students Williams, P et al, Design and Technology 5-12
operate the design. See if they can work it, Dunn, S, Design Technology – Children’s
observe any difﬁculties they had and
attempt to rectify these.
• Make adjustments as a result of evaluation
that occurs during the design process, eg
‘I could see that paper wouldn’t be strong
enough to hold my model steady so I
decided to use cardboard instead.’
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 187
Using technology process
[TS25] Selecting and using materials
[TS26] Organising tools, equipment and
[TS27] Understanding materials
[TS28] Learning safety procedures
[TS29] Selecting appropriate technologies
[TS30] Selecting and maintaining tools
[TS31] Evaluating chosen technologies
188 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Selecting and using [TS25]
Introduction • become aware that these properties affect
how the material is used.
Whenever we make an object or formulate an By the end of Stage 2, students should be aware
idea, some kind of material is generally used. that:
Materials must be organised in such a way as
to assist the activity. • there is a greater variety of materials
To select appropriate materials students must • materials have different properties
have experiences that encourage the use of a • properties affect the use to which materials
variety of materials in a wide range of are put.
applications. Several factors will influence
the choice. In Stage 3, students should understand that:
Students need to: • the properties of materials can be
investigated by testing or trialling
• develop understandings related to the
properties of materials which are • the uses of materials for specific applications
are based on the properties of the materials.
transformed from a raw state by the primary
processes of cutting, forming, fastening and
• consider the appropriateness of materials
for the task at hand
• develop understandings about selecting and To develop these skills when planning and
using appropriate materials. Students must managing learning experiences, teachers could
have experiences that encourage the use of provide the folowing activities for students.
a variety of materials in a wide range of • Classify materials according to use, eg visit
applications. a building site and observe the materials
Organising material for a project is done in used in the construction of houses and
conjunction with the design brief. The buildings. List the observable properties of
organisation, supply and preparation of some of the materials used in construction.
appropriate materials involves noting design Discuss how the properties of these
developments and the needs of students. Some materials, such as glass, have been used.
materials need preparation before they can be • Investigate the different types of containers
used. Preparation might be as simple as mixing that the children can find and identify what
paints. they are made from, eg why have the
materials been used? Which materials are
waterproof? Which materials are strong?
Skill development Compare different containers such as egg
At Stage 1, students should: cartons, milk cartons, and soft drink cans or
pet food cans. Identify the materials from
• gain expertise in manipulating materials which they have been made and discuss
that are available in the classroom how each suits its purpose.
• Test materials for water absorbency. Make
• become aware that materials have different a list of materials, showing comparisons
properties of how well they absorb water. Identify the
materials from which they are made.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 189
• Test a variety of materials to identify their Special considerations
ability to conduct electricity. Use a variety
of materials to complete an electric circuit Special Needs
powered by a battery. Can a bulb light up
when it is used in a circuit? Good hands-on material should be provided
for students with special needs. There should
• Investigate how materials are joined be direction and good structure for these
together. Observe materials in the activities.
environment. Test a variety of ways of
joining materials and decide if some ways
are better than others. Useful resources
Good, K, Starting Craft, Design and
190 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Organising tools, equipment [TS26]
Introduction handling and maintenance of expensive
equipment, so that unnecessary expenses
‘Tools and equipment’ refers to collections are not incurred.
of hand and mechanical implements that
are used daily, eg overhead projector,
transparencies and marker pens, computers, Skill development
disks and printers, hammers or scissors.
At Stage 1, students should be able to combine
When investigating: a variety of appropriate materials, images,
• students need to have access to tools and components and elements to make simple
equipment which have been systematically models, drawings and structures.
organised By the end of Stage 2, they should be able to:
• it is essential that teachers do not assume • make choices as to what they construct
prime responsibility for organising tools
• assess the properties, capabilities and
working characteristics of both natural and
• teachers should identify and organise manufactured materials and components
resources according to the needs of their
• improvise, within limits, when confronted
students, for example:-
by unforeseen difficulties
- storing the scissors out of the reach of the
• use their knowledge of the working
kindergarten students reflects lack of
characteristics of a range of readily-available
appreciation of user needs
tools and equipment to assess the most
- in preparing to make a design or set up an suitable for the task in hand
experiment, it is important that students
• use processes safely, accurately and with
are able to identify and select the most
respect for future use.
appropriate equipment and tools for the
tasks at hand. In Stage 3, they should be able to identify,
organise and use the tools, equipment,
‘Processes’ describes the path from an idea to
materials, workspaces, people and other
an outcome, taking into account the various
resources that are most suitable for their
inputs and constraints which impinge on the
Teachers should aim to develop in their
students: Managing learning
• positive attitudes towards safety and experiences
To develop these skills, when planning and
• skills which will allow them to organise managing learning experiences, teachers could
tools and equipment both in the classroom provide the following activities for students.
and in relevant out-of-school activities
• Identify and define the properties and
• a realisation of the importance of striving capacities of available tools, processes and
for an ordered, safe and functional set of equipment.
tools and equipment
• Identify safety factors of tools and
• a vigilance in identifying faulty equipment equipment.
• a commitment to the appropriate storage,
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 191
• Identify and define the organisational Special considerations
needs of a target audience, eg survey peers
to determine how and where they would Aboriginal Students
like their sports equipment stored for easy
Look at materials used by Aboriginal cultures.
• Develop ideas relating to organisation Special Needs
and display of tools and equipment, eg Good hands-on material should be provided
brainstorm ideas to generate an array of here for students with special needs. There
solutions to ways of organising the should be a definite direction and structure for
distribution of tools for a science lesson. these activities.
• Identify and select appropriate tools and ESL/NSB
equipment for an identified task, eg select
tools and equipment according to the ways Look at how different cultures organise tools,
they are used; make a display of tools equipment and processes, eg cooking utensils,
giving reasons for their particular multi-purpose tools.
• Manipulate tools and equipment with care, Useful resources
eg teacher or peers act as role models and/
or students explain a system of resource Pluckrose, H, Cut it!
maintenance that works for them.
Pluckrose, H, Join it!
192 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Understanding materials [TS27]
which facilitate classification of objects
Introduction into made and natural categories. Classify
Students should develop understandings related natural materials as ‘once living’ and ‘never
to the properties of materials. Knowledge relating living’. Identify made materials in familiar
to such properties best stems from investigations. and broader contexts.
Students’ natural curiosity precipitates informal • Identify readily-available materials in terms
discoveries. These provide a framework for more of their composition, eg draw a picture of
formal investigations which teachers can your house or classroom. Design symbolic
stimulate. Experiences with a wide variety of indicators for materials used in these contexts
materials in a diversity of situations will which were: (a) once alive, (b) non-living
maximise the development of understandings. materials but never living, (c) made. Research
Materials can be classified in terms of their basic objects according to their composition by
composition and the manner in which they are talking to adults, reading literature etc. Label
used. Students’ understandings can be them with symbols appearing in a key.
maximised by observing where and how • Explore the properties of materials, eg collect
materials are used in the environment. They a number of wooden, plastic and metal rulers.
should develop skills in evaluating the Test them for hardness, weight, durability,
effectiveness of materials in both familiar and strength and thermal properties (heat
unfamiliar contexts. retention).
• Classify a range of materials with different
Skill development attributes, eg hardness.
At Stage 1, students should explore the
• Explore and manipulate materials by designing
characteristics of various types of materials.
and making a product, eg try making ‘solid’
They should recognise that some materials occur
shapes using ‘soft’ materials to make them
naturally, while others are made.
look ‘like the real thing’, eg a soft drink can
By Stage 2, they should recognise the important formed in sponge rubber, a biscuit in plastic,
similarities and differences between the a piece of cheese in wood, a golf club in
characteristics of a range of materials. rubber. Design ways of tricking people by
At the end of Stage 3, students should investigate using an inappropriate material.
the properties and uses of a wider range of • Evaluate a classification of materials and have
natural and made materials. They should use a students develop their own way of organising
variety of materials so that comparisons can be materials of their environment.
made regarding properties such as strength,
hardness, flexibility and solubility. Special considerations
Managing learning ESL/NESB
Look at materials from other countries which
experiences students may not have seen, eg fabrics,
To develop these skills when planning and earthenware bowls, tools.
managing learning experiences, teachers could Look at machines from other countries and the
provide the following activities for students. materials from which they are made.
• Consider the knowledge Aboriginal people
have of all types of timber, eg for bark painting, Useful resources
boomerangs, digging sticks, spears, fire.
Yarwood, A et al, Design and Technology
• Classify materials according to their
Whyman, K, Structure Materials
composition, eg investigate the school
playground to develop understandings Burt, E, Natural Materials
UNICEF, Appropriate Technology
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 193
Learning safety procedures [TS28]
Introduction to make them safe for use by all. When
designing for safety, it is important to first
Attention to safety in the design process can analyse the needs and the people who will use
prevent accidents. Accidents can often be the item.
attributed to inadequate attention to safety
instructions or factors in the design process.
Many accidents could be prevented by obeying Skill development
safety instructions and anticipating problems
Students will aim at caring for equipment as
which arise from slippery floor surfaces,
well as the safety, health and well-being of
trailing wires, fragile toys and incorrectly
everyone and the environment.
positioned shelves. The likelihood of accidents
happening can be reduced by paying attention At Stage 1, students should be able to identify,
to the strength, durability, wear, balance, choose and operate appropriate classroom tools
moving parts, surface finish, combustibility with safety and to care for the equipment in
and toxicity of materials, electricity, sharp their immediate surroundings.
edges and corners, and hot surfaces. The best By Stage 2, students should be able to maintain
example of this safety in design would be the basic tools and equipment used during class
latest control box on pedestrian crossings. activities and to recognise the appropriate
The design features for safety include a variable use of tools, equipment, hardware and
sound for the blind, a pulsating arrow for the software. They should also be able to use the
deaf and blind, a robust structure, a practically technologies which are available in the school
indestructible button mechanism, a smooth environment, including basic constructional
finish with no sharp corners and a completely and design tools.
At the end of Stage 3, students should be able
Learning safety procedures should be an to identify and report unsafe conditions and
integral part of the processes and practices use basic machines and equipment safely and
undertaken in the curriculum. This includes correctly. They should also be able to improve
the activities, attitudes and organisational the efficiency of machines and be able to
aspects which are relevant to teachers and identify and select the most appropriate tool,
students in schools, in homes or the wider equipment, material, hardware or software
community. Instruction in safety procedures for a particular task.
should take two forms:
i) a formal aspect of a safety program where
regulations and procedures are emphasised. Managing learning
Individuals and group roles are identified experiences
and safety drills performed
ii)an informal and pervasive part of the To develop these skills when planning and
managing learning experiences, teachers could
processes and practices in class. This
provide the following activities for students.
includes not only safe behaviour patterns,
but also the establishment of routines in • Identify ‘high risk’ items and locations in
cleaning work areas and safely storing the classroom and in the playground.
materials, tools and equipment.
• Collect pictures of warning symbols used
Various technologies and design features have in our society. Discuss the colours used to
been incorporated in the manufacture of most warn of danger. Design safety logos which
items at home, at school and in the community
194 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
could be stuck or painted onto danger areas • Research play patterns in the school
at school. playground. Design a playground which
accommodates the identified play
• Discuss, and record pictorially, the nature
preferences of all groups, facilitates safety
of injuries that people sustain as a result of
in terms of providing unrestricted traffic
using made items, eg burning yourself on
routes to the wash area and makes use of
grassed spaces for games in which children
• Discuss layout of classroom furniture. might often fall. Trial and evaluate. Present
Identify congested areas where collisions findings at an assembly, in the library or in
are possible. Brainstorm needs and solutions some format that will reach the school
to the problem. Discuss and select criteria community.
by which to evaluate a modified layout.
• Interview a range of pupils about the type
Build a classroom model layout and evaluate
and location of playground accidents. Record
it. Trial improved use of space designed by
data on a graph. Observe the students’ play
pupils, eg model in blocks, match boxes to
practices during breaks. Design a
determine safer classroom movement.
playground, and construct a model, which
• Collect a range of examples and pictures accommodates the safety and recreation
of everyday products that pose a danger to needs of the pupils.
people. Classify these according to which
• Design an interview and then question
can cause, for example, bruises, burns,
parents and other adults regarding the
collisions, cuts, electric shocks, falls,
accident patterns which occur in, for
poisoning, skin irritation, slipping,
example, the kitchen. Determine the
suffocation, swallowing, trapping.
precise nature of the safety problem. Is it,
• Collect and investigate a range of toys for for example, a floor surface, hot surface or
safety and potentially dangerous features. a balance problem? Identify user needs
Display the toys and record observations on and then design and, if practical, make the
accompanying card, or similar. solution.
• Identify factors necessary to be kept in • Visit a park. Study the equipment to
mind when designing and display findings, determine items which put the safety of
eg surface finish, electricity, durability, young children at risk. Incorporate design
strength, sharp edges. modifications into models built from
• Publish pupils’ accounts of accidents different materials.
which have happened to them when using • Research the physical attributes of young
everyday products. Create a data bank of children. Design and make a model of a safe
brainstormed safety measures which could piece of play equipment for a park. Design
be incorporated into the designs. Draw and draw a scale model of a balcony railing
suggestions or make prototypes of some of suitable for a house where toddlers live.
• Observe the traffic outside the school.
• Design and make a container with a ‘child Observe the school bus areas, parents’
proof’ locking device that would be parking area and their practices. Observe
suitable for storing small, dangerous items. good and potentially dangerous safety
• Make a list of possible dangers associated situations. On a plan or model display
with the following examples and suggest proposed design improvements.
ways of reducing the risks. Prepare
lecturettes on students’ findings. Make use
of sketches to explain suggestions, eg roads,
trucks, bicycles, fixed playground Toft, P, Craft, Design and Technology for GCSE
equipment, chair lift, extension cord,
frayed electrical cord, skateboards,
stairs, frypans, hair dryers.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 195
Selecting appropriate [TS29]
Introduction range of technologies, teachers can assist them
to gain a greater control of their lives and be
Technology in the classroom includes, but aware that ultimate decision-making related
extends beyond, the tools and technical items to technology usage rests with each one of us.
available to students. It must be remembered It is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that
that technology also includes materials, the range of technologies and tools available
processes, products and information. As well to the students is appropriate, having regard
as being anything that you use to help you to safety and the skills to be developed by the
meet a goal, technology also involves the students. Students will appreciate that by the
application of knowledge and resources to purposeful and creative use of resources, their
make things work. Technology is precipitated task is simplified, the outcomes are enhanced
by human needs. It involves meeting those and the range of their endeavour is broadened.
needs or solving identifiable problems.
Selecting appropriate tools and technologies Skill development
not only has safety connotations but also
requires the mental process of visualising the At Stage 1, students should be able to identify
design and how the tools will be manipulated the different forms of technology in their
to produce the result. It involves consideration immediate environments and explain how
of the relationship between the task to be they help us.
completed, the tools available and the abilities
By Stage 2, they should be able to choose
and skills of the potential user.
those tools, equipment and processes suitable
Students have already had much first hand for making their designs and to use and
experience with forms of technology before store these safely and accurately so that they
they came to school. In many instances the will be readily available at a future time.
tools and technologies selected might not have
At the end of Stage 3, students should be able
been appropriate and the result obtained less
to evaluate technologies so that they can
than favourable. Selecting the appropriate
change and adapt processes and procedures
technology is important to maximise the level
when they encounter obstacles and/or seek
of success. Young children frequently make
help if necessary. They will be able to adopt
selections regarding the most appropriate form
procedures which will minimise waste and
of technology to accomplish certain goals. A
pay regard to cost, accuracy and finish.
child typically selects a clear, secure container
for pet beetle storage as opposed to an opaque,
less secure vessel. Teachers should provide Managing learning
opportunities for students to develop skills in
identifying and exploring the capabilities of experiences
technologies and using these in the classroom.
To develop these skills when planning and
In practising classroom decision-making managing learning experiences, teachers could
related to which form of technology is most provide the following activities for students.
appropriate for a task at hand, students develop
• Identify forms and purposes of pieces of
technology-related analytical skills. These will
serve them in all aspects of their lives, since equipment.
there is a pervasive spread of sophisticated • Discuss the equipment involved in an
technologies in our world today. By giving the activity and identify how it was used.
students opportunities to handle and use a
196 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Discuss the forms of equipment and how their advertisement using specific
students enhanced the product. Discuss technologies: on masonite, letters and
the skills needed to operate the forms of graphics in black on a white background,
technology. lights (powered by simple circuits)
• Explain to peers how to go about using a appearing at 10 cm intervals. Design and
form of technology to produce the best make a cost-effective game for a young
effects. child. Students list target objectives. They
explore materials which will stand up to
• Select an activity and identify forms of the handling of the target group. Use
equipment or processes which can be used community resource people to broaden
to satisfy identified needs, eg pencil and skills associated with designing and
paper were used to keep the score; a bucket making.
was used to carry the balls; label a collage
according to the technologies which • Evaluate outcomes in terms of strengths
contributed to its production and design and limitations of the technologies used.
and make mini posters to highlight safety • Analyse the technologies used to create a
precautions associated with classroom product. Survey target audiences, eg
technologies; use the equipment focused students evaluate advertisements they
on by someone else and share perceptions have designed and made. Discuss the
about how/when safety precautions were pamphlets produced with the aid of Print
taken while using the particular technology; Shop (computer software); was it cost/time-
create a data bank of forms of technology effective, did it make best use of scarce
used for making linear measurements; use resources from a conservationist’s
the equipment; share the categorised list perspective, was it eye-catching, was the
with peers and provide insight into how layout balanced? Were the materials
they can operate the equipment. selected resistant to dampness? Students
• Manipulate in order to fully control suggest more appropriate technologies for
equipment. future use. Were skill deficits apparent?
Students suggest ways of improving these
• Explore the variety of ways in which a tool so materials can be used more effectively.
or piece of equipment can be used, eg pencils Question which features of an
used on the side produce a shading effect. advertisement appealed to them/caused
Apply this knowledge gained through peer them concern. Analyse survey data to
tutoring. Teacher or a peer can model the determine if a more appropriate technology
use of an overhead projector, the basic could have been chosen or if a refinement
processes involved in using databases, word of the same process would enhance the
processing programs, video cameras. product.
• Select and use appropriate tools and
equipment, processes and resources.
• Trial the appropriateness of a selected
technology by making models. Skill UNICEF, Village Technology
deficits can be remedied by the teacher,
peers or a community resource person, eg
present the students with a design brief,
eg to advertise the forthcoming fete within
the local community. Discuss methods of
advertising: pamphlets, posters, talks at
assemblies using various aids. Students
decide on the medium of communication
which appeals to them and form groups
within these frameworks. Group members
discuss the creation and organisation of
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 197
Selecting and maintaining [TS30]
tools and equipment
Introduction Skill development
Selecting involves purpose. In order to operate At Stage 1, students should be able to select
the correct tool, the task must be considered. simple materials and tools that are appropriate
for a specific task. They should be able to
At various times throughout history, processes operate basic tools with safety, eg scissors,
for developing tools for specific tasks were stapler, camera, tape recorder. Students should
worked out, eg for cultivating soil. Selecting also be able to maintain and care for equipment
the appropriate material and shape for the in the immediate surroundings, eg chairs in
tools changed, as the different tasks and class, seating and play equipment in the
possibilities of designing improved. With the playground. They should be able to store tools
growing trend towards mechanisation, more carefully and properly to avoid damage to the
power tools and more sophisticated equipment tools and possible injury to people.
By Stage 2, students should be able to select
Most tasks prove to be simple when the most software and hardware appropriate to a
appropriate tool or equipment is selected and specific activity and explain the reason for
used. No matter how appropriate the selected their selection. They should be able to use
tool or piece of equipment might be, if its more complex tools or equipment to aid their
condition is poor the quality of the work will investigations, eg use a stopwatch, video
be equally bad. As part of skill development, camera. Students should be able to maintain
students need to be aware of the value of basic tools and equipment used during a
maintaining basic tools and equipment. This class activity, eg brushes, hot plate, magnifying
involves storing, lubricating, cleaning and, in cube, camera. The tools and equipment should
some instances, repairing. It is emphasised be kept clean and stored correctly to ensure
that attempting to repair electrical or other continued good function.
sophisticated equipment is discouraged for
safety reasons. Nevertheless, reporting on At the end of Stage 3, students should be
malfunctions or potential danger, eg frayed able to select appropriate tools, hardware,
electrical leads, is regarded as an aspect of and equipment. They should be able to select
maintenance. software and materials on the basis of what
the software and materials are supposed to
During the early years of their schooling do. Students should be able to evaluate the
when students are acquiring a degree of use of materials and equipment in order to
independence and self-sufficiency, teachers understand their function.
should encourage students to select tools and
equipment from a central distribution point,
eg teacher’s desk, cupboard, store. This Managing learning
encourages them to evaluate selected tools
with regard to size, weight, usefulness, experiences
appropriateness and whether it works or not. To develop these skills when planning and
Selecting and maintaining tools and managing learning experiences, teachers could
equipment is a process that accompanies most provide the following activities for students.
practical classroom activities and is basic to
• Select tools and equipment needed for all
all good housekeeping.
designing and making activities, eg cutting
and shaping tools for making shadow
198 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Before commencing a class project, students whether the tools and equipment need
list the tools and equipment needed. One maintenance, repair, or replacement.
student may act as stores controller. After
• Discuss the brief of an outdoor activity.
the activity, and on returning the tools and
List the tools and equipment needed for the
equipment to the stores controller, students
activity. Assess how well tools and
should evaluate whether the tools are in
equipment are organised and stored and
good condition or in need of repair.
how easily they can be located and obtained.
• Select the appropriate tools and equipment
needed for an excursion. Check to see
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 199
Evaluating chosen [TS31]
Introduction Skill development
Technology can be regarded as a creative At Stage 1, most use of technologies by
human activity. It is therefore essential that students in class is teacher-directed, however
the chosen technology brings about the students should be encouraged to evaluate
desired change through design and the whether the choice of tools, equipment and
application of knowledge. It is the software was appropriate to perform the given
responsibility of teachers and students to task. The students should be made aware of
ensure that the technology chosen will not technologies that can perform similar tasks
lead to the detriment of the individual, but achieve different results.
society or the environment. Choosing an At Stage 2, students would be expected to
appropriate technology can be as simple as
select different technologies and explore
the selection of the correct adhesive or as alternatives as part of this skills development.
complex as the particular paper milling
process. By Stage 3, students would have acquired a
variety of technological skills and should be
The successful outcome of a process can
able to evaluate a chosen skill in terms of its
sometimes be directly related to the social and environmental implications.
technology chosen. In model making, the Students should be able to choose and modify
card trimming process can be achieved by existing technologies to suit and satisfy their
using different technologies, such as scissors, immediate needs.
Stanley knives or a guillotine. Each technology
has its own specific advantage, such as cutting
internal or external curves or angles or Managing learning
trimming straight lines. The success of the
process depends on the technology selected experiences
for a specific task.
To develop these skills when planning and
There are many different ways of obtaining managing learning experiences, teachers could
similar results using different technologies. provide the following activities for students.
Similarly there are many instances where the
• Evaluate a project completed by the class.
same technology can obtain a totally different
Examine whether the success/failure was
result under a different set of circumstances.
a direct result of having used the correct or
Using the Stanley knife to cut cloth might not
incorrect technology. Suggest alternatives.
have the same result as using it to cut through
List the technologies involved from the
leather. Students are encouraged to access,
planning stage to the final product.
organise, use and evaluate information
relevant to the chosen technology. • Display and examine a range of artefacts
such as clothes pegs, bottle openers, spoons,
In evaluating the chosen technology it is
bottle tops, corks, lids, milk carton, plastic
important to consider whether the technology
cups, glasses, cooking pots etc. Identify which
selected would provide students with the
can be used for the same purpose, which can
opportunity to gain experience in identifying,
be used for more than one purpose and
selecting and using the appropriate hardware
which, during or after manufacture, can be
and to evaluate, design and use appropriate
environmentally unfriendly. Under what
software and kits.
conditions would a particular technology
not be regarded as the correct one, eg using
a plastic cup as a container for
200 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Compile cards with images of various outback of Australia, which technologies
technologies, such as a telephone, television would be introduced first and why?
set, video camera, typewriter, computer, • Students imagine they are taken back in
pencil, drawing board, eraser, paint brush, time. They suggest or adapt technologies
cloth, chalkboard duster, bicycle, motor that they would introduce, considering the
cycle, car, bus, truck, train etc. Students
resources available at that time.
respond to various briefs by choosing the
appropriate technologies. At times there
might be only one appropriate technology Useful resources
while at other times there might be several.
• If one had the task of selecting and Macaulay, D, The Way Things Work
introducing appropriate technologies for a UNICEF, Appropriate Technology and
poor, traditionally rural community in the Children
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 201
Using specific technologies
[TS32] Audio-visual technologies
[TS33] Adventure games
[TS34] Control systems
[TS36] Sound and lighting
[TS40] Video production
[TS41] Computer graphics
202 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
The syllabus recognises the need for Communication
technology education to embrace the tech-
nology of computers and communications. technology
In so doing, students will appreciate that
Communication technology is constantly
these technologies influence almost every
changing, increasing the options available to
facet of all our lives and are some of the most
communicators. The design and production
significant causes of change for people in the
of communication products involve a variety
latter half of the twentieth century.
of technological processes and equipment. All
communication products are the results of
Computer technology many decisions made by different people at
each stage of the production process.
Computer technology is in our homes, our This Key Learning Area is concerned with the
shopping centres, our schools and our technology that creates and delivers
entertainment venues. Students should be communication products. Students will be
aware of a wide range of applications of involved in creating communication products
computer technology. They should appreciate as well as using a variety of communication
that computers influence the way we travel, technology. Communication technologies
the games we play, the way we learn and include telecommunications, video,
work, what happens to us when we are ill, television, radio and print media (including
how we handle money, how we communicate magazines, billboards, leaflets). Students
and how we get information. They should should be aware of the wide variety of
recognise that the food we eat and the communication technologies that exist and
merchandise we buy have more than likely become competent users of these technologies.
been processed, packed and priced using
This Key Learning Area is concerned with
providing experiences which allow students
to understand computers by using them.
Students will be provided with opportunities
to use computers to learn new things and to
learn traditional things in new ways.
Computer education assists students to meet
new challenges and to make appropriate
decisions concerning the use of computers
now and in the future.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 203
Audio-visual technologies [TS32]
Introduction Students need to develop skills in evaluating
the appropriateness of a technique to the task.
Audio-visual technologies involve creating
and reading messages using sound (audio) Skill development
and pictures (visuals), either separately or in
combination. At Stage 1, as students may use simple, single-
medium forms such as taking photographs,
Students interact with a vast range of
recording sounds or voices, or creating simple
information sources every day. These range
combinations, eg captioned pictures.
from simple visual images and sounds, through
more structured examples, to those involving By Stage 2, as students increase in familiarity
conventions of written language. Often school with a range of techniques and tools, they may
activities concentrate on the written language combine media to create more complex
aspects, forgetting the frequency of use and products. This may include manipulation of
effectiveness of other forms. If students are to audio-visuals to change their form, eg cropping
become fully proficient members of a photos, editing sounds, matching sounds and
technological society, they need to be able to images.
use a wide range of tools and techniques to By the end of Stage 3, students should exhibit
acquire and communicate meaning. greater proficiency that may lead to
Audio-visual technologies should be used sophisticated manipulation of processes and
by teachers for the benefit of students in equipment, and creation of new applications
motivating activity, clarifying concepts, for chosen techniques.
processes and purposes and providing
experiences or information beyond the scope
of the school or community. Managing learning
A wide range of technologies should also be experiences
used by students themselves. This may be in
Listed below is a range of strategies which
gathering and recording information,
teachers can use when planning and managing
clarifying, organising and illustrating ideas,
learning experiences that use audio-visual
and communicating their thoughts.
The range of technologies used should be as
broad as those available: overhead projectors; Stimulating Activity
still pictures in the form of photographs, slides, • Use stimulus pictures or sounds to arouse
magazine pictures, cartoons, posters etc; tape curiosity and stimulate investigation.
recordings; video and film; computer software;
• Motivate students by using and creating
diagrams; music; spoken word; CD; microfiche
personalised materials, eg reports,
and video discs, as they become part of
pamphlets, using photos of students or
photos taken by students.
Students need to have a very clear purpose in
• Extend students’ experiences by observing
using any method of gathering, organising or
activities that cannot be seen first hand, eg
presenting information. This is particularly
video material of a volcano, audio
so in using audio-visual media. Selection of
recording of a symphony orchestra.
the medium and techniques used should be
made because they fulfil particular • Provide audio-visual records of working
requirements, rather than for their own sake. models or machinery as a source of ideas for
designing and making.
204 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Gathering Information Communicating
• Record excursions or school events, eg • Use a range of images to create a powerful
using photos of places, people and events, message, eg using photomontage, photo
audio recordings of sounds of the bush or stories, sound sequences.
• Create moods or atmosphere, eg sound
• Take photos of animals, structures, plants, effects, project slides in a darkened room
physical features to enable more detailed to accompany stories/reports, continuous
observation and analysis. projection of images behind dramatised
• Record change through a sequence of images, action.
eg photos over a period of time, stop-motion • Present information to group or class, eg
or time lapse video. using OHP, slide projections.
• Make selective tape recordings of particular • Document processes, eg using comic strips,
sounds, eg warning signals, transport photo sequences.
• Use images and sounds to complement or
• Interview other people using audio or video contradict text messages, eg advertisements,
tape. posters, exploring irony.
• Explore phenomena, eg use overhead • Provide visual or aural evidence in support
projector (OHP) to investigate light and of an argument.
shadow, shape and size; dismantle a speaker
• Record live performances to share with
to observe vibrations caused by sounds.
others, eg video or photos for visual
• Record steps or stages of a process, eg performance or sporting events, audio tape
photos used to recall and summarise. for music performances.
• Make a record of work, eg products such as
puppets, posters, experiments, dramatised
activities or steps taken in investigating or
designing and making. Curriculum Development Centre, Canberra,
Organising or Illustrating Information 1980, Classroom Photography, Learning by
• Make comparisons between sets of images
or sounds, eg discriminating between NSW Dept of School Education, Photos in
sounds, identifying differences/similarities. Print
• Explore abstract concepts through annotated NSW Dept of School Education, Photo
pictures, eg strength, stability, change. Sequences
• Develop language skills using photos, sound Butler, M, Media for Kids: Print, Television,
effects or moving images to support written Film
language. Gross, Y et al, Film Animation for Schools
• Illustrate relationships, eg use OHP to
create flow charts of steps in a process or
people involved in a production.
• Provide directions for non-readers.
• Sequence events.
• Record activities to assess performance, eg
video tape a play rehearsal.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 205
Adventure games [TS33]
Introduction Adventure games are truly cross-curricular in
nature. Good adventure game software
Computerised adventure games create a provides a natural springboard for a variety of
fantasy world in the real classroom. They activities that give the students many
provide a problem-solving environment. opportunities to develop skills in logical and
Adventure games vary from being structured, deductive thinking, problem solving, decision
where there is only one correct path to follow, making and cooperating. These skills are in
through to the totally open-ended game, where addition to those relating more specifically to
there are many different paths. In all adventure the individual broad learning areas.
games there are set goals to achieve. The The effective use of adventure games requires
achievement of these goals involves the skill and planning on the part of the teacher.
students in making decisions in order to solve Software must be selected carefully and
puzzles and problems along the way. examined thoroughly to ensure the suitability
The value of adventure games lies not so of the content. Activities need to be planned but
much in the games themselves but rather in should allow for flexibility. One of the greatest
the experiences they provide and generate difficulties for most teachers is to minimise
for students. A well-chosen adventure game their intervention in the game itself. There will
provides students with a relevant context for be times when students need assistance in
the development of problem-solving skills in achieving goals set in the game and times when
an interactive learning environment. they are best left alone. Teachers must try to
limit themselves to providing help by asking
Students will be involved in many stages of
questions, encouraging students to review what
the investigation process. They will predict
they have done and what they know, using a
what might happen in the game and they will
variety of resources and thinking logically and
propose explanations and test them. Because
an adventure game can be replayed, students
will have opportunities to test new predictions
that they may have developed. Students will Skill development
use strategies and understandings to solve
problems in the game. As they become better At Stage 1, students should begin working
problem solvers, they will be able to apply with adventure games and will be developing
these strategies and understandings to solve their skills in cooperating. They should begin
different problems. The concepts introduced to develop some problem-solving skills, such
by an adventure game can motivate the student as recording their progress through the
to explore new areas of interest and study. adventure, making decisions, taking risks and
Some adventure games require students to formulating their own solutions to proble-s.
create their own adventures, thus involving By Stage 2, as students gain experience and
students in the designing and making process. develop a wider range of problem-solving
For example, some games allow students to strategies, they should begin particularising
use an adventure shell in which they set the strategies to specific instances arising within
scene themselves and define their goals. There the adventure game situation. Their writing
are also interactive story-writing programs skills should be developed as adventure games
which allow students to design and write encourage students to record their progress
stories with many different paths. These as well as to motivate them to write in different
adventure stories can be printed in book form. genres.
206 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
At the end of Stage 3, students should have • Keep an accurate record of an adventure in
progressed from the ability to use basic the form of a journal. All adventure games
thinking strategies, eg simple deductions, require students to keep notes of some
to the ability to apply sophisticated problem kind. Notes should reflect decisions made
solving skills, such as building models to and places ‘visited’ within the game.
explain how something works.
• Record movements on a map or diagram.
Have students discuss the more successful
Managing learning ways of recording their journey. Discuss
the need for accuracy and the possible
experiences consequences of errors. Relate this activity
to map-making techniques in a commercial
Listed below is a range of strategies which sense.
teachers can use when planning and managing
learning experiences. • Read ‘twist-a-plot’ stories and decide on the
path to be followed. This will ensure the
• Simulate reality by using an appropriate students understand the concept of multiple
adventure game. Some adventure games paths or options that are presented in
often include a simulation. For example, adventure games. Students should then have
the students might transform into the opportunities to use an adventure shell to
skipper of a racing yacht or become a write their own adventure or use interactive
seismologist endeavouring to predict the story-writing programs.
exact time and destruction force of an
• Discuss proposed explanations and other
specific strategies that students are using ESL/NESB/Aboriginal Students
in any part of the adventure game. Students
Some adventure games can reflect a
verbalise about proposed explanations and
multiplicity of cultural names because they
other specific strategies used so that they
allow users to put their own name into the
become aware that they are using a specific
If an adventure game reflects a Western
• Make analogies to other situations. The
consciousness, then discuss this with the
teacher’s role is important in pointing out
students rather than not using the game at all
specific strategies that the students are using
and hence, perhaps, denying the students a
to help solve a problem in the adventure
good learning experience.
game. The teacher should help the student
make an analogy to another remote situation Girls
where the same specific strategy or Adventure games with violence in them are
understanding might be used. When not attractive to girls. Violence is unacceptable
students begin making their own analogies, in adventure games for boys and girls. Some
they are on the way to becoming good games create unacceptable stereotypes for
problem solvers. males and females. Some games are aimed at
• Be stimulated to take part in a unit of work. male players, eg when the goal is to rescue the
Develop a unit of work around an adventure princess, or the player must take on a pre-
game by negotiation or incorporate an defined male role. Such games are
adventure game into a unit of work to unacceptable.
stimulate the students.
• Review what students have done and what Useful resources
they know, use a variety of resources and
think logically and laterally. Teachers CEU productions:
Adventure games... A stimulus for creative
should limit their involvement to asking
questions, providing analogies, suggesting Using Adventure Games
strategies and encouraging risk-taking, but Primary Guidelines
they should never give answers. Software Evaluations
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 207
Control systems [TS34]
Other examples of closed loop control systems
Introduction would be a microwave with a temperature
Technology is used to control many of the probe. In this case the power comes from the
electronic and mechanical machines and electrical generator of microwaves. The
devices which people in a modern society mechanism is the device used for generating
have to deal with every day. These range from the microwaves and the controller is a
toys, watches, traffic lights and microwave
ovens, through to a car wash and car
manufacturing production lines. This strategy
introduces students to some of the elementary
concepts and processes used in control. To
assist students in gaining an understanding of
these concepts and processes, they should
investigate real-life control systems and build
one of their own.
Students should understand that control
systems are made up of two systems, one of
which affects the behaviour of the other. One computer chip which records time, counts
system contains power which drives a down and receives the signal from the
mechanism (eg gravity enables the wheels on temperature probe. The feedback comes from
a billycart to move down a hill) and the other the sensor which is the temperature probe.
system called the controller governs the first Programmable toys are normally open loop
system (ie the person steering the billycart). control systems but sometimes they have a
A mechanism consists of moving parts that sensor on them that reacts when the toy hits
perform some function, eg the arms moving an object and this sensor sends a signal to the
on a toy drummer. Power is the energy that it controller to adjust its course. So in this case
gives to the mechanism, eg the motor driving the feedback is provided or initiated by the
the arms to move. Control is the governing of sensor.
the power, eg the cam in a toy drummer An open loop system has no feedback and is
which controls how the arms will move. not fully automatic. A washing machine, a
There are two types of control: open loop microwave without a temperature probe and
control (or feed forward) and closed loop (or a light that switches on at a certain time are
feedback) control. all examples of open loop systems. These
machines run through their programs without
A closed loop control system uses some sort any variation and then stop. There is no
of feedback to control it. In the illustration feedback to the controller to change the course
the controller (the girl) is controlling the that the machine is going through. For
mechanism (toy car) that is powered by example, a microwave will continue to cook
batteries. The feedback in this case is something for as long as it has been timed
provided by the girl’s eyes which constantly even though the food may be cooked. However
compare the actual state (position, course, this microwave would be a closed loop system
speed) with the desired state (the place to if a temperature probe was attached to the
which she wants the car to go). She will food to send feedback to the controller
control the car according to the feedback she indicating when the food is cooked.
208 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Skill development • Learn about control technology and control
systems by building and experimenting
By the end of Stage 1, students should be able with different projects. Students design
to manoeuvre floor robots. They should be and build their own projects which can be
able to move the robot around obstacles and controlled, eg a robot, traffic system, a
through a simple maze. Students should be floor buggy. Construction kits such as Lego
able to understand what makes certain toys Technics, Fischertechnics and Capsella
move, eg sound, winding mechanism, batteries supply a good range of sophisticated
etc. components, eg motors and gears. If
By Stage 2, students should experience students are familiar with using wood,
working with simple motors to power models plastics and sheet metal this could be a less
that they have made from construction sets expensive alternative. A floor buggy would
(including Lego Technics, Fischertechnics, be a simple robot device to design, build
etc) or other building materials. Students and control. The buggy is linked to a
should begin to look at everyday objects, eg computer by a cable through which the
traffic lights, washing machines, elevators, motors receive their instructions and power.
etc and discuss the sensors that are controlling The buggy could have sensors on it so that
them, eg pushing the button (sensor) at the when it bumps into obstacles, signals are
traffic lights causes the lights to change. sent back to the controller to change the
By Stage 3, students should have an direction of the buggy.
opportunity to work with sophisticated • Visit a factory or workshop where machines
components, such as motors and gears, to in use are controlled in some way. Students
construct models and use computers to control could observe machines at a factory, car
them. They should be able to discuss the wash etc and seek the controlling device and
different parts of a control system (mechanism, the different sensors used to send messages
power source and controller). back to the controller.
• Create a database on controlled systems. The
Managing learning fields for the database could include open or
experiences closed loop, power, mechanism, controller,
sensors, special features such as safety,
Listed below is a range of strategies which efficiency, reliability etc.
teachers can use when planning and managing
learning experiences. • List the control systems in which computers
are used, eg traffic lights, printers, disk drives
• Students use their senses as sensors. Students etc.
participate in activities that demonstrate that
their senses act like sensors. When controlling
a remote control toy, students use their sight
as a sensor to give feedback to their brain Heinz Kurth, Robots
which determines the desired place to which Richard Pawson, The Robot Book
the toy should move. Students could be Lego Technics, Fischertechnics, Capsella
blindfolded and then asked to pick up a construction kits
particular object. They would use their nerves
as sensors to give feedback to their brain
about position, shape and size of the object
that they were asked to pick up.
• Investigate how traffic lights work. Students
could observe the traffic lights at an
intersection and discuss the sensors and the
controller that are part of the traffic system.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 209
Introduction to mailbox and by accessing electronic
bulletin boards. By placing one message on
Telecommunication systems allow signals to a bulletin board, any user can read and
be transmitted and received over long respond to the message. In this way, a group
distances. They exist because people have a of students can request information from
need to communicate with each other. To their peers without necessarily knowing
communicate there must be a message, the beforehand to whom they are addressing
need to send that message, a means by which their request. Information can come from
the message is transmitted, a medium through any user who reads the message on the
which the message is carried and a means by board.
which the message is received and decoded. Using the bulletin board allows students to
Great advances have been made in collect information as a prelude to an
telecommunications technology over the past investigation. For example, students who have
decade. Australia, by virtue of its large internal an investigation in mind, such as how people
distances and relative isolation from the rest spend their leisure time, could specifically
of the world is, by necessity, at the forefront of post a notice on a bulletin board requesting
telecommunications technology. Australia has this information, thus collecting information
several domestic satellites that service both from a wider audience (including students
Australia and the near Pacific countries. The from interstate and overseas).
telephone network in Australia is one of the
largest in the world and Australia has the
world’s largest optical fibre communications Skill development
At Stage 1, students should understand that
An example of telecommunications there is a need for appropriate tele-
technology which is used extensively in communications systems and that people use
schools is an Electronic Information Service. these systems to send and receive messages
This involves sending of information over distances. They will begin to understand
between one computer and another, often by aspects of electronic communications such as
way of telephone lines. In this way, schools speed of delivery, time and distance.
can use the computer in their school and
By the end of Stage 2, students should begin
their telephone line to send information
to understand that one type of electronic
quickly and efficiently to each other. They
information service is a mail system that can
can also gain access to very large amounts of
store and retrieve information (eg their letters).
information stored on remote mainframe
computers. Schools can use any computer, By Stage 3, students should develop an
communications software, a modem and a understanding that people in our technol-
telephone line to access this data. ogical community rely on effective
telecommunications systems. They should
There are many electronic information
understand that Australia needs an effective
services available in Australia, including
telecommunications network because of its
electronic mail, electronic bulletin boards
size and relative isolation. They should be
and online databases. The electronic
able to use a range of telecommunications
information service used by many schools in
technologies for specific purposes, eg using a
NSW is called Keylink.
bulletin board from an electronic information
Keylink allows users to communicate to service as an avenue for reaching a wide and
other students in two ways: from mailbox previously unknown audience.
210 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Managing learning – Students set up a class mail box and write
and post letters to their classmates.
– Students could visit the post office and
Listed below is a range of strategies which investigate private post boxes as being a
teachers can use when planning and managing good analogy with the Keylink mail
learning experiences. box. The address on the letter is like the
username, the key to open the mail box
General is like the password. The post office
• Explore the purposes of communication. itself can be compared to the storage of
information on a mainframe computer.
• Conduct a survey to find out how many
students have relatives interstate or • Develop reading, writing and publishing
overseas. Find out how and why they skills whilst communicating with a large
• Discuss the need to send emergency Students use an electronic mail service
messages, what people use to call the (Keylink) to communicate. When students
emergency services and how they are used. write, their audience is usually limited to
• Visit an emergency service establishment. their classmates or perhaps their
schoolmates, however, electronic mail
Observe the operation of the
offers a far wider audience — that of all
registered users. Access to this large
• Role play an emergency situation where audience is possible without leaving the
students make the calls, receive the message classroom.
and contact the appropriate emergency
• Collect information from a wide audience
in order to carry out an investigation.
• Make a device that will send messages in
code such as a morse code telegraph. Students may have an investigation in mind,
eg what hobbies do people have. They could
• Explore and experiment with sending specifically post a notice on a bulletin board
messages to a person in another room and to to collect information about this.
other places around the school.
• Send and receive responses instantaneously.
• Set up ‘relay stations’ so that the messages
Electronic communication is very fast.
can be sent around corners or up stairs.
What is the role of the relay station? Using more traditional forms of
communication such as the postal service,
• Research the history of telecommunications students must wait a considerable amount
and the various technologies that have of time for a response to their letter. The
been used. Create a database of the main time needed to complete a project involving
discoveries in telecommunications. postal communication must, therefore, be
Electronic Information Services quite lengthy. This often means that
enthusiasm is lost by the time the response
• Develop students’ understanding of has been received. Using electronic
electronic communications by using off- communication, responses can be sent and
computer activities. received instantaneously.
– Students could use a fuzzy felt board and • Use an electronic bulletin board as a wire
cut-outs of a modem, micro computer, service in order to simulate the publication
mainframe computer, satellite and cables of a commercial newspaper.
etc. Students create different scenarios of
sending information electronically, eg Primary students prepare articles for their
two computers with two modems where school newspaper, using word processing
the two modems are hooked together packages on their computers. On a
and one is put into answer mode and one predetermined day they select two or three
put into send mode. articles which would be of interest to a
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 211
wider audience and send these to the bulletin • provides ‘visible’ language/communication
board. Any school can then read the articles for the deaf: they can have experiences with
on the board and select items to include in natural language patterns, including
their own school newspapers. The paper is colloquial language, as they communicate
then published and distributed around the with people from a wide range of locations
school and to other schools whose news has
• gives students who are ‘reading/writing
been used, eg Newsday.
reluctant’ reasons to write and read. The
• Survey the school and the local community motivation and ownership is high because
to determine who has a FAX machine the purpose and contents relate to their
and who uses them. Locate public FAX needs
machines and investigate how they operate.
• allows students to participate in Deaf
Radio Services Awareness Week (DAW), which is a bulletin
board set up during this week for people to
• Investigate Citizens’ Band (CB) radios, who
communicate their ideas, thoughts etc,
uses them, why they use them and how far
while developing their computer
they can transmit and receive messages.
• Locate and question any HAM radio
• complements other modes of
operators about the HAM network and
communications such as letters, disks,
possibly establish links with international
HAM operators and students in other
countries. • allows participation in National Aborigines
Week, which is a bulletin board set up
during the week which celebrates NAW.
Special considerations This board gives Aboriginal students
opportunities to communicate across
NESB/Aboriginal Students Australia to one another. It gives Aboriginal
When using an electronic information service students an opportunity to present their
students will: culture and ideas to all.
• communicate with people in a variety of
• write for a wider audience
• have a real purpose for writing, eg swapping
recipes, making a newspaper, making and
• have opportunities to further enhance their
self-esteem and promote a positive image,
especially in their ethnic identity, through
such bulletin board projects as The Festival
Using electronic information services:
• allows the physically disabled to ‘explore’
and interact with their environment, eg
using remote electronic databases that
allow them to do their shopping, banking
etc, enabling them to function more easily
212 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Sound and lighting [TS36]
Introduction Discuss how sounds enhance the overall
ﬁlm effect. How do the sounds help build
Sound and lighting play important roles in up the story, add atmosphere, mood and
many forms of presentation. Often the character?
emphasis is on one element in isolation, eg • Discuss which sounds are natural and which
sound in radio/audio presentations, gathering sounds are added effects. Categorise those
information on tape or to accompany singing created using electronics, natural sounds,
or musical items, lighting in still photography, human voices etc.
for mime performances or in silent films/
• Collect a range of sounds from home and
video. Just as frequently we use a combination
school using cassette recorder and
of sound and lighting to create desired effect:
microphone. Listen to sound effects records/
as in live performances, film and video
tapes. Identify the sounds.
production, or computer presentations.
• Listen to an electronic keyboard’s sound
Sound helps to create atmosphere and effects, a music computer or a sampling
heightens dramatic action. Through the use keyboard. Identify the sounds being re-
of skilled lighting practices, moods, created. Compare with recordings of the
atmospheres and characters may be altered or actual sound. Suggest advantages and
strengthened as required. disadvantages of synthesised sounds.
For each application, particular techniques • Investigate the effects that can be created
may be used. However the strategies listed can using musical instruments.
be applied equally to many of the suggested • Investigate how many useful sound effects
situations. It is important to remember that students can create using their voices.
while the two elements are treated separately,
• Experiment making noises with every day
they are often used in combination and have
a degree of effect on each other. objects, eg cellophane screwed up in the
palm of your hand sounds like a ﬁre
crackling. Sound effects studios have trays
Skill development of sand, water and twigs used to create
At Stage 1, students may begin identifying sound effects after the pictures have been
simple effects of sounds and lighting (including shot (eg a person walking on a particular
colour) in creating moods and feelings. type of surface).
By Stage 3, students should be able to • Collect a number of items from a ‘Sound
manipulate equipment and other resources Effects Kit’.
to create both sound and lighting effects • Catalogue sound effects collected from a
appropriate to a range of situations. variety of sources using an index system or
Managing learning • Investigate natural environmental sound
distortions, including wind, echo and
Sound • Investigate ways of manipulating or
interfering with recorded sounds, eg
• View a short dramatic film or video sequence
experimenting with bass and treble
without any sound. Watch the same
controls, speed controls, reverb and echo
sequence again with the sound turned on.
units, sampling keyboards. Suggest ways
these effects may be used.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 213
• Select a scene from a film or video. Compose • Record a series of brief sequences that use
a short sound effects sequence to be lighting to create given moods and
performed to the image as it is viewed. atmospheres, eg create a feeling of
• Try using inappropriate sounds with loneliness, horror, celebration, early
particular actions. Discuss the effect. morning, mystery etc. Students may work
as members of a small group or video unit.
• Listen to the music from a film sound
track or piece of orchestral music. • Experiment with placing plastics, fabrics
and other materials in front of a light source.
• Identify and explore the use of specialised
Observe how this changes the light. Coloured
sound recording equipment, eg ‘boom poles’
plastic sheets placed in front of a light
(long rods with the microphone attached to
source are called ‘gels’.
the end used for recording sound so that the
microphone can’t be seen), headphones. • Evaluate which particular video exercises
worked the best and why. Suggest ways
• Explore the differences between
the film exercises may be improved. Add
microphones, eg directional, omni-
suggestions to the resource book.
directional, and radio microphones.
• When preparing film or video scripts, plan
• Identify any background noise that might
how the production should be lit. Consider
interfere with recording your soundtrack,
natural, as well as artificial, lighting,
eg planes, cars.
positioning of light sources, use of gels or
• Visit a film/sound studio. filters.
• Invite a sound engineer or Foley artist • Investigate how lights can be best hidden
(someone who creates sound to be added from view (on stage or when shooting film/
to films or video after they’ve been shot) to video). Cords must also be hidden.
visit your school.
• Get to know the lighting requirements of
• Produce a radio play. cameras and film used, eg cameras requiring
Lighting a large amount of light because of low film
speed, variation between video camera use
• Explore the effect of various lighting
inside and outdoors.
positions on a person’s face or whole body
or on a group of people. Positions may • Investigate the requirements of different
include lighting from the rear/back, side, film type. (Film distributors will supply
above, below. information sheets.)
• Explore the effect of different types of • Complete a non-dialogue film which relies
light source, eg reﬂected light (using white heavily on light to tell its story.
card or mirrors), candle light, torch light, • Learn how to use a light meter.
ﬂuorescent tubes, lamp light, moving light • Invite a ‘lighting person’ to visit the class.
sources. • Discuss the special lighting problems that
• Compile a lighting resource book where may exist in outer space, under the water,
students draw/record the effect that in caves, in moving vehicles etc.
different techniques have on the ‘look’ of • Investigate the use of ‘shadow’ in film.
the subject. Use brief descriptions to record
the way each technique creates mood, Useful resources
tension, atmosphere, eg back lighting can
A cassette player or reel-to-reel recorder.
create mystery by silhouetting a character or
Microphones (with windsocks if possible). ‘Red
be used to disguise models, low front lighting
head’ lighting kit
can be used to create a horror effect.
Sound effects records/tapes (for use as
• Explore how light can be used to change the example)
look of a scene or character.
Film Data sheets are available free from the head
• Examine photographs and how light is used offices of Kodak, Fuji (Hanimex) and Agfa
to create particular moods and effects.
Australian Film, Television and Radio School,
• Examine films that use lighting for strong Teaching Resources Catalogue
dramatic effect. Most television and film
studios try to use natural-looking lighting.
Compare this with the use of light in horror
sequences, advertisements etc.
214 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Introduction As a classroom activity, animation is
immediately accessible to all students once
Animating people, objects and images involves the basic principles are understood. The
making them move or seem to move. This materials required for many varieties of
relies on ‘persistence of vision’, the ability of animation are readily available in any
the eye to retain an image for a fraction of a classroom and simple film/video or computer
second. A sequence of slightly different images equipment is all that is needed for more
appears without interruption if projected at a elaborate projects. Because animation relies
speed of more than approximately ten per on thorough preproduction planning, there
second. should be little need for editing.
As the basis of all moving pictures, animation Students have the opportunity to work in a
can be used to demonstrate how movement is highly motivated, creative and cooperative
recorded on film and video. Movies comprise class situation, where they develop skills in
a series of ‘captured moments’ or still pictures organisation, sequencing ideas and events,
(24 or 25 frames per second) projected at a patience and working with others.
speed that makes it impossible for the eye to Animated film-making has an enormous range
discern each image. An illusion of smooth, of applications. Films/videos can be made
continuous movement is created. (Some 8mm relating to work being done in any learning
film is projected at 18 frames per second.) area or activity. It is a particularly useful
Although the computer is a different method of students recording or demonstrating
medium to film, computer animators use change over time, movement or a sequence of
the same techniques of breaking a movement events.
down into separate poses, each one like a
still photograph. Computer animation is
different to film animation in some ways. It Skill development
is fast, and the ability to save and replay
Beginning with simple optical ‘toys’ or devices,
what has been animated makes editing
students can explore persistence of vision,
easier. Many of the titles, station
how pictures appear to move and the variations
identifications, music videos and
needed in each image.
commercials seen on television have been
created using computerised animation The simplest forms of animation include stop
systems. Some animators draw by hand their motion, pixillation and the use of 3D objects
characters and then use computer technology or single-piece cutouts.
for highlighting as well as for registering As skills develop these techniques can be
the position and movement of the character. employed with greater sophistication. More
Refer to the strategy on Computer Generated complex techniques, such as jointed cutouts,
Graphics for specific information on using progressive drawings and cell animation, can
computer graphics. also be developed.
The intrinsic fascination of animated images
lies in the ability to make the impossible
happen. Students’ ideas, experiences, toys,
artwork can be brought to life and shared.
There is almost no limit to the creative
possibilities available to even the youngest of
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 215
Managing learning by shooting the projected image in real time
(as objects are moved out of shot) or frame
experiences by frame.
Listed below is a range of strategies which Progressive drawings — pictures drawn
teachers can use when planning and managing by adding a line or stroke between each 2/
learning experiences. 3 frames shot. Pens, pencils, paints, chalk
and a variety of other media produce easy
Animation Without a Camera and effective results.
• Make simple devices to explore persistence
Time lapse or stop motion — condensing
of vision, eg thaumotropes or rolled paper
hours of action into seconds of film/video
by shooting only a small amount of action
• Use or make optical toys, eg at given periods, eg to record the growth of
phenakistoscopes — large discs containing a seedling, building a house, the setting
a cycle of images, rotated and viewed in a sun. The camera is set in a fixed position,
mirror; flip books — a series of pictures eg on a tripod, and a few frames are shot
quickly flipped to simulate movement; each hour, every ten minutes, daily or as
zoetropes — a cycle of images attached to appropriate. On playback the change or
a rotating cylinder and viewed through a movement is accelerated.
series of slits between each image. 3D objects — toys, blocks, buttons, pencils,
• Identify the differences between each frame string and other everyday objects can be
of 35mm or 16mm film, eg examine pieces animated to do anything students can
or project on OHP, act out the movement/ imagine. Each figure or object is moved
changes. slightly between shots.
• Draw or scratch on 16mm film. Bleach used Modelling materials — any materials that
film to remove emulsion and use OHP pens are easily moulded bit by bit make excellent
to create sequences of images. Scratch and available subjects. Characters can be
patterns into the emulsion of used or black built up, made to change shape, move etc.
film, then colour. Screen using a 16mm
Pixillation — real people, animated to do
the impossible, create interesting effects.
Animation Using Film or Video Climb stairs without moving your feet,
travel the playground sitting down, pop
• Visit animation studios or artists.
in and out of the picture etc. Between each
• View a variety of animation films/videos shot the subject moves to a new position.
using different techniques, eg Captain Both camera and subject are still when the
Pugwash stories use cutouts, The Red and image is recorded.
the Blue uses animated plasticine. Identify
Cell drawings — individual drawings, each
the ways techniques are used, any special
effects etc. slightly different, are shot in sequence. If
using transparent cells, several layers can
• Explore a wide range of animation be employed, eg for backgrounds, character
techniques and combinations of different outlines, facial features. The cells need to
styles. be ‘registered’ to ensure they are each shot
Cut outs — 2D objects drawn, decorated in the same position.
and cut out. Sections such as limbs can be • Explore different types of animated
hinged at the joints to enable movement. movement, eg changes made to the actual
Various materials can be used to create object/picture, changes in their position.
different textures and effects.
• Test ideas for film/video/computer
Overhead projections — either coloured animation by trialling sequences using
transparencies or opaque objects used to flipbooks or other simple devices.
create silhouettes. Animation is achieved
216 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Examine commercial cartoon characters and • Plan an animated story using similar
identify how they are drawn. Generally they procedures to other video/film production,
are simple enough to be drawn many times, eg storyboard, shooting script. Details of
eg study a drawing of ‘Mickey Mouse’ and each moving character need to be recorded.
note how his head is composed of easily • Add a sound track incorporating voice-over
narration, sound effects, music and even
• Divide the class into ‘art teams’, each character dialogue. In animated films, sound
responsible for one aspect/character of a for any spoken dialogue must be recorded
more elaborate class production. This may first and then mouth movements animated
include creating and controlling a character to match the appropriate length of time.
during shooting. • Research the history of film animation.
• Practise the movements of subjects (real or
models) before the shoot, rehearsing both
where and how far to move with each shot. Useful resources
• Create cycles of movements for often Halas, J et al, The Technique of Film
repeated actions, eg walking legs, waving. Animation
• Experiment by varying the number of shots Focal Press, Shooting Animation
used, to change the speed of action. The
greater the number of moves between two Wilson, S et al, Puppets and People
points, the slower the movement appears. Da Silvy, R, The World of Animation
• Compare shooting the same sequence on Solomon, C, The Complete Kodak
film and video. Identify the disadvantages Animation Book
and advantages of each.
Laybourne, K, The Animation Book
• Use different backgrounds to create desired
Australian Film, Television and Radio School,
moods, stories etc. Experiment with moving
Teaching Resources Catalogue
the background while keeping the characters
still. Video camera, tripod, copy stand lights,
monitors, video recorder, Super-8 camera, copy
stand, Super-8 and 16mm projectors, screen.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 217
Introduction Techniques for critical appraisal appropriate
to primary students include:
Student publishing activities should include • annotating sketches and photographs, and
both studying and making publications.
• filling in sheets with columns in which
By studying publications, students can students record their observations (either
investigate: visually or verbally) in one column, make
• the variety of publications and their judgements about these observations in
purposes (eg picture books, novels, the next and explain and support these
magazines, newspapers, manuals, judgements in a third column.
textbooks, brochures) The work that students do in planning,
• how publications are developed for different observing, discussing, recording and appraising
audiences (eg appropriate content, reading will generate material that will allow students
level, visual style) to engage in purposeful publishing activities.
These publishing activities require students
• the techniques and technologies that are
used in publications (eg photojournalism,
fashion photography, factual reporting, • their intended audience
commentary, word processing, typesetting, • how they wish to address this audience (eg
illustration, computer generation and to persuade, inform, amuse, entertain)
transfer of material, printing and binding)
• criteria for selecting appropriate material
• who makes publications (including for the publishing activity
production, marketing and distribution) and
why they do it. • how they will use this material to produce
a print media product for a particular
By designing and making publications, audience (eg a school newspaper, a class
students learn ways to record, develop and book or a poster).
share their observations, ideas, beliefs and
feelings. For example, to record their For some publishing activities handwriting
perceptions of the world, students may need and drawing will be appropriate, but others
to engage in discussion, planning, drawing, will require or benefit from more sophisticated
interviewing, making annotated sketches, production which could include the use of
keeping diaries and taking photographs. photographs and typed material and the
Focus questions at an appropriate level for assembling of many materials into a layout.
the students can be particularly useful for
students to clarify the ways they record their Computer technologies can be useful in
observations. publishing activities, particularly when more
While engaging in the processes of making sophisticated production is required. At the
these personal records, students will begin to simplest level, text, including titles and
develop judgements about those things they captions, can be developed on a word processor,
are observing. These interpretations can form This not only allows students to revise their
the basis of a critical appraisal whereby writing as they proceed from recording to
students give their opinions about the things appraising and then to using this material to
they are viewing, justify these opinions in develop a publication, it also allows them to
their own words and decide whether they adjust the way this text is presented (eg
need to undertake further investigations. changing the width of the text so that it can
218 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
be pasted onto a sheet in more than one manipulate text into an appropriate format
column, or so that images can be incorporated for a publication (eg use of bold, italic and
with the text). More specialised computer underline; sizes for text, captions and
software can allow students to assemble a headings; appropriate width of text for
greater part of their publication on a computer intended publication).
(eg combining text in multiple columns with
computer graphics—preferably graphics Stage 3
produced by the students—and possibly Students should be able to predict and/or
incorporating students’ illustrations and select the elements that will make a
photographs through scanning and digitising). publication suit a particular audience.
If appropriate desktop publishing software is Students should be able to select appropriate
available to students, it will allow them to computer software to process words and
more easily investigate alternatives in layout images for a publication.
and to continue to process text during the
Skill development experiences
Stage 1 Although in publishing activities students
should engage in exploring, preparing,
Students should recognise that there are many
recording, interpreting and communicating,
types of publications and these are often
many of these processes will occur
produced for different audiences. They should
concurrently. Managing learning experiences
also realise that publications are prepared by
in publishing activities requires teachers to
assembling many elements (words, images,
be aware of the different elements that are
graphics, paper, inks, binding and covering
required and ensuring that each of these
elements is present. Publishing activities will
Students should be able to combine images be most valuable to students when they are
and text to communicate ideas. directed at allowing students to represent
Students should be able to use a simple word and communicate their world of experiences,
processor to enter and edit text. beliefs and understandings.
Students should recognise how publications
are made to suit different audiences (eg Adams, E and Ward, C, Art and the Built
content, visual and verbal style, marketing). Environment
Students should be able to use computer
software both to write and edit text and to
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 219
Introduction school has a database on Australian birds and
a student requires information about birds
A database is a collection of information which that eat meat and are found along the eastern
is related and which can be organised and coast of Australia, a database containing this
manipulated. information would quickly yield a list of birds
meeting the criteria.
The information in databases is organised in
a particular way. Records are a collection of
information related to a person, object or Skill development
animal. Each record is divided into fields
which contain particular information about At Stage 1, students begin to learn that
that person, object or animal. The content of databases, like books and matrices, are a
each field is data. means of storing information. Students need
A recipe file, a telephone directory and a to develop specific skills that relate to the
library catalogue are databases. It does not retrieval of material stored in this way.
matter if the data are stored on cards, in a book By Stage 2, students would be able to add data
or as a computer file: the concept remains the to a teacher prepared database and begin to
same. understand terms such as ‘field’, ‘data’, ‘record’
When using the example of the telephone and ‘sort’. They will begin to select and sort
directory, the information about each person data according to a single criterion search, eg
is the record. Each record is divided into the what do kookaburras eat? At this stage they
fields of surname, initials, address, and phone will be able to design a simple search strategy
number, eg for a specific purpose. They will be able to
RECORD By Stage 3, students should be encouraged to
design databases and design a search strategy
JONES E S 12 SNOW ST BIRDSVILLE 268209
based on at least two criteria, eg birds that eat
meat and live on the east coast of Australia.
They should have opportunities to interact
with a remote/online database. Students
FIELDS should be encouraged to question the accuracy
of data. Advanced students will use databases
When students are investigating databases to test proposed explanations, eg all birds eat
they will be provided with many opportunities meat. They should interpret graphs that have
to develop these skills. been generated by a database.
Students will be engaged in the process of
designing and making when they are
constructing a database. They will need to
make decisions about the most appropriate experiences
field names, about consistency of data and
exactly what data go into the database. Listed below is a range of strategies which
teachers can use when planning and
By computerising databases, more information managing learning experiences.
can be stored and it can be handled more
quickly. Also the user can manipulate the • Sort data into fields and use data to form
data in more ways. For example, assuming a hypotheses.
220 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
• Design personal profile cards on cardboard • Students prepare a text-based response to
and make decisions about the fields that their questions. A prompt sheet might be
need to be included in each profile card helpful, eg:
(record), eg name, sex, hair colour, favourite Our question was…
We thought the answer might be…
• Read profile cards and discuss the
information to decide to whom the card We tested our guess by…
belongs. and we found that…
• Form and test hypotheses using the data, • Use a prepared database as a research tool,
eg all students with blond hair have blue eg students use prepared databases such as
eyes. The Solar System, Weather Patterns,
• Demonstrate the function of a computerised Volcanoes, Census Information, to gain
database file and the need for consistency access to an extra resource for their units of
when entering data. work or own topics of interest.
• Demonstrate a prepared database to • Prepare activities for students that involve
students so that they are aware of what a them in interrogating those databases to
computerised database looks like, eg The gather data.
Solar System, Australian Lizards Database.
• Use a database program to prepare a blank Useful resources
record card using the fields suggested by the
students (name, sex, age etc). Databases CEU, Finding Out
• Discuss the need for consistency when CEU, Using Educational Databases
determining the rules for data entry. The
DISCussion CEU, Information
computer is unable to interpret the students’
Handling…Skills for a New Age
meaning. Students must say exactly what
they mean, eg some students’ entries in the
field of sex may vary from female, girl,
w, f, g etc, so that when a search is made for
female, the computer will only find those
entries which actually say the word female
when, in fact, the student requires the
other entries as well.
• Students record their own information into
the blank database record.
• Sort and search the records in the database,
eg age equals seven and hair equals brown.
If there is a paper copy of the information,
demonstrate the speed of sorting by having
a race against the computer.
• Use a database to write a report.
• Prepare a set of questions that could be
answered from their personal profile
database such as ‘How many girls have
brown hair and brown eyes?’
• Students estimate the answer to each
question then check their estimate against
a database search.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 221
Video production [TS40]
Introduction have a working knowledge of the function of
equipment and the skills of designing, making
Film or video production can take many and selecting images, sounds and language.
forms and be used for many purposes, eg
making advertisements to sell a product or
idea, recording events, aiding observations, Managing learning
expressing ideas, entertaining people, experiences
Listed below is a range of strategies which
Throughout production activities students
teachers can use when planning and managing
will gain skills in organising images, sound
and language. This involves making decisions
about what to include in their images, how Story, Scripting and Planning
pictures and sounds can be created and how • Explore a wide variety of program types,
these relate to selected forms and conventions from advertisements, music clips, or news
of language. to suspense thrillers, comedy or animation.
All activities rely on investigating the methods All involve similar basic processes, with
of creating images and sounds, and on a firm variation in speciﬁc applications of
knowledge of the capabilities and limitations techniques.
of equipment and software. • Prepare a plan, treatment or description of
A good source of ideas to motivate and inform ideas.
students is their own observation of and • Collect a variety of video/TV/film scripts
interaction with mass media products, from and explore their features, eg directions
cartoons and ads to news and drama. Each written in, information regarding sound
type of program is characterised by a range of effects, voice tone etc.
techniques which can be used as a stimulus
and model for students’ own work. • Develop a script that includes dialogue (if
needed), details of setting and action.
Video or film production involves the
combination of several crucial aspects, eg • Create a storyboard to organise the pictures
story or ideas, camera and sound techniques, and how they ﬁt the script. Use simple
props, setting and costumes, planning and drawings (even stick figures) to indicate the
editing. size, angle and content of the shot planned.
• Match dialogue and any sound effects or
music to the pictures and write details
Skill development alongside.
At Stage 1, students should investigate and • Ensure that sound requirements are planned
create ‘still’ pictures, selecting their content as carefully as the script and pictures.
and exploring the effects of colour, texture,
• Encourage students to try out a range of
arrangement of people etc. Early use of video,
techniques before making too many
with teacher assistance and direction, enables
familiarisation with equipment, safety rules
and maintenance. • Have students shoot some ideas and play
them back, trying to be critical in order to
By Stage 3, students should be able to
discover what ‘works’ to achieve the effect
participate in a group production, undertaking
a variety of different roles in the process and
222 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Camera Features and Techniques • Explore, by observing video products and
• Students should make the video or ﬁlm experimenting with framing devices, how
productions short, maintaining the interest objects and people can be made to look
of both producers and audiences. taller or smaller.
• Students should familiarise themselves • Identify low angles (used to make people or
with the camera features and operations, things look taller and menacing!), high angle
eg set up a video camera, with a monitor, in (for the reverse), shots taken from the side
the classroom and have pairs of students and the back, as well as from the front, and
explore and experiment with the camera explore their effect.
during other class activities. This also • Watch videos of different types and identify
provides opportunities for students to the camera movements, angle and shot sizes
become used to seeing themselves on screen. used, eg mystery or thriller will use longer,
• Use the focus to avoid fuzzy images when slower shots to build up suspense; a music
zooming. Automatic focus should be clip might have lots of fast, zappy images
avoided, if possible, as it takes a taken from all sorts of unusual positions or
disconcerting few seconds to respond to a angles.
change in framing. • Complete short exercises in creating a
• Introduce standard shot sizes, ie close up required mood using various camera
(cu), mid shot (ms), long shot (ls), very long techniques.
shot (vls), and ﬁnd examples in magazines Sound Techniques
(Refer to Teaching Strategy on Sound and
• Investigate the amount and type of Lighting)
information in pictures of different shot
size or framing, eg a close up (cu) gives you • Listen to video programs and identify the
facial expression and detail. To ‘set the sounds used, in addition to dialogue and
scene’ longer shots (ls or vls) are needed to music.
provide background and information about • Suggest places where sound effects could be
the setting. used to add to the production.
• Explore the effect of changing the shot size • Explore ways of creating or obtaining
or creating differently framed images, eg sound effects, eg recording real sounds,
using simple framing devices or the zoom using sound effects tapes/records, creating
ring on the camera. the effects using instruments or everyday
• Explore the use of the zoom and encourage objects.
practice of slow, smooth movement. • Refer to instructions to find out how the
• Explore ways of moving from one shot to microphone system works and practise
another, eg the zoom allows you to move using it properly.
from one shot size to another but overuse is • Explore the features of sound recording
irritating and slows down the action. A cut software, eg video tapes have two sound
between shots gives you more control over tracks—one for dialogue and sound
the pace of the video as well as being easier recorded at the same time as the pictures,
to watch. another used to add special effects or
• Investigate the ways the camera can be music after editing the images.
moved, eg hand-held, on a tripod or stand. • Listen to different types of music and explore
• Demonstrate panning (moving the camera the ways they are used to create atmosphere,
from side to side) and tilting (moving up and build tension etc.
down). • Select pieces of music to complement the
• Discover the most pleasing ways of effecting action of the ﬁlm/video.
camera movements, eg slowly and smoothly. • Investigate the legalities of using recorded
music and consider this in students’ choices.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 223
Props, Costumes, Sets Editing
• Explore how editing can be used to get rid of
• Observe how props and settings are used any mistakes or alter the pace or tension of
to create different characters or images of the plot, eg count the number of ‘cuts’ in a
people, places and events, eg laboratory film or video program and compare different
setting, people in white coats, test tubes types of program. (A lot of short shots gives a
etc, all convey a sense of objectivity, sense of fast-paced action. Lengthy shots,
credibility etc. where the camera moves around in a scene,
• Decide on the sets, costumes and props that slow things down and build up tension.)
are appropriate for the desired effect and • Ensure students are proficient in the use of
collect or create them using appropriate editing systems, eg VCR to VCR for simple
and available materials. editing, editing suites, if available.
• Experiment with lighting to create a variety • Visit professional editing facilities and
of effects, eg spot lights, flood lights, discover methods used.
coloured cellophane, overhead projector.
• Add additional sound tracks, if appropriate.
• Explore natural lighting available at
different times of day and reﬂect upon the
224 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
Computer graphics [TS41]
Introduction used to obtain computer images of real world
A computer-generated graphic is a Programming Languages
representation of an idea in a pictorial form.
It can be edited and customised and stored The most basic way of creating a picture with
for later use. Computer-generated graphics a computer is to write a computer program.
come in many forms. There is a wide range of The computer programming languages BASIC,
applications of computers to graphics. Some Logo and Pascal all provide graphic functions.
software allows the use of more than one Being able to create pleasing images through
application. the use of a few powerful yet simple commands
is highly motivating for all students.
Poster and Sign Creation
These allow the creation of posters, signs, Graphs
cartoons etc from a bank of prepared graphics Software is available that allows the user to
already stored on the disc. They may be altered create different types of graphs, eg column,
within the package. The package usually bar, line and pie graphs from tables of numbers.
allows for some sort of layout of components. This software is usually integrated with
The graphics may be used within the package spreadsheet or database software.
or it may be possible to use them in other
packages. Other uses of this application Animation
include the creation of cards, signs, labels and Animation software assists the user in the
resource materials. Some software packages creation of image sequences. The image is
enable whole documents to be published by animated on the computer screen. These
combining text, cartoons, graphics etc. More animated sequences can be stored and shown
detail about desktop publishing is located in on the computer or on video tape, where they
the strategy on publishing. can be mixed with video images. By using an
Draw and Paint Packages animation program many of the normally
tedious and repetitive tasks can be
These allow users to draw or paint their own accomplished easily and quickly.
graphics using a mouse, graphics tablet or
joystick. Draw packages usually offer more
precise/technical drawing facilities than Skill development
paint packages. There are a variety of tools
for drawing available. The draw and paint At Stage 1, students should be able to create
applications can be combined with prepared signs, posters and construct monsters, masks,
graphics, thus allowing the user to customise faces etc using graphics packages. They
graphics. should have opportunities to manipulate
(moving and placing graphics to desired
Digitising position) and modify stored graphics. Also,
Video digitisers attached to a computer allow from an early age, students will be able to
video (TV) pictures to be captured as computer combine graphics with word processing by
graphics. The resulting computer image can using appropriate software packages.
then be modified by using computer graphics By Stage 2, students should have opportunities
software, particularly painting software. The to use a variety of graphics creation tools
video picture could be from a VCR, directly when using draw and paint software. They
from television or from a camera, and can be should be able to modify stored graphics and
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 225
be able to use appropriate graphics for a given The students will be able to edit and resize
theme. the graphics to meet the particular need or
the format of the newspaper. Students
At the end of Stage 3, students should be able
manipulating graphics in this way develop
to import graphics between software
a clear understanding of the inter-
packages. They will be able to use appropriate
relationship between the software packages
software to make slide show and animation
and the hardware as well as of the actual
mechanics of the publication process.
• Use draw and paint programs to make a
Managing learning graphic representation or map. Students
experiences prepare a graphic representation of a
particular area such as their classroom, or
Listed below is a range of strategies which school environment, using a paint or draw
teachers can use when planning and managing program. Students still practise and
learning experiences. develop the fundamental skills involved
in carrying out this activity manually, but
• Provide opportunities to develop an by using computer software they are able
understanding about manipulating graphics. to make changes to their work and correct
Students can use graphics construction errors without destroying the whole work
software to design and make a mask. They or spoiling its appearance with visible
can construct masks that demonstrate remnants of corrections.
expressions of different emotions. Students
select face shape, nose, mouth, eyes and so • Modify commercial graphics. There are
on from a graphics bank and move these graphics packages that allow students to
features to the most suitable position on select a standard picture or graphic and
the mask. The masks can be printed and edit it to meet their own needs. The edited
used for a variety of purposes. or customised graphic can be saved and
further edited at a later date, thus increasing
• Create resource materials using graphic the resource bank and the usefulness of the
packages. Students could use packages original package. Customised graphics can
that contain a large bank of pictures or be useful in illustration reports or any
use packages that allow them to add text writing or research task.
to graphics before printing them. Printed
pictures could be used to decorate future • Design a slide-show presentation on the
work, to make badges or they could be computer to illustrate a design proposal.
used in sorting, classifying or pictograph Students create a storyboard to demonstrate
activities. their ideas for the sequence of pictures. The
script and description of sound effects are
• Use cartoon software to express a point of included on the storyboard. Students use a
view or to illustrate depth of knowledge paint or draw program to produce ‘slides’
and understanding of a particular topic. on the computer, modifying and
Students may design and create a cartoon manipulating the graphics to suit the needs
strip or single frame cartoon, using of the presentation. Use a slideshow program
appropriate software, to promote a topic, to sequence and time the slides. The slides
eg a healthy lifestyle. Students can select will automatically ﬂip to the next slide.
the character they need, add a background Record the script and the sound effects in
and selected ‘props’. Headings and speech time with the slideshow on the computer.
bubbles can also be added and the ﬁnished The computer and audio can be combined
cartoon printed out. and recorded onto video.
• Use software packages that allow graphics • Manipulate, modify and copy graphics to
to be incorporated into written work for create a ‘ﬂip book’ cartoon. Students create
the production of material in a newspaper. the basic ‘slide’ that they want for the
By using this type of software students can background and print it. Copy this graphic,
enhance the appearance of published work.
226 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6
enlarging or moving it slightly to create the will use commercial graphics and modify
second slide and print it also. Continue to them or draw their own graphics. As with
copy the graphic, moving, enlarging or the activity of the ‘flip book’ students will
shrinking it slightly each time. Print out each be able to create a background slide and
new slide. When 10-20 slides have been repeat it for each sequence. Students can
created students hold them together, in order, eliminate the tedious duplication of images
by the bottom edge and quickly flip through by copying and pasting pictures. If they are
the stack. This will give the effect of using some paint programs they could select
movement. This activity is well suited to an image and create a brush and thus produce
computer technology because it eliminates multiple copies of that image. The students
the need to redraw the basic graphic for each then animate their sequence of events using
slide. the facilities of the program and show them
• Use an animation or paint program to on the computer or on a video. Sound and
demonstrate a life cycle. Students will create text could be added using a presentation
a storyboard about the sequence of events. program or the facilities within the package
They will make decisions about what the itself.
graphics will look like and whether they
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6 227
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230 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY K-6