Australian Animals: a integrated unit of work Aims...Students will find out about Australian native animals and their adaptations to their environment, gain understandings about the inter- relationships of living things, learn about issues relating to survival and conservation. They will make observations, develop note taking and recording skills, be able to locate resources and acknowledge their sources. They will share acquired knowledge with their class. Research...Locating resources and researching animals of choice will be an ongoing activity as students learn about Australian animals and prepare a presentation of learned facts and understandings. A good site to support these ideas can be found on http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/Austanimals.htm. Presentations / projects may take the form of charts and posters, booklets, talks, computer presentations, dioramas or other display, drama, video or a combination of any of these or the products of the activities listed below Introducing...As an introductory activity, students should gain an understanding of animal groups and the basic characteristics of each. Make a class list together listing animal kingdom groups and the characteristics of each, such as cold/warm blooded, covering, vertebrate/invertebrate etc. Students should be familiarised with terminology such as habitat, carnivore, camouflage, etc as the unit progresses. They should understand the 'bare essentials' for survival: food, water, air, shelter, protection and reproduction. They should have a broad understanding of concepts such as conservation, endangered, survival, adaptation, interdependence. Make lists, brainstorm to find out what they already know. Play games such as what am I? Each student has a sticker placed on their back labelled with an animal, or with the picture of an animal. They must determine what that is. They move about asking others questions, to which the answer can only be yes or no. Activity Ideas in Key Learning Areas... For individual or group work or for use in cross-age application (buddies). Select what is appropriate for your students. Unless specified, the term 'animal' includes mammal, reptile, bird, insect etc. English Make a list or an A-Z of Australian animals. Write stories about Australian animals in Australian settings. Write information narratives about Australian animals, that is, a fiction story introducing factual information gathered from research. Write cinquain poetry . This form of poetry was invented by an American, Adelaide Crapsey, in 1911. Strictly speaking, cinquain (pronounced san-cane) is a poetic form consisting of five lines of two, four, six, eight and two syllables respectively. Cinquains don't have titles but the first line announces the topic. The format is: Line 1: one word - title Line 2: two words to describe the title Example: Kangaroo Line 3: three action words Furry marsupial Hopping, jumping, bounding Line 4: a four word phrase Proud emblem of Australia Macropod describing emotion/feeling Line 5: one word, a synonym for title Construct a crossword puzzle about Australian animals, using researched facts as clues. Write letters to newspapers, politicians or other appropriate bodies urging the protection of Australia's endangered animals and the conservation of their habitats. Debate issues such as: Logging of Australia's old-growth forests should stop; Farming of kangaroos and emus for food is a good thing; There should be a curfew on cats and dogs to safeguard native wildlife; Native animals should not be kept in captivity. Speak as an 'Animal Expert’: select one Australian animal that you have researched, and prepare to be questioned by the class. Alternatively, take on the role of the animal and answer the questions put to you by the class. Write an explanation of how some Australian animals have become endangered species. Describe causes and effects of such things as introduced species, habitat destruction and so on. Make a wordsearch using the names of Australian animals. Make 'What am I?' puzzles for others to read and solve. Write about how you would feel if you were an Australian animal whose existence was threatened because your habitat was disappearing. Mathematics Survey the class to find out what people's favourite Australian animal is. Make a graph of the results. Survey people to find out how many Australian native animals (including birds and reptiles) they can name in one minute. From your results, identify the most commonly named animal, the average number that people can list in a minute, or other data. Present your findings graphically. Make up maths problems involving Australian animals, and share these with the class for others to solve. Examples: 7 kangaroos...how many legs? tails? ears? An emu runs at 50 kph...how long would it take to run from Adelaide to Melbourne? Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE) Locate on a map of Australia the places where some species of animals are found. Draw the animals and show where they may be found. Construct a diorama of an Australian animal in its habitat. Research how Australia's Aborigines hunted animals for food. Research and write a report about how the dingo came to Australia. Compare the different habitats of Australian native animals. Classify them under heading such as rainforest, desert, woodland, grasslands and so on. Visit a zoo or animal sanctuary that has Australian animals. List the jobs you think there might be for people to do in a zoo. Some of these you might notice on your visit, starting with the people in the ticket office. Classify the jobs, for example, caring for the animals, dealing with people, etc. Science Construct a life cycle sequence in pictures about a selected Australian marsupial. Identify the similarities and differences between the three groups of mammals or between reptiles and amphibians. Identify and list Australian native animals that are classified as endangered or vulnerable. Look at the ways in which people are trying to conserve them. Describe how some Australian animals use their senses to protect themselves and to find food. Investigate the ways in which the bodies of animals assist in their survival. Use Australian native animals as your examples. Observe and list the features of different Australian animals on a chart with headings: animal name, animal group, features. Include their movement, bodies, coverings and so on. Example: wombat .........marsupial.........hard bony back, claws, backward-facing pouch Find out what some Australian native animals eat. Make a booklet listing each selected animal and their diet in the wild. Investigate the ways in which some Australian animals use camouflage as a means of defence. Technology Produce one of your Australian animal reports on computer using PowerPoint include photos taken whilst on your zoo visit. Design your own narrative story book or movie using Movie Player or PowerPoint. Design an appropriate zoo habitat for an Australian native animal. List the materials you would use and the reasons for selecting those materials. The Arts Improvise in drama: take on the role of an Australian animal you have researched and imagine that you are to go to a zoo in another country. The animal must tell the zookeepers what sort of habitat and food it requires in order to stay healthy. Create a dance about an Australian native animal (this includes birds and reptiles) that imitates their movements. Compose a song or rap about an Australian animal and perform it to the class. Paint a mural of an Australian habitat and the appropriate animals of that environment. Make animal masks. Use the animal masks you have made in a play you write or improvise using Australian animals as the central theme. Model an Australian animal in clay or play dough. Make a habitat for your animal, making sure it provides the animal with all its basic needs such as shelter, food, water and protection. Physical Education Make up a movement game about Australian animals. Teach the class so that everyone can play it together.
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