Students investigate the effects of introduced species on the Australian flora & fauna as well as the economic effects. Students will work in groups to develop a land management plan for a rural environment. Explicit teaching will also be used throughout the unit to guide students through the process.
View how assessment is used in this unit plan. These assessments help students and teachers set understandable goals, monitor student progress, provide feedback, assess thinking, performance and products and reflect on learning throughout the activities.
Students Prior Knowledge
Teachers’ Professional Learning
Teacher has students complete the Gauging Needs Assessment (DOC) to enable the teacher to personalise activities and learning during the unit. Ask students to spend 5 minutes and complete a KWL chart (DOC) what they know about introduced species to the Australian landscape. Students then pair up, discuss what they have identified and add to their chart. Show the video (10 mins.) “The story of Rosy Dock’ or read the picture story book by Australian author Jeannie Baker. Are there further notes students can add to their KWL chart?
The teacher then describes the following scenario:
1. Students research their particular introduced species referring to the following specific issues:
2. Students will be introduced to wikis as a form of online publishing through a class wiki entitled IntroducedPests*. The wiki will be created using wikispaces (http://www.wikispaces.com/*). Students are required to include some of their research on their ‘pest’ to the wiki and are also invited to present their opinion/personal view in the discussion area on the topic ‘Introduced Pests’ in general. Student wiki contributions will be assessed using the Introduced Pests Student Wiki Evaluation (DOC).
3. Class prepares for the visit of a panel of environmental experts and relevant stakeholders.
4. Teacher poses the question: “How have introduced species impacted on the environment and the economic value of the land?” Students as a class construct a KWL chart, drawing from their individual KWL chart and plan a series of questions to address areas they want to cover during the panel’s visit. Teacher and students aim to cover questions such as “What is the effect of introduced species on local flora, fauna and farms?”, “How do farmers estimate the financial effect of such species on their farms?”, and “What type of management plans successfully control the effects of particular introduced species?”
5. Several weeks into the assignment, a panel of experts visit the class. They will include representatives from environmental associations and research projects, local farmers or businesses, local government officers. Panel members’ responses to students’ questions will be taped or videoed so that they can be incorporated into student presentations. Students create a PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) following their interviews & the interviewees response.
6. Various activities and excursions can be organized to enable students to connect with the topic and understand the issues e.g.
7. Students prepare a newsletter or information brochure/publication appropriate for presenting their information to the local population or another key stakeholder group. See example – Feral affect news (PDF).
8. Articles about aspects of the class project could be written by students and submitted to the local paper.
9. Students compile the information they have researched and developed into a website (PDF)– illustrating the effects of the introduction of the species and what they believe should occur now to prevent further species arriving in Australia.
Students with Special Needs
English as a Second Language (ESL) Students
Pamela Remington-Lane participated in the Intel Teach Program, which resulted in this idea for a classroom project. A team of teachers expanded the plan into the example you see here.
© State of Victoria 2006
Pamela Remington-Lane attended an Intel® Teach Essentials Course and provided the idea for this portfolio. A team of teachers expanded the project.
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Year: Level 8 (Level 4 & 5, Victorian Essential learning Standards)
Subjects: Interpersonal Development, Science, Economics, Communication
Time Needed: Term 4 – SOSE, Science and English time allotments