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Wetlands Food Web Curriculum Activity

Suitable for Primary (F-4)

Victorian Curriculum Links

Science
F-2: (VCSSU042)
3-4: (VCSSU058)

Design & Technologies

F: (VCELY153)
1: (VCELY186)
2: (VCELY222)
3-4: (VCELY257); (VCELY288)

Activity Description

The Wetlands Food Web Activity engages students in the connections between living things. Students will develop an understanding of the important relationships that exist in a wetlands ecosystem between plants and animals. Students then explore the types of human activities that may harm this environment, and brainstorm possible solutions to assist in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Key Concepts

Biodiversity, Food Webs, Ecosystems, Food Chain

Key Learning Intentions
1. Students will be able to use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse meaning from the text, and to support their growing knowledge of ecosystems
2. Students will be able to describe the interactions and relationships between plants and animals within a food web
3. Students will be able to discuss how certain human activities may harm an environment and brainstorm possible solutions

Suggestions for Assessment

Formative
1. Participation in the Wetlands Food Web activity
2. Completion of the Discussion questions below
3. Students complete a short written summary of the activity

Instructions

1. Read the Wetlands Story
As you read the story aloud, join the pictures of the plants and animals (see Figure 1) by drawing arrows to understand the food web of the wetlands. If there is time, re-read the story to check you’ve made all the connections between each plant/animal.

2. Discussion
Pick up the insect cards and introduce them to your garden. If the plants are planted according to their information, the insects may not have an impact BUT the insects will feast if there are unprotected plants!

1. What do each of the following animals like to eat?
a) Black swan b) Pelican
2. Which animals (including other insects) like to eat the water boatman?
3. What would happen if we removed the water boatman from the food web?

Suggested ResourceSmart Schools Module Links

Undertaking the activity as described above links to the ResourceSmart Schools Biodiversity Module – actions B1.1, B1.3, C1.4, B1.1, B1.2, B1.3, and B1.4

Below is a list of extension activities that link to additional actions of the Biodiversity module:

  1. Extend the activity to include the following categories and classifications (ResourceSmart SchoolsBiodiversity Module – action B1.1)
    • Students categorise each element of the food web according to whether they are producers or consumers
    • Students categorise each element of the food web according to whether they are plants, reptiles, amphibians, insects, birds or fish
    • Students categorise the elements of the food web according to whether they live on land or in the water
  1. Write a story about the activity and include it in your school newsletter or on the school website. Provide tips on how to promote and protect biodiversity in your community (ResourceSmart Schools Biodiversity Module – actions C1.1, C1.3, C3.5)
  2. Conduct a field trip to a local wetland environment or CERES Environment Park. Make observations and record the following, and propose strategies and/or develop a project for the management of these negative impacts. (ResourceSmartSchools Biodiversity Module – actions B1.1, B1.3, A1.1, C3.3)
    • the species and organisms that are present
    • the relationships between the different elements of the wetlands ecosystem
    • the negative impacts that are occurring as a result of human activities
  1. Conduct a Biodiversity Audit of the school grounds, using CERES or Cool Australia audit. Identify ways the school can improve its biodiversity (ResourceSmart Schools Biodiversity Module – actions A1.1, A2.1)

Speak to your CERES ResourceSmart Schools Facilitator about further links to the Biodiversity Module.

Teacher Notes & Curriculum Links
Wetlands Food Web Activity Sheet

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