Project Content

Lesson One – Introduction

Have a class discussion asking the following questions:

  • What is shelter?
  • What is a predator?
  • What is prey?
  • What is extinction?
  • What is a habitat?
  • What could you find in a habitat?

Students will use Padlet to answer the questions. After talking about habitats show the students the following video.

Using Minecraft Education Edition students will create their own habitat (their home). The goal is to have students create their home which includes the four key elements of a habitat: food, water, shelter and space. (Screenshot of the house will be used in the final video)

When students have completed their work discuss the topics for this topic. Once all topics have been explained, talk about the final product.

Padlet provides students with the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas. Students will individually link to their iPad to the classes Padlet, then they will write their ideas and send them through with teachers permission the student’s ideas will then appear on the smartboard/projector. 

Lesson Two – Decomposer, Producer, Consumer.

Start the session off with the Lion King video

Introduce the terms producer, consumer, and decomposer. Do they know what they are? After a quick discussion provide students with four pieces on thin rectangle pieces of paper. Put them to the side and watch the decomoser video.

Using the first piece of paper the students will write the word decomposer, an explanation of what a decomposer is and then draw a decomposer e.g. the ant from the lion king and bacteria from the video.

Using the second piece of paper the students will write the word producer, an explanation of what a producer is and then draw a producer e.g. the grass from the lion king and fruit from the video.

Next, watch the consumer video. (Video does not specifically mention consumers however describes what they are)

Talk through the video with students to ensure they understand. Then ask the following –

  • What does a consumer do?
  • What is an example of a consumer?
  • What does a herbivore eat?
  • What does a carnivore eat?

Take the final two pieces of paper and write consumer on both and herbivore on one and carnivore on the other, what each consumer does and draw a picture of a herbivore and a carnivore e.g. the antelope and the lion from the lion king

Take the decomposer paper and link each end to create a circle. Then take the producer and link the paper into a circle through the decomposer paper. Do the same with the consumer paper until each student has a small chain. Then:

  1. Each student will loop the final loop (consumer) around both the herbivore and the first loop to create a circle, the circle of life. Or
  2. Each student will connect their carnivore consumer to another students decomposers to create a large circle.

Lesson Three – Predator VS Prey

Start the lesson off with a game of tag.

RULES (FIRST GAME)–

  • Provide the students with a large open space to play.
  • Have one student be IT
  • As the IT student gets another student IT that student sits out.

After a while end the game and bring students back and as a group discuss what they observed during the game

RULES (SECOND GAME)–

  • Provide the students with a large open space to play.
  • Have one student be IT
  • As the IT student gets another student it that student sits out.
  • Students who are not it can team up and if they are holding hands the IT student cannot get them.

After a while end the game and bring students back and as a group discuss what they observed during the game.

RULES (THIRD GAME)

  • Provide the students with a large open space to play.
  • This time have a group of students who are IT.
  • As the IT student gets another student it that student sits out.
  • Students who are not it can team up and if they are holding hands the IT student cannot get them.
  • However, if there is a group of IT students working together (holding hands) they can get the group of other students out.

After a while end the game and bring students back to class and as a group discuss what they observed during the games.

  • Was it easier to get players out in the first, second or third round?
  • Why was it easy in the first round to get people out?
  • Why was it hard for the students to not get out in the first game?
  • Why was it hard to get students out in the second game?
  • Why was it unfair for the IT student in the second game?

 

In pairs, students will need to research and take notes of the similarities and differences between a killer whale and a blue whale. Using the following pages and their own research –

Students will need to discuss –
• hunting and feeding in packs/living alone or in a family group
• What they eat
• whales’ size and the amount of food they require per day
• Predators?
Students will then sign into the class Padlet for this lesson and add their thoughts into the table one group at a time. (One group at a time so that the teacher can approve their ideas)

Class discussion –

Link the whales to the game of tag. Blue whales hunt alone (sometimes in small groups however they do not need other whales to find a meal) like how in the first game of tag the IT student could tag the other students easily. Killer whales hunt in packs similar to the third game where the groups of IT students were able to tag the other students who were in teams easily.
Animals who need larger meals for energy such as the killer whale hunt their prey in groups if they didn’t they would struggle like the IT student in the second game.

Lesson Four – Friend or Foe

To start the lesson off watch the David Attenborough video

Class discussion –

  • Why do animals benefit from each other?
  • How can animals benefit from each other?

Not all mutually beneficial relationships are prey to prey relationships. Some are predator and predator.
Example, coyotes and badgers. They hunt together, Coyotes catch prey above ground whilst badgers catch prey underground. When prey tries to run underground to hide from a coyote the badger catches it. When prey tries running away from the badger the coyotes catch it. Teamwork.

  • What could be the opposite of benefitting from each other?
  • What do you think might happen when animals fight over the same food source?

Some relationships can be competitive. Animals such as Hyenas can fight between each other over food or a partner. Animals can even fight other animals such as lions and hyenas over a food source. 

 

 

Lesson Five – Shelter

  • What is a shelter?
  • What kind of animals use plants as shelter?

Watch orangutan video. Animals in trees use plants as a shelter but what about animals on land? Now watch beaver video.

Provide students with a range of different materials: blankets, sheets, boxes, their tables, and chairs. Split them into three groups. Let them create their own shelters (forts). These shelters must include:

  • Protection against predators
  • Protection against weather
  • An entry
  • Close to a food source

(Photos will be taken of the end product and used in their end of the topic project)

Read the book the Cactus Hotel by Brenda Guiberson or if there is no access to the book watch it online. After the story, students will draw and plan out their own cactus hotel.

Homework –

Students will take their plan and create their hotel on Minecraft education edition on their iPads. (screenshots of their hotels will also be used in the final video)

Lesson Six –

Class discussion –

What is extinction? What can cause an animal to go extinct? What do you think would happen to the surrounding environment if an animal went extinct?

Bring a bunch of toys of three different kinds. Example plastic animals, a group of lions, a group of zebra and some pompoms for plants. Refresh students on lesson two (producer, consumer and decomposer)  and discuss which group is which (not including decomposer). Ask students what they might think would happen if one of the groups disappeared. Choose one group, take the toy away, allow students to share ideas on Padlet.  Students should discuss the following –

  • If grass disappeared the zebra would have nothing to eat.
  • If the zebra disappeared the lion would have less to eat.
  • If the lion disappeared there wouldn’t be a predator for the zebra so there would be a lot of zebra. The large group of zebra would need more food to eat causing less grass.
  • If there was no zebra there would be nothing to eat the grass and the grass would grow out of control. 

If you have taken lions away, increase the number of zebra and decrease the number of plants/grass, if you removed the zebras increase the number of plants/grass but decrease lions. The visual representation allows students to have a deeper understanding of the situation. Refer back to lesson two with the circle of life. If animals go extinct what would happen to the circle?

Lesson Seven – The Zoo

Excursion –

In class – students will start class by creating their own zookeeper badges. Badges will include:

  • Name
  • Type of keeper e.g. reptile, big cat or primate.

At zoo – for around 10 animals allow the students to take photos of the animals and their habitats. Talk about –

  • The animal’s size
  • Where they are from
  • What they eat
  • What kind of habitat, what you would find in the habitat?
  • What type of animal they are?
  • Their endangerment status

Ask students –

  • What their predator might be?
  • Are they a consumer, producer, or decomposer?
  • What kind of habitat, what you would find in the habitat?

Finish lesson off with explaining the final project (the diorama and video). Allow the students to choose one of the ten animals they looked at during their trip for the project and then get them to draw a picture of this animal. (This drawing will then be included in the final video)

In-class activity (if the excursion is unavailable) –

Students will start class by creating their own zookeeper badges. Badges will include:

  • Name
  • Type of keeper e.g. reptile, big cat or primate.

Before class create a PowerPoint linking to this website. Chose up to 10 animals from the site linking each animal to its page. Ensure to have a variety of animals to look through. A PowerPoint is provided but feel free to create your own. Talk about:

  • The animals size
  • Where they are from
  • What they eat?
  • What type of animal they are?
  • Their endangerment status

Ask students –

  • What their predator might be?
  • Are they a consumer, producer, or decomposer?
  • What kind of habitat, what you would find in the habitat?

 

Finish lesson off with explaining the final project (the diorama and video). Allow the students to choose one of the animals they looked at during the lesson for the project and then get them to draw a picture of this animal. (This drawing will then be included in the final video)

Lesson Eight – The Grey Wolf

To review the subject before the students start their final projects, as a class research an animal. Split the students into six groups and allow each group to research one of the following facts. Examples will be provided for the grey wolf, however, any animal will work as long as it isn’t one of the ten examples from the last lesson. When students have researched they will share ideas and research through Padlet. Discuss as a class.

  • Is the animal a producer, consumer or decomposer? Consumer
  • Is it a predator or prey? Predator
  • What does it eat? Mountain goats, moose, elk and bison. 
  • Does the animal have a mutually beneficial relationship? Striped Hyena
  • Is the animal in a competitive relationship? themselves, bears, lynx and badgers.
  • Does the animal use plants for shelter? If not what kind of shelter does it use? No, out in the open or underground dens.

 

Diorama

Students will create a diorama of a chosen animal that they saw on their zoo trip or during our online zoo trip. Dioramas will need to include the following

  • The animal
  • Their shelter
  • Their food sources
  • Their predator (if they have one)
  • Their habitat (e.g. desert, rainforest, savannah)

Students will do research in class on computers or iPads. They will then create the diorama at home from recycled materials and art supplies.

Video

Students will create a video using their iPads and iMovie that includes –

  • Photos or video of the process of creating the diorama
  • An explanation of the parts of the diorama (what the animal is, what they eat etc.)
  • Describing what a consumer, producer and decomposer are and which one their animal is and why.
  • An explanation of what would happen if their animal disappeared from their environment.
  • 2-3 fun facts about their animal
  • Photos from past lessons.
  • Australian Government – Department of Agriculture, water and the Environment, (2010, August). Australia Antarctic Division: Leading Australia’s Antarctic Program – Blue Whale. https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/animals/whales/blue-whale/
  • Australian Government – Department of Agriculture, water and the Environment, (2010, August). Australia Antarctic Division: Leading Australia’s Antarctic Program – Killer Whale. https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/animals/whales/killer-whale/
  • BBC Earth, (2009 May). Beaver Lodge Construction Squad | Attenborough | BBC Earth. https://youtu.be/iyNA62FrKCE
  • BBC Studios, (2007 February). Animal Partnerships – David Attenborough – BBC Wildlife. https://youtu.be/Qqa0OPbdvjw
  • Crash Course Kids. (2015, March). Feed Me: Classifying Organisms – Crash Course Kids #1.2. https://youtu.be/AHCOzc143Ec
  • Crash Course Kids, (2015, August). Home Sweet Habitat: Crash Course Kids #21.1. https://youtu.be/p15IrEuhYmo
  • Crash Course Kids, (2015, April). The Dirt on Decomposers: Crash Course Kids #7.2. https://youtu.be/uB61rfeeAsM
  • Disney UK, (2011, October). The Lion King 3D – ‘Morning Lessons With Mufasa’ – Official Disney Clip. https://youtu.be/bW7PlTaawfQ
  • National Geographic, (2016, December). Watch Orangutans BuildUbrellas, “Kiss squeak”, and More | National Geographic. https://youtu.be/3hfkDJ-r3DQ
  • Riddles, J, (2016, May). Cactus Hotel Narration. https://youtu.be/CoBKz38yZqY