A 60 minute lesson in which students will investigate the external features of small animals.
Prior to the lesson, ask the students to bring in a pair of protective gardening gloves. Alternatively, supply the students with one pair of gardening gloves per group.
As a class, complete the online Garden Detectivesgame. Use the magnifying glass to search for animals that live in an Australian garden, then discuss their external features. After exploring the digital garden, ask the students:
What different living things did we find in the digital garden?
Where in the digital garden did we find the small animals?
What different body parts did the small animals have?
Explain to the students that they are going to venture out on a playground safari to investigate small animals and their external features e.g. head, legs, wings. They will record their observations (what they see, hear and feel) for each small animal they find.
Display and discuss The Code of Care for Small Animals. Make a class list of small animals that may present a danger due to their sting or bite. Explain why it is important to wear protective gloves when handling small animals.
Arrange the students into small groups and head outside into the playground. Monitor the students as they explore the playground in search of small animals. Where necessary, support the students to record their observations in their workbook or science journal.
After a reasonable amount of time, ask the students to return to the classroom. Remember to ask the students to wash their hands. Encourage more confident students to share their findings, describing the different external features that they observed.
Create a class list of the different small animals that were found on the playground safari. Alternatively, use the Minibeasts Cut-out Decorations to create a classroom display of the small animals found by the students.
Encourage more capable students to draw their observations in greater detail and to label the external features.
Allow less confident students to explain their observations verbally, making note of their comments.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities