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Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Leading environmental education to empower learners for a sustainable future.

Telephone02 9247 7321


Bush Christmas

Bush Christmas is a 90 minute incursion program that combines story, song and craft to introduce students to Australian animals and their habitats. Students will take a take part in an interactive Christmas story to learn about Australian animals, and create a sustainable Christmas present and wrapping paper by stencilling an animal design onto a calico bag and wrapping paper. They will also learn and sing an Australian Christmas song and meet some preserved Australian animals up close.

Each incursion session is approximately 90 minutes long and multiple sessions can by delivered on the one day. Each session can accommodate up to one class, with assistance from the class teacher and preferably a teacher’s aid and/or parent helper.

Key inquiry question

'What are the external features of living things?

Key syllabus outcomes

  • describe the external features of a variety of living things
  • identify and group plants and animal using their external features
  • identify that living things live in different places that suit their needs

Integrating the ‘Sustainability’ Cross Curriculum Priority is a feature of the program.

Skills outcomes

  • Describes ways that different places in the environment provide for the needs of living things
  • Makes simple pictures and other kinds of artworks about things and experiences.
  • Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.

Student previsit and follow up activities

Successful excursions have direct links to current classroom learning. Pre-visit activities carried out prior to the excursion will help students better understand their excursion content and provide connectedness and relevance to classroom learning.

Download the student pre-visit and follow up activities (DOCX 115.2KB).

On the day activities

During the incursion, students will:

  • listen to Snowy’s Christmas, to learn about the habitats of Australian animals, what they eat, where they shelter, and ways they are adapted to their environments.
  • observe preserved Australian animals to describe their external features
  • learn an Australian Christmas song and accompany it with bush instruments.
  • print an animal design onto a calico bag using a sponge and stencil
  • use Aussie animal stamps to decorate a piece of wrapping paper.
  • Make a gift tag from a gum leaf
  • Decorate a Christmas card


  • DoE - $10 per student (GST free). 
  • Non Government School $15 per student (GST free). Minimum cost of $600.

Excursion program downloads

Download these documents to help with your excursion planning: