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Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Leading environmental education to empower learners for a sustainable future.

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Living World S2

Living World - is an approx. 1.5hr Stage 2 incursion focusing on Science and Technology content for Stage 2 Living World. The program focuses on classification, life cycles and the survival of living things. Students will take part in science based investigations in their class room, and in school grounds, in order to collect data and information about living things, their external features, and how they are different to non-living things.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How can we group living things?
  • What are the similarities and differences between the life cycles of living things?
  • How are environments and living things interdependent?

Key Syllabus Outcomes

Compares features and characteristics of living and non-living things ST2-4LW-S

Students will:

  • collect data and identify patterns to group living things according to their external features, and distinguish them from non-living things (ACSSU044) SysT   
  • identify that living things have life cycles (ACSSU072) 
  • conduct an investigation into the life cycle of plants and/or animals (ACSSU072) SciT    
  • describe how living things depend on each other and the environment to survive, for example: bees and flowers, birds eat and disperse seeds (ACSSU073) SysT   

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

Skills Outcomes

Working scientifically - Planning and conducting investigations

  • Plan scientific investigations with guidance
  • Conduct scientific investigations to find answers to questions
  • Use appropriate materials and equipment safety
  • Consider and apply the elements of a fair test
  • Collect and record accurate and honest observations using labelled observational drawings, basic formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate

Working scientifically - Processing and analysing data

  • Use a range of methods to represent data, including tables and column graphs
  • Compare results with predictions
  • Suggest possible reasons for findings

Working scientifically - Communicating

  • Represent and communicate observations ideas and findings using formal and informal representations

On the day activities

During the incursion, students will:

  • Listen to a story about an animal and its relationship to it’s environment.
  • Study a preserved Grey headed Flying Fox and an Ant Farm to learn about the different features of animals and ways of classifying animals.
  • View models of the life cycle of bats and ants and learn about the similarities and differences between the life cycles of living things.
  • Undertake an invertebrate (bug) hunt in the school yard to collect and classify living bugs.
  • Study bugs with magnifying glasses to observe their features and classify them using a classification chart.
  • Participate in two scientific experiments; What do ants prefer to eat and How do ants help with seed dispersal.
  • Use air dry clay and collected playground objects, to model an invertebrate.
  • Use an Amaziograph app on iPads to draw a scientific picture of an ant.

Pre visit and follow up resources

Pre visit activities

Activities prior to the delivery of the program will help prepare students for the day as well as link the program to the class program. These could include:

  • Visit MyLearning minibeasts (on the whiteboard) and learn more about invertebrates.
  • Work through the classification decision tree What creature is that with your class to discover the two creatures that you will be studying during the incursion.

Follow up activities

  • Participate in a citizen science School of Ants project.
  • View the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre Multi Touch e-book called Invertebrate Explorer to learn more about classifying invertebrates.

Pre and post visit Resources PDF 142KB


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

Incursion Program Downloads

Program and Teacher Checklist

Risk Assessment Plan

Living World - S2 Flyer