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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

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"I spy" living things

Science and Technology - Living World

Supports the Primary Connections unit - Schoolyard safari

Students use their senses to spy on living things. They participate in hands-on scientific inquiry to observe the living world, with a focus on external features of living things and improving local environments.

Program feedback

"The students are still talking about their visit and have gained a deeper understanding of nature and living creatures within from ants to birds and even the possums."

Key syllabus outcomes

A student:

  • observes, questions and collects data to communicate and compare ideas ST1-1WS-S
  • describes observable features of living things and their environments ST1-4LW-S

Skills focus – working scientifically

Planning and conducting investigations

  • explore and answer questions through participation in guided scientific investigations (ACSIS025, ACSIS038)
  • collect data from observations
  • record observations accurately and honestly using observational drawings, labelling, informal measurements and digital technologies (ACSIS026, ACSIS039)
  • compare observations with those of others (ACSIS041, ACSIS213)
  • make safe choices when using materials and equipment

Processing and analysing data

  • use a range of methods to sort and collate information
  • represent information using drawings and simple tables, including digital representation methods (ACSIS027, ACSIS040)

Inquiry questions

  • What are the external features of living things?
  • How can we improve a local environment to encourage living things to thrive?


External features of living things


  • describe the external features of a variety of living things (ACSSU017)
  • identify and group plants and animals using their external features, for example: SciT SysT
    • native and introduced plants and animals
    • worms, insects, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals

Living things live in different places


  • identify that living things live in different places that suit their needs (ACSSU211)
  • recognise that people use science and technology in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022, ACSHE035)

Learning experiences


  • observe preserved animals and group them using external features
  • compare native and introduced animal species and consider the impact of introduced species on the needs of native animals
  • investigate worms from the centre’s worm farm
  • go on a bush walk down Bungoona Path, using their senses to make observations about plants and animals
  • search for evidence of animals meeting their needs
  • compare features of different plants and leaves and create ephemeral art or scratch art using leaves
  • search for invertebrates in the leaf litter, examine features and create a model of an invertebrate using natural materials

Recommended excursion site