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Home/Curriculum resources/Understanding plants and animals/Activity 3 - Exploring ecosystems before and after a controlled burn

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Year level:

Level 6

Songwarbler perching on a branch

Activity 3 - Exploring ecosystems before and after a controlled burn

This activity is a part of the Understanding plants and animals resource.

Songwarbler perching on a branch. Canberra, Ngunawal country. Photographer: Anna Calvert. Source: Getty Images. Used under licence.

Students can select an ecosystem, draw and explain what happens to the ecosystem before and after a controlled burn, linking this back to supporting biodiversity.

Step by Step guide 

Step 1: Teacher to locate background information

The teacher will need to locate some background information to support student research on different ecosystems. Other Ngarrnga curriculum resources may be useful.

Step 2: Explain the task

Students select an ecosystem of their choice.

They will need to research:

  • what living things are located in this ecosystem?

  • what happens before and after a controlled burn?

  • how do these practices support biodiversity?

Students can represent this as a visual with an explanation. The template provided can support this.

Step 3: Independent research and drawing of ecosystem

Students undertake their research and create a visual representation with a supporting explanation.

Step 4: Share

Teacher can decide the best way for students to share their learning.

Related activities within this resources:

Songwarbler perching on a branch

Inquiry-based learning questions

These inquiry-based questions are provided for flexible classroom use, allowing teachers to tailor discussion and reflections specific to their classroom needs.

Songwarbler perching on a branch

Conceptual-based question cards

Engage with a variety of conceptual-based questions which explore the impact of fire practices on plants and animals.

Songwarbler perching on a branch

Activity 1 - Seed germination

We’ve all seen nature spring back into life after a fire. In this resource students will investigate the effect of ash on the germination of native seeds and how fire can be used in productive ways.

Suggested timing:

Occurs over a week or more, with something to monitor for the class across this time span.

Required resources:

Native seeds, Banksia spp. seeds, dry leaf litter, BBQ area or fire pit, fire lighters, plastic petri dishes, ash

Songwarbler perching on a branch

Activity 2 - Diamond Ranking

Students will need to draw upon their critical thinking skills and express their perspective when ranking statements about Indigenous fire practices.

Required resources:


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