Friday, 1 March 2013

What I offer as a science teacher in primary schools

Here is the Australian Curriculum modified to include the learning experiences I have done with primary students.


I have listed the most common experiment I do, looking at carnivorous plants and tillandsias ( air plants), on the outcomes for the Australian Curriculum.

 You can see these are very weird plants, which makes a very engaging lesson.

Other options I have to enrich the learning experiment:

Look at a telescope- great for when you have open night on a full moon.

Many Museum trays of insects and shells, showing adaptation and variety.

Museum quality casts of the original hominide skulls, which lead to our understanding of the evolution of humans. Great for G&T students who often display a keen interest and understanding of this topic.

Various Australian lizards with camouflage features eg leaf tail geeko to show adaptation. I would bring these in a container to show the students, but this is not a reptile-man type lesson, but a series scientific study. Great for linking science to Australian environment.


If you have or are planning an organic kitchen garden, I not only have expertise and a planned lesson, but also lots of seeds and contacts for you.

As a high school teacher who has had a lot of experience in primary schools, I am happy to discuss other ideas.

Using Carnivorous plants and Tillandsias ( Air plants) to enrich students learning about the Living world.

By using my specimens of "Weird Plants " I can provide all K-6 students with a  science experience that directly relates to the syllabus, is engaging but also connected to their knowledge about plants from everyday life.
All students can demonstate their understanding of the outcome, by creating their own weird plants, identifying features as appropriate for their stage. This allowing higher order thinking by students, but also is accessible to a range of students.
        develop knowledge of the Natural Environment through understanding about the Physical World, Earth and Space, and Living World
Early Stage 1 outcome
A student:
Stage 1 outcomes
A student:
Stage 2 outcomes
A student:
Stage 3 outcomes
A student:
identifies the basic needs of living things

Look at how tillandsias get water and nutrients with out having roots, and how carnivorous plants make their own fertiliser by digesting insects!

Identify that they are living things according to the signs of life ( grow, reproduce, assimilate, extrete, move etc)
describes external features, changes in and growth of living things
Identify the leaves, roots and other plant like features of these weird plants as well as special features. Look at baby plants from adult plant
describes ways that different places in the environment provide for the needs of living things

Relate how these weird plants get what they need despite living in very harsh conditions; Tillandsia live in deserts so get their water and nutrients from the humidity and dust in the air, carnivorous plants live in swamps so need to make their own nutrients
describes that living things have life cycles, can be distinguished from non-living things and grouped, based on their observable features

Introduce the idea of classification ( grouping) by comparing examples of tillandsias and carnivorous plants to put them into groups. Identify flowers on both types of plants to connect to knowledge of life cycle of flowering plants.
describes ways that science knowledge helps people understand the effect of their actions on the environment and on the survival of living things
describes how structural features and other adaptations of living things help them to survive in their environment

Relate these specialised features as a result of them adapting to the extreme environments, which allow them to survive
describes some physical conditions of the environment and how these affect the growth and survival of living things

Relate to needs of living things and plants in particular; these plants get normal needs meet in unusual ways.

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