- Investigate the water cycle. Write about it from the viewpoint of a drop of water.
- Conduct experiments that show how volcanoes work.
- Investigate the difference between fresh and salt water. Experiment by placing an egg in a container of each and observing what happens.
- Investigate the ways plants and animals have adapted to survive in harsh climates.
- Look at the different kinds of soil that can be found in the students’ local area. Discuss how they look, feel and smell. Experiment to find out what kind of soil helps plants grow better.
- Investigate solar energy and create a solar oven to melt chocolate.
- Locate pictures of plants and animals from different climates and countries on Earth. Cut them out and create a poster.
- Read about the seasons in the different hemispheres and explain how the change in seasons occurs.
- Draw the different phases of the moon as viewed from Earth.
- Make a collection of pictures, illustrations or actual objects of things associated with each season; e.g. clothes, flowers, seeds, leaves, animals, foods, games/toys used, activities, types of weather experienced.
- Create simple food chains/webs.
Society and Environment
- Make recycled paper.
- Measure the amount of waste and recycled material each class at school produces.
- Visit a local recycling centre.
- Explore the local environment. What makes it special?
- Investigate different cultures that exist around the world.
- Identify/Plant various native plants around the school.
- Investigate what natural resources are and how people use them.
- Find out about pollution and ways students can help reduce it.
- Use alphanumeric grid referencing to find places on simple maps.
- Use a map or atlas to find deserts, wet environments and interesting geographical features on Earth. On a large relief map label some of the features.
- Find out how different people on Earth cope with living in different climates.
- At a level to suit the age group of the students, identify and study some of the problems facing planet Earth; e.g. deforestation, salinity, endangered species, erosion, natural disasters, pollution, conservation of natural resources.
Technology and Enterprise
- Design a bird feeder for local native birds.
- Design a system for collecting scraps for a school worm farm.
- Use Internet sources to view images of Earth from space.
- View the passage of a weather system over areas of Earth (in particular, the area where the students live) as shown on a meteorological site on the Internet.
Chance and data
- Represent data from activities in ‘Number’, ‘Space’ or ‘Measurement’ in graphs and tables.
- Sort and classify toy/pet/wild animals or different natural materials according to different attributes.
- Survey the class to find the most popular international cuisines.
- Collect data and make graphs to show rainfall in different areas on Earth.
- Record simple facts about Earth in a table; for example: ‘There is more water on Earth than land’, ‘There are seven continents on Earth’.
- Make comparative measurements of Earth in relation to the sun and the other planets in the solar system.
- Compare the hours of sunshine received in winter to summer. Record the times the sun sets and rises over one season of the year.
- Go on a ‘measuring hunt’ to find specific objects in the school playground (rock, leaf, branch etc.) to measure and record with a ruler, measuring tape or arbitrary unit.
- Students guess the heavier of two objects, such as two stones, then use hefting followed by actual weighing to see if they were correct.
- With teacher direction, explain how the following measurements are scaled down sizes of the five oceans: Pacific – 1.5 L, Atlantic – 0.8 L, Indian – 0.7 L, Southern – 0.2 L and Arctic – 0.1 L. Pour these volumes of water into five equal-sized containers and compare the relative sizes.
- Choose locations around the world which students want to visit and find out how many hours it would take to fly to each one.
- Referring to the similar exercise in ‘Measurement’, use modelling clay or similar to create the scaled land mass/height of continents or mountains.
- Locate Earth in the solar system in relation to the sun and the other planets. In sentences, state the position of Earth using correct positional language.
- Interpret maps and follow simple directions.
- Look at money from different countries.
- Write number facts about Earth; e.g. ‘Earth is the third planet from the sun’, ‘Earth has one satellite, the moon’, ‘Earth has seven continents’, ‘Earth orbits the sun every 365 days’.
- Find out which countries on Earth have the largest populations, the most cars, the smallest amount of rainfall, the tallest mountains etc.
- Compare the average number of young different animals have; e.g. elephant – 1, pelican – 2, arctic fox – 11.
- Complete counting activities within the school; e.g. count the petals on a flower, the number of trees within the school, the numbers of different types of objects within a hoop on the ground, bicycles in the bike racks, cars in the car park.
Working Mathematically/Appreciating Mathematics
- Solve number problems using natural materials such as gumnuts or leaves.
- Work out how to travel from one place on Earth to another using different forms of transport.
- Pose mathematical questions prompted by studying aspects of planet Earth; e.g. ‘What is the chance of native animals surviving the bushfire?’, ‘How many days in January do you think will be over 35° Celsius?’
Art and Craft
- Paint posters or paintings to display around the school promoting people taking care of the planet or recycling.
- Using papier-mâché, design and make a model of Earth which shows the oceans and land.
- Paint sunsets and sunrises.
- Create a large, simple circular Earth on a large sheet of cardboard using crumpled green squares for major land masses and painting techniques for oceans and seas.
- Using a picture of the solar system as a reference, use coloured crayons, pastels or chalks to depict, with some accuracy in relation to size and distance, the sun and all the planets, including Earth.
- Create murals or collages of different places or environments on Earth using ‘environmentally-friendly’ materials (such as fallen leaves or twigs, stones etc.) or recycled materials.
Music and Movement
- Experiment with unusual musical instruments from around the planet.
- Listen to styles of music from other countries.
- Use body movements to illustrate the movement of the wind and rain, sun shining, flowers blooming or plants growing, trees swaying in the breeze, clouds drifting in the sky etc.
- Create and sing songs to familiar tunes (such as ‘The wheels of the bus …’); e.g. ‘The Earth in space revolves around the sun …’, ‘The sun in the sky warms the Earth each day …’ or ‘The moon at night shines down on Earth …’. Add suitable actions.
- Show the effects of different climates and physical features (e.g. tropical—lethargic movements; steep terrain—movements with great effort).
- Move like various animals from different continents.
- Play recordings of naturally-made sounds (waves, waterfalls, rainforest animals) to students. Ask them to move in their own way to the sounds.
Dance and Drama
- Convert a fable or story from another culture into a short drama.
- Write and perform a class play to perform for the school about planet Earth.
- Use body movements in creative dance to depict the creation of plants, animals and landforms on Earth.
- Use facial expressions and body movements to illustrate the reactions of astronauts seeing Earth from space for the first time.
- Dramatise the eruption of a volcano, a tornado’s path of destruction or a deer escaping from a preying lioness.
Health and Physical Education
- Play sports and games from around the planet.
- Discuss ways students can stay healthy and safe during different seasons.
- Read about how the health of people on Earth may be affected by climate change.
- Research different varieties of healthy food eaten by people in different countries around the world.
- Discuss and list food requirements for different animals and how these may be affected by changes to the various natural environments.
- Write about the natural wonder of the world students would most like to visit.
- Write to a penpal who lives on another continent.
- Write an imaginative story about having to leave Earth to live on another planet.
- Write about what it might be like to live in a different environment such as a desert, mountain or polar region.
- Write a story titled ‘My favourite place on Earth’.
- Write a story from the point of view of a traveller from another planet visiting Earth.
- Write a poem, such as an acrostic or sense poem, about interesting/favourite aspects of Earth.
- Colour and label a time line of the Earth. Illustrate with plants and animals (including humans) related to each time period.
Speaking and Listening
- Orally share descriptions of a particular aspect of Earth.
- Students give short talks about their favourite holiday destination on Earth.
- Learn and say poems, finger plays or rhymes about Earth. Refer to websites such as <http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems51.html> or <http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com/fingerplays-for-kids.cfm>.
- Teacher organises an incursion of local museum staff to talk to the students about aspects of Earth’s past history.
- List words beginning with ‘pl’ (planet) or which contain ‘th’ (Earth) and also words with the sound ‘er’, ‘ur’ or ‘ir’. Compare them to the word ‘Earth’.
- Make lists of words relating to Earth as a writing reference. Suggestions:
– physical features—land, sea, mountains, oceans, rivers, gorge, valley
– physical phenomena—cyclone, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, flood, drought
– different species of animals and examples of each—insects (ants, cockroaches, beetles, grasshoppers)
– different environments and examples of conditions, features, plants and animals that can be found in each—desert (sand dunes, heat, arid, lack of water, cactuses, camels).
Reading and Viewing
- Read folktales and fables from around the world.
- Read stories set in different seasons or environments. How do the characters’ lives differ due to the season or environment?
- Read interesting facts about places on Earth: physical features and climate, Earth as part of the solar system, endangered plants and animals etc.
- Use an atlas, map or globe to view the hemisphere, continent, country, state and city or town in which students live. Locate interesting nearby landforms or features.
- Follow the journey of a space probe or spacecraft in the newspaper or on television or a website.
- Listen to/read news articles about the conservation or destruction of the Earth and its resources.
- Collect headlines and articles from newspapers and magazines relating to planet Earth. Create a collage or class booklet.