Science / Year 4 / Science Understanding / Earth and space sciences

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Curriculum content descriptions

Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (ACSSU075)

Elaborations
  • collecting evidence of change from local landforms, rocks or fossils
  • exploring a local area that has changed as a result of natural processes, such as an eroded gully, sand dunes or river banks
  • investigating the characteristics of soils
  • considering how different human activities cause erosion of the Earth’s surface
  • considering the effect of events such as floods and extreme weather on the landscape, both in Australia and in the Asia region
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Earths crust,  Environmental impact

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: Beneath our feet

This is an extensive teaching unit focused on learning, through a collaborative inquiry-based approach, how natural processes change Earth's surface. It includes comprehensive lesson plans, as well as student handouts and other teaching resources, for eight structured lessons that form an integrated sequence based on the ...

Moving Image

Geology reveals how Earth changes

See how geology can tell us a story about how Earth has changed over time, as well as help predict natural disasters and save lives. Find out how geology can help you understand the world around you even when you are at the beach.

Teacher resource

Shaping the Earth's surface

This is a unit designed to help students understand the natural and artificial process that shapes the Earth's surface over time and how this has relevance in their own lives. Students gain understanding of how the surface of the Earth changes due to the natural processes of weathering and erosion by exploring how these ...

Teacher resource

Origin Energy for Schools

This is a valuable website containing comprehensive teacher and student cross-curricular teaching and learning resource for years 3 to 8 that focuses on the themes of energy, energy management and the Earth’s renewable energy sources. There are three teaching units on the themes of ‘Energy introduction’, ‘Energy management’ ...

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Soils: a hidden resource

This is a video about the importance of soil, its role in global food security and the requirements for its sustainable management. Describing soil as a natural resource slow to develop but quickly destroyed, the video points out the increasing demands being placed on soil to feed the world's rising population and the threats ...

Moving Image

Fossils: stories in the rock

Come on a journey with young scientist Alex Jaeger as he tells us about fossils found along the Jurassic Coast in Victoria. Find out how the area's landscape and ecosystem have changed over time. Alex explains how fossils are formed and what they reveal about Australia's past in his 2013 Sleek Geeks Eureka Science Schools ...

Teacher resource

Changing landscapes: Connected learning experience (CLE)

In this investigation, students explore how natural processes and human activity shape the natural landscape. The human activities and the resulting effects on a local surface over time are explored in terms of the consequences for the environment.

Moving Image

South Australia's ancient sea fossils

Come on a palaeontologist's dig at Emu Bay, South Australia, and discover some weird-looking creatures frozen in stone. Find out what these fossils tell scientists about life on the ancient sea floor. There is a demonstration of how a fossil is formed, and you'll be surprised by the types of materials that have been preserved.

Teacher resource

Origin Energy for Schools – Years 3 - 4

This is a comprehensive teacher and student cross-curricular resource that focuses on the theme of energy, covering the topics of energy transformation, renewable and non-renewable sources of energy, the environmental impact of energy use, and energy conservation. The teaching unit ‘Energy introduction’ provides teaching ...

Moving Image

Lake Eyre - just add water

Imagine a lake that drains water from one sixth of all of Australia but fills up only once every 25 years. Discover the beauty of Lake Eyre in South Australia as it fills with water and transforms the dry outback to an inland oasis that becomes home to thousands of water birds.

Teacher resource

Carbon clues

Carbon is all around us and available to us in many different forms, yet we can’t see it and often we don’t even know it’s there – using a detective story setting students sift through clues to build an understanding of carbon and the implications of its use. The unit includes PDF resources and video quiz challenges for ...

Collection

Shaping the Earth's surface

This collection of digital curriculum resources is organised into four categories: processes and changes over geological time; tectonic events in recent history; natural environmental processes; and consequences of altering the Earth's surface. Learning objects, images and videos demonstrate changes throughout the Earth's ...

Image

Forest clear-felling, c1905

This is a black-and-white photograph from a silver gelatin dry-plate glass negative, titled 'A Forest Clearing', taken by the photographic studio of Charles Kerry and Co, Sydney, about 1905. The image shows a forest in the process of being cleared through clear-felling. Two men are shown standing in the midst of trunks ...

Interactive resource

Earth Alert

Tune in to a television program exploring environmental issues. Solve four ecological problems involving pest animals and humans: domestic cats, European wasps, sea stars and rural drivers. Get tips for solving environmental problems in your local area.

Interactive resource

Old Bernie's Pond

Clean up Old Bernie's Pond. See how it has become polluted and invaded by introduced species. Restore the pond by choosing actions such as planting native species and removing sources of pollution. Look at the effects of each change. Earn points to get a certificate.

Interactive resource

Water matters: watering the garden

Compare the amount of water used when watering a garden with equipment such as a hose or a sprinkler system. Choose how often to water the garden. Look at the results of using mulch on garden beds. Use a graph to compare the efficiency of water use options. This learning object is one in a series of six objects.

Video

Loggerheads, c1990: Forest justification

This clip shows environmentalist Bill Mollison explaining why he believes it is important to conserve Australia's forests. Mollison, a former timber industry worker and now a leading advocate of permaculture, argues that forests create soil, purify the air and play a vital role in the water cycle and the prevention of drought. ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Who's for dinner?

Look closely at a food chain and food web from a billabong habitat. Help animals to feed and survive. Play the role of a tadpole, fish or heron. Help the animal to grow and breed by feeding and avoiding predators. Notice that eating high-value food sources may increase an animal's risk of being attacked by predators.

Teacher resource

Living and non-living things

This is a unit designed to help students gain understanding of environmental biodiversity through the examination of living and non-living things in a local environment. Students examine and compare familiar ecological areas and study the life stages of living things. They explore factors that affect living things within ...

Interactive resource

Why recycle?

Meet a group of children eating their lunch at school. Notice how each child uses or disposes of their plastic lunch bag in a different way. Predict where the bags might end up and how they may affect the environment. Find out about the durability of plastics and environmental benefits of recycling.

Interactive Resource

Zoos Victoria: conservation mashups

This is a section of the Zoos Victoria website that provides a gallery of mashup videos created by students as well as an online edit tool for students to 'mash up' their own video about a conservation issue. For each provided issue, such as the campaign against the unsustainable production of palm oil, the student is able ...