Science / Year 4 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Nature and development of science

Curriculum content descriptions

Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE061)

  • exploring ways in which scientists gather evidence for their ideas and develop explanations
  • considering how scientific practices such as sorting, classification and estimation are used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in everyday life
General capabilities
  • Numeracy Numeracy
ScOT terms

Predictions (Science),  Patterns,  Causality


If only animals could talk

This is an illustrated narrative describing the engineering decisions made to create wildlife corridors for safe passage for Australian fauna to protect them and the stormwater networks they had been traveling through. It shows the creativity, innovation and collaboration required, and focuses on the value being an engineer ...


Environmental and Zoo Education Centres – primary school resources

A collection of digital resources for primary school teachers and students to support teaching and learning from home, with a particular focus on geography, science and history. The resources were developed by Department of Education teachers from 25 Environmental and Zoo Education Centres in NSW and include Google Sites, ...


Biodiversity – sustainability action process (Years 3–6)

This biodiversity learning resource guides students through an extended school based investigation. Students develop and implement a chosen sustainability action and then evaluate and reflect on their success and their learning.


Elliot and the Surfing Scientist: Red cabbage pH experiment

It might sound 'un-sciencey', and have a bad smell, but red cabbage is actually very useful for testing the pH of liquids. Added to well-known liquids like lemonade or vinegar, red cabbage juice changes to 'pretty colours'. In this clip, Surfing Scientist Ruben Meerman explains the colour changes and how red cabbage juice ...


Local seasons: exploring First Nations weather knowledge

First Nations peoples across Australia have a detailed understanding of their environment, passing it down from generation to generation. They observe their environment closely, and use this knowledge to understand the changes in plants, animals and climate. Changes in the environment indicates what to eat, when to eat ...


Unit for Year 3 to 4 Butterflies: Engaging with nature

This unit of work engages students in preparing butterfly gardens in their schoolgrounds. It explores scientific entomology, features of caterpillars and butterflies, the lifecycle of butterflies, survival requirements, and the characteristics of butterfly gardens. The unit includes worksheets, assessment ideas, pictures, ...


Make it alive: spotted tree frogs

Investigate the stream habitat of the endangered spotted tree frog. Discover what these frogs eat in the developing stages of their life. Find enough food so the frogs develop from the tadpole stage through to adulthood. Help the tadpoles escape from predatory fish such as the introduced rainbow trout. Search for safe places ...


Gooniyandi seasons calendar

This is the Mingayooroo - Manyi Waranggiri Yarrangi, Gooniyandi seasons calendar developed by people of the Gooniyandi language group of the Kimberley in collaboration with CSIRO. The resource consists of an introduction, a richly illustrated calendar and related links. The introduction contains information about the people’s ...


Ngan'gi seasons calendar

This is a seasonal calendar developed by the Ngan’gi people of the Northern Territory in collaboboration with CSIRO. The resource contains an introduction, a richly illustrated calendar and related links. The introduction includes information about the people’s wish to document traditional knowledge of their Daly River ...


Tell Me Why: Unit of work

This unit of work has been written to support the book Tell Me Why. Author Sarah Jackson shares her journey of self-discovery as she connects with her Aboriginal heritage. The text incorporates the Stolen Generation in a way that is relatable to younger audiences. This unit includes practical ideas for using this book in ...


Wild ride: get a grip

Investigate the role of friction in performance of bicycle tyres. Test how the type of tread affects grip and speed. Choose tyres best suited to track and weather conditions in a time trial. Please note that the 'About Grip' button is intentionally hidden and will only appear based on the user's choices. This learning object ...


Primary Connections: Sustain the chain

In this sequence of 8 lessons, students learn about the roles and interactions of consumers, producers and decomposers with their local habitat and use food chains to represent the feeding relationships. They apply their knowledge to their school grounds through a selected context which can include working on the school ...


Built To Survive Learning Resource

The Built to Survive learning resource includes five lessons that explore different habitats and the animals that survive within them. To complete each lesson students become documentary hosts, drawing on their research and following the format of the Built to Survive documentary series. The resource also includes a module ...


Material world – Stage 2

In this lesson sequence, students investigate how different properties of materials affect their suitability for products. They will develop their knowledge and understanding of the properties and performance of a variety of materials through observation and manipulation. They have the opportunity to design and make an ...


Physical world – design and production investigation

In this investigative task, students explore how light energy sources are used for shadow theatre design and how forces are used to create movement in shadow puppets for entertainment and storytelling. Students investigate how forces and light energy create changes by students making, testing and presenting a model shadow ...


Park Ranger Problem Solving: An ‘Addition & Subtraction’ Rich Task for Years 3–4 - Calculate

The aim of this task is to provide a rich, contextual activity through which students can begin to explore the addition and subtraction of one- and two-digit of numbers in everyday contexts.


Work sample Year 4 Science: Amusement park ride

This work sample demonstrates evidence of student learning in relation to aspects of the achievement standards for Year 4 Science. The primary purpose for the work sample is to demonstrate the standard, so the focus is on what is evident in the sample not how it was created. The sample is an authentic representation of ...



This activity invites students to explore the phenomena of pendulums and investigate the question, 'What happens to the swing speed of your pendulum when you change one of the variables?' Students test one variable at a time to figure-out the effect of length, weight, and release point on how long it takes the pendulum ...


Ramps and rollers

This activity invites students to explore the phenomena of rolling objects down a ramp and investigate the question, 'What happens to a roller when you change the ramp by making it steeper?' Students experiment by rolling balls or cylinders down a ramp, and observe how the ramp's steepness affects how far their roller rolls ...



This activity invites students to explore the phenomena of balance and investigate the question, 'Can you find at least three different ways of balancing three identical weights on a balance board?' Students work with a simple balance (e.g., a ruler as the balance board, a toilet-paper-tube fulcrum, and coins as weights), ...