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Year 1 Content Descriptions for Biological sciences
  • Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017). Students:

    • (a) recognise common features of animals such as head, legs and wings,

    • (b) describe the use of animal body parts for particular purposes such as moving or feeding.


  • Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211). Students:

    • (a) explore different habitats in the local environment such as beach, bush and backyard,

    • (b) recognise that different living things live in different places such as land and water,

    • (c) explore what happens when habitats change and some living things can no longer have their needs met.


This Learning Sequence focuses on the external features of birds and the different places where their needs are met.

Year 1 Teaching Plan and Resources

Step 1:

Introduce students to local birds and prepare for a bird walk

Learning activity sequence
  • Explain to students that:

    • They will be learning about birds around them by observing birds in their habitats.

    • They will be taking a bird walk so they can describe the visible features of the birds and how they use body parts to move and feed.

    • They will then choose one bird to study and present their findings to the class.


  • Select the habitat from the Birds in Habitats section of this website that matches your local habitat. Show some of the birds from this habitat and ask students:

    • Which of these birds are found in your school neighbourhood?

    • Then view and discuss the videos of the birds in this habitat.


  • To show students how many birds they already know, guide them through the Bird ID PowerPoint of common Australian birds.

  • Begin a Questions about birds/What we know about birds class chart based on this discussion, to be continued throughout this unit.


  • In small groups, with extra adult support if available, students rotate around to view and discuss features of the Museum specimen birds and record their observations on the

  • Museum Specimen Observation Worksheet.

  • Guiding questions:

    • What do you notice about the colour, shape and size of this bird?

    • What colour and how long are the legs?

    • What feature of this bird is especially interesting?

    • What does its beak look like?

    • Have you seen one or more of these birds?

    • Where did you see it and what was it doing?

    • What sort of food do you think it would eat?


  • Tell students that in the next lesson they will be going for a bird walk.

    • View video below.


  • Museum specimens (See General Teaching Resources page for information about borrowing these before beginning this learning sequence.)

Click here for full size or preview below

Step 2:

Take a bird walk

Learning activity sequence


  • Walk to/through the chosen habitat asking guiding questions, ensuring sightings are recorded and encouraging questioning. Ask the students to predict what could happen to the birds if something changed in the habitat and what sort of changes might occur.


  • After returning to the classroom, compare group Walk Recording Sheets and add any questions or facts learnt to the Questions about birds/What we know about birds class chart.

Step 3:

Investigate more about local birds

Learning activity sequence
  • Collate the information from the bird walk recording worksheets with the class. This could be recorded digitally as a graph to be displayed in the classroom. Students make a record in their Science books about their favourite birds from the walk, with a labelled drawing and additional information.

  • Review the images and videos of birds from your local habitat. Compare these with student observations from the walk.

  • Create a class list of questions about these birds to investigate.


  • Students complete a teacher-prepared Habitat Sheet to indicate where birds were seen.

  • Show the video explaining how different birds use different parts and levels of the same habitat, e.g. in getting food.

  • Make a class list of selected birds with children’s names attached.

Step 4:

Undertake a research project about local birds

Learning activity sequence
  • With the whole class, brainstorm ways of describing feet, movement, beaks, colour, food and location of birds to be studied. (See Bird Description Teacher Information Sheet for ideas)

  • Students work individually, in pairs or small groups researching the same bird to complete a Bird Description Sheet of that bird for presentation using resources on this website or other related sites.  See General Teaching Resources page.

  • After this description has been checked/assessed, children practise reading their talks to each other.

  • Students create a 2D or 3D image/model of their chosen birds for display during their presentations in Step 5.

  • Students complete Invitations to their parents to come to their ‘’Bird Conference’’ presentation day.

Step 5:

Share research findings for assessment

Learning activity sequence
  • Plan the order of the presentations and practise in class

  • At the Bird Conference presentation, the teacher or a student explains the investigation process to guests.

  • Students give oral presentations with accompanying artworks to guests and classmates while the teacher completes the Assessment Criteria Sheet.

  • After the event, discuss with students what they found most interesting in their bird study and what else they want to learn about birds.  Refer to the Questions about birds/What we know about birds class chart created in Step 1.

  • Ask students:  Have any of these questions been answered? Do they have more questions?  How will they find answers now this study is finished? What do they know about birds now that they didn’t know before?


Banner image: Children at school by Lucelia Ribeiro. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr
Icon credits

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