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Year 2 Teaching Plan and Resources

Year 2 Content Descriptions for Biological sciences
  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU330). Students:

    • (a) recognise that living things have predictable characteristics at different stages of development,

    • (b) explore different characteristics of life stages in animals such as egg, caterpillar and butterfly,

    • (c) observe that all animals have offspring, usually with two parents.


This Learning Sequence focuses on how birds grow, change and have chicks.

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 look for adult, young and baby birds.

    • Students 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 do we find in our school neighbourhood? Have we seen young and adult birds?

    • 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.


  • As a whole class view this sequence of videos about the life cycle of the Magpie-lark, below.


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Life-cycle of the Magpie Lark. No narration.

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

  • Check Discovery Box 1 below with your students to find out how to tell a male Magpie-lark from a female Magpie-lark by looking carefully at their different markings. The students might then be able to draw on this information to identify the genders of any Magpie-larks they might see on their bird-walk.

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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 look for different features of birds that indicate different stages of development.


  • 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.

  • Check Discovery Box 2 below with your students to find out how long it usually takes a Noisy Miner to incubate her eggs.


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Step 3:

Investigate more about local birds

Learning activity sequence
  • Collate the information from the Walk Recording Sheets with the class. This could be recorded digitally as a graph. Walk Recording Sheets from Step 2 to be displayed in the classroom.

  • Students make a record in Science books about their favourite birds from the walk, with a labelled drawing and additional information.

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

  • Review the different stages in the development of birds by working as a class to decide what stage of a bird’s life is being shown in each of the following videos and what the birds are doing at that particular stage. Record this on the Behaviour Observation Sheet. See attached Teacher Information Sheet.

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Stages of Development [Sequence of 13 videos].

No narration.


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

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Step 4:

Undertake a research project about local birds

Learning activity sequence
  • With whole class, brainstorm ways of describing different stages in a bird’s development from birth to adulthood. (See Teacher Information Sheet for ideas)

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

  • Students create a poster 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.


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Step 5:

Share research findings for assessment

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

  • At the Year 2 Bird Conference event, teacher or student explains the investigation students have been doing to adult visitors.

  • Students present their oral reports with accompanying artworks to classmates, teachers and adult visitors at their Bird Conference event 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.

  • 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

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