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Year 3 Teaching Plan and Resources

Year 3 Content Descriptions for Biological sciences
  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044). Students recognise: 

    • (a) the characteristics of living things such as growing, moving, sensitivity and reproducing,

    • (b) the range of different living things and also explore the differences between living, once living and the products of living things.


This Learning Sequence focuses on the observable characteristics of birds.

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 record their observations about the features of different bird species.

    • Students will then choose one bird to study and present their observations 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 the video What is a Bird?, to focus on the main FEATURES that distinguish BIRDS from other creatures: 

    • All birds have feathers.

    • Most birds fly.

    • All birds have two legs.

    • Birds have beaks but no teeth.

    • All birds lay eggs.


Click here for full size or preview below


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

Step 2:

Take a bird walk

Learning activity sequence


  • Walk to/through the chosen habitat with adults asking Guiding Questions, ensuring sightings are recorded and encouraging questioning and predicting from students. Ask the students to look for differences in beaks, feet, legs, colours, ways of flying and calls of birds observed.


  • 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.

  • Play video in the Discovery Box below to students. This video shows a Pied Butcher Bird singing.

Click here for full size or preview below

Step 3:

Investigate more about local birds

Learning activity sequence
  • 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.

  • Divide the class into groups with each group answering a set of questions (See Question Cards) using their bird walk observations and prior knowledge, about one of the following:

    • beaks

    • feet and legs

    • colours and markings

    • size and shape

    • movement

    • calls

  • Play the video in the Discovery Box below to find out how two birds with very different beaks such as Noisy Miners and Rainbow Lorikeets can feed on nectar.



  • Completed bird walk recording worksheets from Step 2


Click here for full size or preview below

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

Step 4:

Undertake a research project about local birds

Learning activity sequence

  • After the posters have been checked/assessed, children practise reading their talks to each other.

  • 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 order of presentations and practise in class. 

  • At the Year 3 Bird Conference event, teacher or student explains the investigation students have been doing to adult visitors.

  • 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.

  • 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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