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Year 6 Teaching Plan and Resources

Year 6 Content Description for Biological sciences
  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)....... (b) considering the effects of physical conditions causing migration and hibernation.


This Learning Sequence focuses on the migratory shorebirds of Moreton Bay and has been developed in collaboration with the Queensland Wader Study Group (QWSG).

Step 1:

Introduce students to local birds and prepare for a bird walk

Learning activity sequence
  • Explain to students their particular focus will be on the migratory shorebirds that spend part of each year living in Moreton Bay beside urban areas. If going to mudflats in Moreton Bay isn't possible, there is a virtual tour of Moreton Bay provided in Step 2 of this sequence. Students will then choose one bird, identify its migration route and investigate why the physical conditions in Moreton Bay and other places on its route are critical for its growth and survival. This research will then be presented to their class, parents and teachers.

  • Show students the map of Moreton Bay. Ask them:

    • Which of these places do you know?

    • Have you been to a place on the shores of Moreton Bay?

    • What would you see and do there?


  • Show students the map of the East Asian Australasian Flyway (see Australian Birdlife magazine March 2020, p.53 - scroll down to view the map). Locate Moreton Bay on this map. Ask them:

    • Who has travelled to or knows someone who has travelled to any of these countries?

    • How long did it take to fly there?

    • Did you have stopovers, rest and food along the way?

  • As a class, create a KWL (what we Know, what we Want to learn, what we have Learned) chart writing in the first 2 columns about these birds for adding to throughout the unit and completing the third column after finishing their research.



  • Map of the East Asian Australasian Flyway 

Step 2:

Take a bird walk

Learning activity sequence
  • Teacher Note: Prior to this step, teacher needs to install My Shorebird Watcher App on phone (available for both Android and iOS devices) and connect to Smartboard for sharing with students.


  • Remind students of the video they watched about Moreton Bay and tell them we are going to Moreton Bay with a birdwatcher.




  • Introduce the students to the My Shorebird Watcher App. Show the students what they can learn through using this App and how they can record their own observations there. Contact parents to request they allow their children to install this App to enhance their learning in this Science unit.

Step 3:

Investigate more about local birds

Learning activity sequence
  • Use the KWL chart and individual student questions to create a list of research questions to investigate the major question:-

Why are the physical conditions in Moreton Bay and in other places on the migratory route of a chosen shorebird critical for its growth and survival?

  • Review with students their use of the My Shorebird Watcher App. Introduce the video Bar-tailed Godwit - International Traveller by telling them they will now see and hear  the designer of the App as he is the presenter of the video. Ask students to consider their research questions as they watch the video. Identify the key learnings after watching the video.


  • My Shorebird Watcher App (free app available for both Android and iOS devices)

Click here for full size or preview below

  • Play Discovery Box video below about the Grey-tailed Tattler that lives in Moreton Bay for some months each year before and after its migration to breed in the northern hemisphere.  Discuss with the students what they found interesting and learnt about this bird in the video.

Click here for full size or preview below


  • Ask students to choose the bird whose migratory journey they will research in detail. Make a class list of selected birds with student names attached.


Step 4:

Undertake a research project about local birds

Learning activity sequence
  • Students work individually, in pairs or small groups researching the same bird, to prepare their presentations, using resources on this website or other related sites. See the General Teaching Resources page. This may also involve watching again parts of:

Sharing Shorelines

Virtual Field Study of Some of the Migratory Birds of Moreton Bay

Bar-tailed Godwit; International Traveller

and using My Shorebird Watcher App

  • After this project preparation has been checked/assessed, students practise presenting 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 the order of presentations and practise in class.

  • At Year 6 Bird Conference event, teacher or student explains the investigation students have been doing to adult visitors.

  • 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 class KWL chart and complete the third column.

  • Reflect on learning with students: Have they learned what they wanted to? Do they have more questions? How will they find answers now this study is finished?


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

Icon credits

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