How do people change the natural environment in Australia?
By Gaye Braiding - teacher at Epping North Public School, Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre, and NSW Schoolhouse Museum of Public Education.
An Australian curriculum Shared Practice and Resource Kit (SPaRK) for Geography and Science and Technology Stage 3, Years 5-6.
Resource: ‘Sticky’ [videorecording] by Jilli Rose, NSW, 2013.
What a story! This complex 20 minute animated documentary commences with five minutes of powerful wordless imagery that explains the biodiversity value, demise and extinction of the Lord Howe Island stick insect. Strong symbolic images, a haunting musical score and strategic use of silence work together to cleverly portray the temporal human impacts and their effects on this nocturnal invertebrate species. In the remainder of the video, a personable recount explains the scientific rescue mission and captive breeding program of the stick insects found clinging beneath a single bush on Balls Pyramid, demonstrating the use of scientific knowledge to protect the species. Through mention of a potential rat eradication program, the viewer is left with hope for the future.
- explains interactions and connections between people, places and environments GE3-2
- compares and contrasts influences on the management of places and environments GE3-3
- acquires, processes and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry GE3-4.
Factors that change environments:
- Students investigate the ways people change the natural environment in Australia and another country (ACHGK026, ACHGK027)
Humans shape places:
- Students investigate how people influence places (ACHGK029).
Science K-10 (SciTech K-6)
Outcomes: Living world
A student describes how structural features and other adaptations of living things help them to survive in their environment ST3-10LW
Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043).
Generate inquiry questions using Lord Howe Island as a case study to investigate human changes to natural environments
- Locate Lord Howe Island and other Australian islands on a map. For example, Norfolk Island and Macquarie Island
- Zoom in on a satellite image of Lord Howe Island. Create a précis map overlay to show the vegetation cover and main land uses.
- Examine contemporary photographs of Lord Howe Island. Create a photo sketch, labelling the human and natural features. For example, the view to Transit Hill
- Using screenshots or sketches, create a visual timeline of human impacts on Lord Howe Island that led to the extinction of the Lord Howe Island stick insect. Include the rescue mission and captive breeding program
- Create a scientific drawing of the Lord Howe Island stick insect. Label physical adaptations and describe behavioural adaptations
- Create a food chain or food web incorporating the Lord Howe Island stick insect. Explain the effects of the loss of the stick insect from the food chain
- Create a cause and effect chart that identifies the past and present human impacts and their effects on Lord Howe Island’s endemic flora and fauna
- Compare the video ‘Sticky’ to the hybrid text ‘One Small Island’. Identify similarities between the texts. For example, the fluorescent green swathe that appears in both, intertextual uses of historic sources
- Create a Venn diagram of the similarities and differences between the story of Sticky and the story of Macquarie Island
- Generate a mind map of management strategies in place for the Lord Howe Island stick insect
- Compose a persuasive text to persuade Lord Howe Island environmental managers to undertake strategies to enable the reintroduction of the Lord Howe Island stick insect
- In an imagined future, create an animation or documentary that describes the reintroduction to the wild of the Lord Howe Island stick insect.
Cat on the Island by Gary Crew and Gillian Warden
‘Cat on the Island’ teaching notes, Harper Collins Publishers
Lord Howe Island, Lord Howe Island Tourism Association
Lord Howe Island – Just Paradise, Destination NSW
Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, Zoos Victoria
One Small Island by Alison Lester and Coral Tulloch
‘One Small Island’ teaching notes, Puffin
Phasmids by Elizabeth Shenstone and Steven Papp (ebook)
Save One Island, Save Them All, English for the Australian Curriculum.
How to cite this article - Braiding, G. 2017, 'How do people change the natural environment in Australia? “Sticky”', Scan 36(1).