Year 7 Lesson 3 - Important Plants and Animals of Moreton Bay

Lesson 3 - Important Plants and Animals of Moreton Bay

Aim 

The aim of this lesson is for students to gain a deeper understanding of a particular plant or animal that can be found in the Moreton Bay area. The students will also begin to explore the impact that different plants and animals have on their habitat. They will start to hypothesis about what would happen if a particular plant or animal population increased or decreased. 

Activity 

1. Fact File (35 minutes)

Use the Food Chain Game cards to show the students a list of significant plants and animals that live in Moreton Bay. The students will choose a plant or animal that lives in Moreton Bay they wish to find out more about and then research it. They will then create their own “Fact File” about their chosen plant or animal that shows its distribution around Moreton Bay and Australia. 

2. Food Chain Game (35 minutes)

Hand out the Food Chain Game cards. Ask each child to read what plant or animal they were given and what their habitat, diet and food source is. 

Have the students stand around the room and tell them that they can only stay standing if their “food source” is standing. One at a time, ask different groups to sit down and see what impact this has on the other groups. What food source had the biggest impact when it was removed? What had the least impact? Is one plant/animal more important than the rest? 

Alternatively this game can be played with a ball of string that is passed from one food source or habitat to the next. For example: seagrass – prawn – fish – Pied Oyster catcher. How many different links or webs can be created? What does this say about the importance of looking after every aspect Moreton Bay? 

3. What is Mr O up to - Please ask the students to visit the Teachlive website here: http://teachlive.org.au/kings-college and look at the blogs section and see what I’ve been researching this week. 

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Food Chain Game 

Each card will have an image and the corresponding text. 

Humpback Whale
Diet: Krill and small fish
Threats: entanglement in fishing nets, ship strikes, whale watch harassment, habitat impacts, 

Loggerhead Turtles
Diet: shellfish, crabs, sea urchins and jellyfish
Threats: light pollution, boat strikes, crab pots, feral foxes and pigs (eat eggs and hatchlings) 

Dugongs
Diet: seagrass
Threats: boat strikes, entanglement in fishing nets, poor water quality, loss of seagrass habitat 

Shore birds
Diet: worms, insects and crustaceans
Threats: Pollution, nest destruction from vehicles on the beach, domestic pets and feral animals 

Seagrass
Role: habitat for small fish and crustaceans, food for dugongs
Threats: silt and pollutants from the Brisbane River, dredging, chain moorings 

Mangroves 

Role: habitat and food source for small animals such as fish, crustaceans and other bottom dwelling invertebrates, traps sediment 

Threats: pollution, residential development, erosion 

Crustaceans (barnacles, crabs, lobsters, shrimp)
Role: small crustaceans are ‘filter feeders’ and recycle nutrients; larger crustaceans are food for larger fish. 

Threats: loss of seagrass and mangrove habitats due to pollutants, dredging, chain moorings, residential development, pollution and erosion 

Small fish
Role: food source for larger marine animals
Threats: loss of food source, habitat impacts due to pollution, habitat loss 

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