Exploring Australia's Underwater Meadows

These lessons have been put together for a Grade 5 Sustainability and Environmental Conservation unit.  The project is a case study into Moreton Bay’s  underwater meadows as part of the TeachLive expedition October 2016.

This is a brief outline of the lessons created. Each lesson has been put into Google Slides (so they were slightly more exciting to look at!), and will be either teacher-led or posted onto our year level Google Classroom page for students to work through independently.


 Lesson 1: What’s Earthwatch TeachLive and where on Earth is Sophie going?

Earthwatch is an international charity that has volunteers from all over the world who help out scientists with their research projects.  These projects help to conserve wildlife and look after the environment.

Earthwatch international video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99VKViFQCcc

For this expedition I am going with 5 other teachers from Victoria to help scientist study the health of seagrass in Moreton Bay, Queensland. We are also looking at the marine lives that rely on the health of this seagrass for their own survival. 

Where is Moreton Bay?

Students are shown a map of Australia and Moreton Bay. Discussions on how far it is from our school, what the climate might be like and the similarities and differences between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Moreton Bay Marine Park Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISwRfGxSNmk

Student Task 

As part of our Term 4 unit on Sustainability and Environmental Conservation, you will be learning about the marine life in Moreton Bay and following some of the research activities I (Sophie!) will be doing on my trip. As part of this weeklong project, you will be putting together a case study showing what you have learnt. To demonstrate what you have learnt you will be putting together a Book Creator using the app. on your iPad.

Have a look at who else is going!


Remember to check this link to see the blogs I have added during the trip.

Task 1: Front Cover

Create a front cover for your mini project using the title: Exploring Australia’s Underwater Meadows  Moreton Bay, Queensland. October 23rd-29th 2016

You might include the following images in your front cover: a map of Moreton Bay, seagrass, sea turtles (Sophie’s favourite animal!), Sea stars, or a Dugong, which are very rare so I really hope we see some of these!

At the back of your Book Creator you will create a glossary of technical language, so create a heading for that page too.

      Task 2: What Do I Already Know?

      On page 1 of your Book Creator, under the heading ‘What Do I Already Know?’, create a brainstorm about what you already know about any of these topics: 

           *Moreton Bay    * threats to ocean   *seagrass    * dugongs    *sea turtles   *marine life    *underwater meadows      *ocean environments

Task 3: What do I want to know?

Under your brainstorm about what you already know, write at least three questions about what you would like to know, or maybe something you are wondering about.

What is Seagrass?

Do you remember learning about seagrass in the Melbourne Down Under documentary?

What did it look like?

What marine life depended? 

Why is it important to a marine ecosystem?

Can you add anything else to your ‘What I Already Know’ brainstorm page?

      Task 4: What is Seagrass?

      On a new page in your Book Creator, write the heading  ‘What is seagrass?’ 

      Read the fact sheet on seagrass:  http://healthywaterways.org/u/lib/mob/20141015100246_b5aecd06ad0830f3d/factsheet_seagrass.pdf

      Summarise the information from the fact sheet on seagrass and add your information to your new Book Creator page.

 Don’t forget to add to your glossary of technical language or new words on the last page of your book creator.


Lesson 2: Marine Life Of Moreton Bay

      After reading the seagrass fact sheet, can you remember some of the different types of marine life that were mentioned in the information?

      Brainstorm a list on the board.

      Watch the BTN story about one of the more rare marine animals that can be found in Moreton Bay: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s2685429.htm

      Task 5: Marine Life of Moreton Bay. 

Have a look at the posters showing the different Marine Life found in Moreton Bay.  Your teacher will have them on the board or you will have a copy attach with this project on Google classroom.

Create a new page in your book creator with the heading ‘Marine Life of Moreton Bay’.

List the Marine Life you can see on the board. Create a fact file about each of these. You may want to do some more research to add more detail and interesting facts about each of them. Try these sites for research:




Marine Life of Moreton Bay - Food Webs.

Watch the video about food webs, then read the fact sheet.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YwW-iWxLr4

Fact Sheet: http://www.glideways.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/FACTSHEET-2_Food-Webs-and-Food-Chains.pdf

With a partner, using the Marine Life of Moreton Bay cards attached in Google Classroom, see if you can work out a food web displaying how each plant or animal relies on the other. 

*Remember some species might rely on more than one other species.

Task 6: Food Webs of Moreton Bay

       Show your food web on a new page of your Book Creator under the heading ‘Food Webs of Moreton Bay’.

       Extension: If you have time have a go at this: http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/media/1388729/population-modeller-seagrass

       Don’t forget to add any new technical words to your glossary on the last page of your Book Creator.


Lesson 3: Marine Life of Moreton Bay – Threats

If something is threatened, what does that mean?

What kinds of things do you think might threaten the marine life in Moreton Bay

Watch the following videos about some threats to the ecosystems in Moreton Bay: 



Read the Fact sheet:



Task 7:  Threats to Moreton Bay

Create a new page with the heading ‘Threats to Moreton Bay’.

Add in information you have just learnt about. Add facts about the particular issues that are threatening Moreton Bay’s marine life.

*Don’t forget to add any new technical words to your glossary on the last page of your Book Creator.


Lesson 4: How are Earthwatch Scientists helping Moreton Bay?


Task 8: How are scientists helping Moreton Bay?

Put the heading How are scientists helping Moreton Bay? into a new page.

Have a read through the teacher blogs from the website below. 


           What ways are scientists helping to protect the health of the underwater meadows in Moreton Bay?

           Add any facts you have found out to this page of your Book Creator project.

Task 9: What have you learnt?

You’re almost there! This is the second last page of your Book Creator project. Under the heading above write down what you have learnt during this week   studying Moreton Bay.

Can you answer any of your ‘wondering’ questions from the very first lesson?

If you can, write your answers on this page.

Task 10: Glossary

Your final page should be the glossary of words you have been collecting during this project.

Complete this and you are finished!

Then upload your Exploring Australia’s Underwater Meadows  Book Creator project to the assignment link in our Grade 5 Google Classroom page.

I’m looking forward to checking out all your hard work when I return to North Melbourne P.S next week!