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    The beach environment undergoes regular daily and seasonal changes of conditions as well as unpredictable changes due to extreme weather, unusual tides and the impact of people. If the changes are moderate, creatures and plants living at the beach are able to accommodate or recover from the changes. Humans can cause drastic changes, and we can also intervene to aid recovery.

    In this activity, students use scenario cards to identify and discuss changes that occur on an ocean beach. They consider whether the changes are natural or human induced. Information from this activity can inform planning for action to protect or care for a local beach.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • begin to understand that change is a natural process
    • begin to understand that extreme and sudden change may cause a species to be eliminated from an environment
    • identify ways in which people can help to protect natural habitats.

    Cross-curricular learning opportunities

    This activity supports cross-curricular learning in the social sciences as it encourages students to consider:

    • causes and effects of events
    • how formal and informal groups make decisions that affect communities 
    • how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges.

    Science capabilities and key competencies

    The activity supports the development of the science capabilities and competencies as students:

    • engage in discussion with peers using evidence to support their position
    • critique their own ideas or the ideas of others in terms of their validity and applicability
    • engage with science beyond the classroom in thinking about potentially their own local environments and ameliorating human impacts
    • consider causes and effects of events, how formal and informal groups make decisions that affect communities and even how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges
    • think critically to make sense of information and ideas, participate and contribute in identifying and enacting pro-environmental actions including a discussion of rights and responsibilities.

    Throughout the discussion, teachers are encouraged to support critical student thinking and use questioning to develop increased use of evidence and scientific reasoning.

    Download the Word file (see link below).

    Related content

    The article Building Science Concepts: Life between the tides and Building Science Concepts: Tidal communities provide useful background information.

    Connected articles promote science and literacy. The following articles discuss the science concepts in the Connected article and provide wrap-around resources to extend and or deepen learning.

    Useful links

    Assessment Resource Bank activities. Note, you need to be registered to use them.

      Published 20 July 2021 Referencing Hub articles