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NSW Syllabuses

Science Life Skills Stage 6 - Life Skills - Living World Science Life Skills Living World Science LS – Module 2: Diversity and Ecosystems


A student:

  • SCLS6-1

    poses questions and hypotheses for scientific investigation

  • SCLS6-2

    plans an investigation individually or collaboratively to obtain primary or secondary data and information

  • SCLS6-3

    participates in investigations individually or collaboratively to collect primary or secondary data and information

  • SCLS6-8

    identifies how primary or secondary data is used in scientific investigations

  • SCLS6-10

    explores models and descriptions of phenomena

Related Stage 6 outcomes INS11/12-1, INS11/12-2, INS11/12-3, INS11-8, INS11-10, INS11-11

Content Focus

Students investigate a range of past and present habitats and ecosystems to explore the diversity of living things. They consider the relationship between living things and their environment and how human impact can affect diversity within a habitat or ecosystem.

Working Scientifically

In this module, students explore models as representations of ecosystems, and pose questions and hypotheses to plan and conduct investigations in order to explore interrelationships within an ecosystem.


  • Features of Habitats and Ecosystems
  • Inquiry question: What makes habitats and ecosystems unique?
  • Students:
  • recognise that living things do not exist in isolation dd
  • recognise a range of habitats in their local area, for example: dd
  • schoolyard
  • local park
  • local creek
  • investigate a specific local habitat to identify the features of the habitat, for example: CC
  • soil
  • water
  • animal and plant species
  • identify various types of ecosystems around the world, for example: IUDD
  • oceans
  • forests
  • rivers
  • deserts
  • identify different physical characteristics of ecosystems, for example: DD
  • deserts are hot and dry
  • alpine environments are cold and mountainous
  • rainforests are dense and wet
  • identify the diversity of plant and animal species that exist in different ecosystems, for example: DD
  • desert ecosystems have small mammals and low-growing plants with small leaves
  • coastal ecosystems have shellfish, mangroves
  • explore adaptations of living things that live in a specific habitat or ecosystem, for example: DD
  • fish have fins and gills
  • construct a model of an ecosystem to demonstrate its physical characteristics and the diversity of animal and plant species that live in it ICTLDD
  • investigate how different physical characteristics of habitats or ecosystems affect the diversity of animal and plant species that live there, for example: DD
  • eucalypts have leaves with a thick waxy cuticle
  • construct a habitat to suit a specific organism’s needs and features, for example: CCTICTPSC
  • helping regenerate a local bush area
  • constructing a terrarium
  • engage in safe practices when constructing a habitat for a specific organism WE
  • Interdependence of Species and their Environments

  • Inquiry question: How do living things depend on each other and their environment?
  • Students:
  • recognise that living things use each other for food IU
  • identify simple food chains in local area, for example: DD
  • plant → snail → duck
  • weed → small fish → large fish
  • plant → caterpillar → bird
  • recognise that dead plants and animals and waste products are a food source, for example:
  • maggots eat dead animals
  • fungus grows on rotting wood
  • recognise that a change in the number of a species can affect the whole ecosystem, for example: DD
  • the presence of carp in the rivers reduces the number of perch
  • blue-green algae in rivers kills fish
  • investigate a local habitat to gather data in relation to changes in animal and plant species over time, for example: CCTNCC
  • number of fish in a local stream
  • number of types of birds in a local park
  • construct a food web to demonstrate the interdependence of species in a particular ecosystem
  • demonstrate ethical and safe practices when gathering data on a local habitat EUWE
  • Importance of Human Action in Maintaining a Balance in Nature

  • Inquiry question: What are the consequences of human activity on a habitat or ecosystem?
  • Students:
  • observe human-made changes to a local habitat, for example: SE
  • playground equipment in a local park
  • boat ramp or pier at a local river
  • recognise a range of human activities that can affect an ecosystem, for example: SE
  • damming of rivers
  • farming
  • use of pesticides
  • deforestation
  • household chemicals in waterways
  • investigate the effects on ecosystems of human activity, for example: SEEU
  • cutting down trees results in removing homes for birds and possums
  • spraying insects can poison birds’ food supply
  • heavy metal contamination, eg mercury, in water poisons fish
  • explore land management practices of Aboriginal Peoples, for example: AHC
  • using fire to plan and predict plant growth
  • fish traps that allow smaller fish to escape and capture larger fish
  • Inquiry question: How can humans contribute to the preservation of habitats and ecosystems?
  • Students:
  • explore regulations to control the effect of human activity on ecosystems, for example: SEWE
  • fishing quotas
  • regulations to prevent the dumping of oil/petrol/waste in sewers
  • regulations to prevent the dumping of toxic waste in landfill
  • regulations to prevent the dumping of tyres in bushland
  • investigate ways in which damage to ecosystems can be reduced, for example: SE
  • buying and using biodegradable detergents
  • growing native plant species
  • examine how humans can assist in maintaining a balance in nature, for example: PSC
  • fishing only for personal use
  • locking up cats at night
  • using only the amount of material that is required
  • disposing of waste appropriately
  • using biodegradable detergents
  • investigate a local habitat or ecosystem to predict changes as a result of human activity, for example: EUCC
  • a reduction in the number of particular species of plants and animals
  • Impact of Human Activity on Garden Habitats

  • Inquiry question: How can humans demonstrate responsible garden management?
  • Students:
  • explore a garden or model of a garden to recognise the physical characteristics and diversity of plants and animal species DD
  • identify and classify pests that can damage a garden, for example: DD
  •  insects (aphids, locusts, beetles)
  •  birds (cockatoos, parrots)
  •  mammals (flying foxes, possums)
  •  fungi (rust, black spot)
  • investigate different ways of controlling pests in the garden
  • recognise a range of chemicals used on gardens, for example:
  •  fertilisers
  •  white oil
  •  weed killers
  •  herbicides
  •  insecticides
  • explore why chemicals are used on gardens, for example:
  •  to prevent insect infestation
  •  to prevent discolouration of leaves
  • predict some dangers associated with chemical use on or in a garden, for example: SEEU
  •  spray may be carried by breeze
  •  danger of breathing in fumes
  •  airborne spray may contaminate the wrong plants
  •  fungus may be present in potting mix
  • explore how chemicals can be used safely and appropriately in the garden, for example: EU
  •  wearing a face mask when spraying
  •  wearing gloves when handling potting mix
  •  checking quantities of a chemical when mixing it with water
  • demonstrate the ways in which garden chemicals are stored safely, for example: EUPSC
  •  store in a locked cupboard/locked garden shed
  •  keep containers dry
  •  not placing chemicals in unmarked containers
  • investigate environmentally friendly methods to control garden pests, for example: SE
  •  string deterrents over tomatoes
  •  cloth cover over ferns
  •  companion planting