Stage 3 – Taronga Zoo
This week, to support our current Unit of Inquiry “How the World Works”, Years 5 and 6 visited Taronga Zoo. The excursion aimed to look at the behavioural and physical adaptations that animals have made to help them survive in various environments. Armed with our iPads, the boys explored many different exhibits, snapping pictures of various features that the animals had evolved to help them to survive. One highlight was the seal show where the seals demonstrated their natural behaviours and how these helped them to find food or keep an eye out for danger.
Split into three groups the boys had the opportunity to visit the newly completed Institute of Science and Learning. Here they were taken into either an Australian desert, woodland or rainforest classroom where half the room was for the students and the rest devoted to creating the scene complete with animals. 5W visited the desert room where a bilby happily hopped around, feeding on fly eggs and grubs. Also fluttering around the room were about 15 tiny birds adding to the authenticity of our experience. Adam, the keeper, brought out some animals including a two-headed Shingleback lizard that we were able to touch. He discussed the adaptations these animals had made as well as considering the effects that a changing environment was having on these animals. It was a fantastic opportunity that the boys embraced which was evident by the questions they asked.
Back at school, we were able to trawl through the hundreds of photos taken by the boys and in amongst the blurred images of boy’s feet were some beautiful shots of different animals. As a provocation for our unit, this excursion was a huge success. We look forward to seeing how the boys develop this unit in the coming weeks.
Phil Trethewey – Y5W Teacher