Core units: Year 4 — Exemplars
Illustration 2: The GeoSix and the swamp monster story
The Australian Curriculum: Geography (and its various HASS-based iterations) content descriptions addressed in the illustration are:
- The natural resources provided by the environment, and different views on how they could be used sustainably
- The sustainable management of waste from production and consumption
The illustration-specific learning goals include:
- understanding the links between wastes and habitat
- understanding the disposal of wastes and its consequences
- understanding the concept of sustainability
- developing skills of presentation of information.
Geographical understanding and context
The concepts of renewable and non-renewable resources, and of sustainability and waste management, are important in geography and environmental education. Geography looks further into the global distribution of resources and the influence this has on regions, nations and people.
The links between the production and consumption of goods, and the consequent waste products are also important for students to understand. Students of this age are often passionate about the need for all of us to do better in reducing, reusing, recycling and replacing resources. This activity builds on this attitude and encourages students to be personally involved in such activities.
The story provided here can be used as a resource in the exploration of information and attitudes about resources and wastes.
An introductory activity could begin either with identifying different resources and their uses, or at the other end of the process by focusing on wastes and where they come from.
2. Exploring the Geosix story
The GeoSix and the swamp monster (PDF) can be read either to a group or by individuals or small groups. There are suggested activities:
- At the end of Chapter 1: At this point you could ask the class to suggest causes other than a swamp monster for the slime and the smell.
- At the end of Chapter 2: At this point you could discuss with the class who they could tell, and who would have the responsibility for taking care of a place such as this. They might also discuss whether there are any places in their local area where wastes and pollution are a problem.
- At the end of Chapter 3: At this point you could discuss the concept of the habitat of animals being easily damaged, and the fact that frogs, in particular, are very sensitive to changes in their environment, but that all animals are affected by changes such as pollution.
- At the end of Chapter 4: At this point you might discuss with the class the actions that local councils and governments take to help residents to dispose of their wastes correctly.
- After the story: As a concluding activity, students could be asked to write their own story about wastes, rubbish, pollution, and slime.
3. Extension activities
Students may like to write some further adventures of the GeoSix. Suggestions might include:
- The GeoSix track down a polluter.
- The GeoSix and the water guzzler.
Students could develop some of the ideas about resources and wastes into practical suggestions for their classroom and school.
What you need
Copies of The GeoSix and the swamp monster (PDF).
Time frame: The story could be used in a block of time followed by further activities related to them, or spread over a series of shorter times.
This illustration links with the content descriptions of the following Phase 1 Australian Curriculum.
- Interpret ideas and information in spoken texts and listen for key points in order to carry out tasks and use information to share and extend ideas and information
- Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts
- Create literary texts that explore students' own experiences and imagining
- Create literary texts by developing storylines, characters and settings
- Identify everyday events where one cannot happen if the other happens
- Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive
- Earth's surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity
- Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions
- Suggest ways to plan and conduct investigations to find answers to questions
- Identify different points of view
- Develop texts, particularly narratives
Dr Seuss. (1971). The Lorax. NY: Random House. A favourite story for children which illustrates vividly ideas about resource use and abuse.
Roca, N. (2007). The three Rs: Reuse, reduce, recycle. New York: Barron's. A picture book for young children with a simple and effective explanation of the principles of the three Rs.
neoK12. Lessons and games on natural resources. This site is American and has a wealth of photographs, information, quizzes and links. Retrieved August 2019, from: http://www.neok12.com/Natural-Resources.htm.