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4 — Landscape walk

A partly shaded walking track through coastal bushland on Fraser Island

Above: Photo titled Fraser Island Great Walk between Lake Boomanjin and Lake Benaroon by Fasoffel, no copyright

This is the fourth sequence in a learning unit familiarising students with the grammatical components of a simple sentence. This is achieved by studying a variety of texts and illustrations that depict local geographical landscapes and those further afield. During this sequence students will go on a walk around their local environment and collect materials that they can use to make a diorama of a particular landscape. They will be encouraged to use extended noun groups to describe the environment around them.

Before the walk, decide on the route to be taken. Think about taking the students through areas that will allow them to collect items they can use for their dioramas. Also think about which routes will expose them to the greatest variety of environmental changes. Students will each need a bag to carry the items that they collect. It may be preferable to give them small bags so that they are not encouraged to bring very large items back to school. It would be beneficial to have several cameras or flip cameras for teachers or students to use along the way. You will also need to ensure that either Google Earth or Google Maps is available on an interactive whiteboard or a computer in the classroom.

Activity 1: Preparing for the landscape walk

Use Google Maps to show the students the route of your proposed walk. Invite them to suggest things they might see on the walk. In pairs, students can share their predictions. Give each student an A4 piece of paper and ask them to draw and write about what they think they might see. Encourage them to describe what they predict they will see, rather than simply list items. Get them to also think about the landscape that might be around the items. Ask the group what types of landscapes they think they will see.

Explain the purpose of the bags they will be carrying and the kinds of items they should be looking for while walking. Let them know that in a future session they will be making a diorama that shows what they saw on their walk and they will need to look for items that may help them make this. Be very clear about items they are allowed to collect (for example, items found on the ground) and items they are not allowed to collect (for example, they should not pull leaves off trees or pick flowers).  ACELA1450, ACELA1452

Activity 2: Going on the landscape walk

Take the students on their landscape walk and make sure they are all collecting relevant items in their bags. If parents or other adults are walking with you, then make sure they are helping students with their collection of items too. Encourage the students to look around and talk about the things they can see and to photograph interesting elements related to the landscape.  ACELA1452ACELY1656

Activity 3: Labelling the collected items

When you return to school, ask the students to get all their items out of their bags and display them on the piece of paper they drew their prediction pictures on. Allow them to discuss in table groups what they saw and collected in relation to their prediction pictures. Ask them to label their items, telling them that the labels or name tags they are adding are nouns or noun groups. Model some possible responses (for example, ‘some bright red eucalyptus flowers’), pointing out how much more information this description provides than simply writing ‘flowers’. Encourage the students to use extended noun groups for their labels and allow several minutes for them to complete this task. ACHASSK033


Invite the students to participate in a ghost walk around the room to look for interesting items other students have collected. When the ghost walk is complete, ask them to return to their items and, in their table groups, discuss the interesting things that they saw. They should then put the items back in the bags. Collect the bags and store them for use later in the unit.  ACELA1452, ACELY1656

Ghost walk

Students walk silently around the room, observing what other students have done in relation to an activity. It is important that they have a focus for the walk, so be specific about what you would like them to be looking for during this time (for example, ‘During this ghost walk I would like to you look for an illustration that is clearly labelled, and be ready to share this when you sit down’).