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Teaching Ideas
“Exploring Sawfish” - Ideas for Science and Technology

Sea Snake Tales

Activities linked to grade levels 3 - 6

Sea snakes are a family of marine reptiles found in Australian waters. They are related to land snakes and lizards and marine turtles and crocodiles. Sea snakes have adapted to life in the water by developing a paddle tail and a body shaped like the keel of a boat.

Design and make a sea snake.

Materials – cardboard, plywood strips, split pins, tape, paints.
Tools – scissors, hand drills, clamps, saws, sand paper, cork blocks.

1. Find out ways of joining materials together that allow movement.
2. Research sea snakes that live in Australian waters.

Devise Solutions
1. Name your sea snake.
2. Draw your sea snake, labelling the parts.
3. Divide it into segments, showing where the joins will be.
4. Colour your drawing, showing any markings.

Make your sea snake.

Does your model move well?
Is it similar to your design?
Write about the changes you made.
Which tools were difficult to use? Why?
What safety rules were most important?

Marine Animal Homes

Activities linked to grade levels 4 – 7

Crabs, shrimps, fish, eels and worms all live under or within coral colonies in marine environments for protection.

Design and produced a home for a marine animal of your choice.

Use paper-mache or a cardboard silhouette to replicate a coral colony. Use recycled or junk materials wherever possible.

1. Make a list of animals that live under or within coral colonies.
2. Select an animal and study it using the following headings - diet, habitat and behaviour.

Devise Solutions
1. Draw a sketch of the different homes you could make for your reef animal.
2. Select your best idea and complete a labelled drawing of it. List all the materials you need to make it.

Make your marine animal home.

Write a paragraph – ‘A day in the life of your animal’.
Explain how your house will accommodate your marine animal.

Life in the sea

Activities linked to grade levels 5 - 7

There are many different marine animals and plants living in the sea. They have adapted well to their environment. However, they now have to cope with some environmental problems.

Design and produce a diorama that illustrates the habitat of a marine creature in the sea. Show the shelter it requires, the food it eats, the defence mechanisms it has, and the possible environmental problems that may affect it.

Materials – Use a box, cardboard, cellophane, egg cartons, recycled or junk materials, glue and paint.

1. List 10 marine animals that live in the sea.
2. Decide on an animal that interests you.
3. Find and record all of the information mentioned in the task.

Devise solutions
1. Sketch some ideas on the environment you will create for your animal.
2. On graph paper, draw a design showing the environment you will create for your animal. Show front and top views.

Make your diorama.

What was the most interesting information you found out about your animal?
Does your diorama match your design? Describe and explain any differences.

Clear as Mud

Activities linked to grade levels 5 - 8

Storm water entering the sea from coastal areas is polluted.

You are an engineer and have been asked to design and produce a water filtration system in your laboratory to clean ‘mucky’ water.

Materials – Soft drink bottles, cream, yoghurt, margarine containers, film containers, tubing, filtering materials.
Groups – Work in groups of 3 to 4 students.

1. Start with a bottle of fresh rainwater. Find out what contaminates this water as it makes its way over land into the sea. Add these contaminants to the water.
2. Research what materials are used in commercially made water filters. Make a list of materials you could use to filter your ‘mucky’ water.

Devise Solutions
Discuss ideas for your water filter.
Draw up your selected idea and explain how it will work.

Make your water filter and run polluted water through it.

Does your filter work?
What can be done to reduce the volume of contaminants entering the sea?

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