Learning from Fossils - Stage 6 Syllabus Links

The Learning from Fossils Stage 6 activity has been specifically designed to enhance students' learning of the outcomes of the New South Wales Board of Studies Biology Syllabus.

Students experiencing a hands-on fossils session

Stuart Humphreys © Australian Museum

The NSW Board of Studies Stage 6 Biology topic, 8.5 Evolution of Australian Biota outcomes, addressed by the Learning from Fossils activity are detailed below. The numbers (1–5) show the links between the syllabus and each of the five Museum educator-led activities.
 

  Students learn to: Students:
1. Evidence for the rearrangement of crustal plates and continental drift indicates that Australia was once part of an ancient super continent

- identify and describe evidence that supports the assertion that Australia was once part of a landmass called Gondwana, including:
    fossils in common on Gondwanan continents ...
(Activity 5)

- discuss current research into the evolutionary relationships between extinct species, including mega-fauna and extant Australian species
(Activities 1, 5)

- gather, process and analyse information from secondary sources and use available evidence to illustrate the changing ideas of scientists in the last 200 years about individual species such as the platypus as new information and technologies became available
(Activity 5)
2. The changes in Australian flora and fauna over millions of years have happened through evolution  

- gather information from secondary sources to describe some Australian fossils, where these fossils were found and use available evidence to explain how they contribute to the development of understanding about the evolution of species in Australia


(Activities 2, 5)
- perform a first-hand investigation, gather information of named Australian fossil samples and use available evidence to identify similarities and differences between current and extinct Australian life forms
(Activities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

4. A study of palaeontology and past environments increases our understanding of the possible future range of plants and animals

- explain the importance of the study of past environments in predicting the impact of human activity in present environments
(Activity 5)


- identify the ways in which palaeontology assists understanding of the factors that may determine distribution of flora and fauna in present and future environments
(Activity 5)

- gather, process and analyse information from secondary sources and use available evidence to propose reasons for the evolution, survival and extinction of species, with reference to specific Australian examples
(Activities 1, 5)


Ms Helen Wheeler , Education Project Officer
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