Unit Plan Level 5 Living World

New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands Unit Plan for Level 5 Living World


Context - Sub-antarctic Auckland Islands. Year 9 and 10 Students use this resource as context to learn Science Concepts. They may take the knowledge they construct from this resource and apply to a new context, possibly an ecosystem in their local community.

Students construct knowledge around:

  • Classifying organisms
  • Structural features and function of living things enabling them to carry out their life process. Organisation at the cellular level (Phytolpankton page on its way)
  • The interdependence of living things in an ecosystem

Choice - Using their knowledge, students make informed decisions about the socio-scientific issue of the effects of climate change, fishing on these ecosystems.

Challenge- social action - what actions can students take to effect change if change is required.

Connectedness- students work together in pairs, groups or between classes or schools to make decisions and take social action that may have an authentic contribution, effect on their community. Students can also contact the scientist through their various institutions.

Success- Students will be inspired to use New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands as a context to learn about Science and where appropriate take some level of social action.

Achievement Objectives Ideas

Intro with L4 - Begin to group plants, animals, and other living things into science-based classifications. Each page contains the classification of each organism.

List and organise examples of fish, mollusca, marine mammals, marine birds.

Nature of Science.

Understanding about science- Understand that scientists' investigations are informed by current scientific theories and aim to collect evidence that will be interpreted through processes of logical argument. Read each Scientists story and how they carry out their work.

Communicating in science- Use a wider range of science vocabulary, symbols, and conventions. Contact the scientists to find out more.

Participating and contributing - Develop an understanding of socio-scientific issues by gathering relevant scientific information in order to draw evidence-based conclusions and to take action where appropriate. (climate change, ocean acidity and fishing).Establish networks, connections between schools to enable interdependence. Consider importance of sub-antarctic - High endemism of sea birds and marine mammals. Consider the effects of fishing on ecosystems, Arrow squid fishery and sea lion bycatch. Consider the effects of climate change on ecosystems - ocean acidification. Write a letter to the Minister for the Environment.

Living world

Life processes- Identify the key structural features and functions involved in the life processes of plants and animals. List the life processes - MRS C GREN

  • Movement - arrow squid, sea lion foraging and diving, albatross flight.
  • Respiration - sea lion breath hold, squid gills, whale lungs and spouts.
  • Sensitivity - sea lion eyes, whiskers, arrow squid - have two statocysts (fluid-filled pockets in their head) full of sensory hairs and a statolith (similar to the inner ear bones in humans).
  • Growth - whale calves growth rate, sea lion pups.
  • Reproduction - arrow squid egg rafts, southern right whales, albatross, Sea lion.
  • Excretion - O2 gas is excreted from phytoplankton as a waste product.
  • Nutrition - arrow squid feeding, southern right whales using baleen plates to feed, albatross gliding and scooping? Sea lion foraging

Describe the organisation of life at the cellular level.


Investigate the interdependence of living things (including humans) in an ecosystem. Students create food chains and foodwebs for marine ecosystems in Auckland Islands. Construct several food chains. Construct a marine foodweb. Be able to discuss the interdependence of all the living things in a southern ocean foodweb. Consider the effect of human fishing on the foodweb. Consider the effects climate change on habitat.


Describe the basic processes by which genetic information is passed from one generation to the next. Flowering megaherbs and pollination by insects.Sea Lion Breeding. Albatross Breeding.

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