Student watches a Helmeted Honeyeater fly away. The bird is vibrant yellow with its wings spread in flight.

Adaptations and Features Year 5-6

Year levels

Year 5, Year 6


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


Aboriginal Culture, Adaptations, Australian Animals, Ecosystems / Habitats, Endangered Species, Human Impact, Sustainability

Discover the diversity of Australian animals, their amazing adaptations and the environmental conditions they need to survive.

Program description

In this program students will explore a range of habitats and investigate the structural features and adaptations that help animals to survive.

They will analyse skulls, group animals based on their diet, and discover how the environment can impact the growth and survival of all living things.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and sustainability principles help inform student learning to encourage them to reflect on actions they can take to care for wildlife.

Informed by their learning, students will be encouraged to apply their skills to help care for wildlife in their own community.

Students will learn:

  • To identify the structural features and adaptations of Australian animals
  • How Australian animals rely on each other and the environment to survive
  • About Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and their influence on Country
  • Sustainable practices to help care for wildlife in their local community

Program sequence

Before your visit


Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students curiosity before their Healesville Sanctuary visit.

During your visit

Connect and Understand 

Students will explore Healesville Sanctuary and be challenged to classify animals based on their features and adaptations that help them survive.

They will deepen their understanding of the current threats to native Australian animals and how the physical environment impacts animals and the entire ecosystem.

Students will reflect on the importance of healthy ecosystems and apply their learning to address real life conservation issues in their local community.

After your visit


Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school. 


Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts.

Program maps and itineraries

Digital maps will be provided to you on the day.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 5-6


Describe and explain interconnections within places and between places, and the effects of these interconnections (VCGGC087)

  • Students will explore the interconnections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the environment

Influence of people, including the influence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places (VCGGK094)

  • Students learn about how local environments change over time and how this affects animals; as well as how Aboriginal communities altered the environment through their methods of land and resource management

Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074) 

  • Students will encounter Australian animals to discover how particular adaptations aid their survival in Australian environments 

The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075) 

  • Students explore how the survival of Australian animals is linked to the physical conditions of their environment with a particular focus on endangered species 

Plan your excursion 

This program is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection. 

School groups will enter Healesville Sanctuary via the Main Entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More information.   

Book your education experience

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You will need to know the following to book your zoo excursion or online workshop:

  • Education program of your choice (if applicable)
  • Preferred date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level