Six high school girls having a fun and enjoyable time at Healesville Sanctuary.

Food Webs and Classification

Year levels

Year 7, Year 8


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


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

Discover the diversity of Australian wildlife and how to classify and care for them.

Program description

Food Webs and Classification introduces students to the diversity of Australian animals, their unique adaptations and how to classify them.

Informed by their learning, students will be encouraged to reflect on actions they can take to help care for wildlife. Aboriginal cultures and sustainability principles further enrich this program.

Students will learn:

  • Australian animal adaptations, reproduction and classification
  • Interactions between organisms, including food chains and food webs
  • How to use a key to identify organisms in a local habitat
  • Human impacts on ecosystems
  • Ethical considerations involved in scientific solutions used to conserve ecosystems

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, attending animal encounters, keeper talks and the Spirits of the Sky presentation. Students will learn about the diversity of Australian animals including their adaptations and the environmental conditions they need to survive.

Your Sanctuary visit will include: A Welcome (for arrivals between 9:50am-10:10am), a Healesville Sanctuary Teacher workshop (40 minutes), Spirits of the Sky presentation and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at Healesville Sanctuary. 

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 7-8


Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (VCSSU090)

  • Students explore strategies and actions to help save Australian endangered species and the ethical considerations involved

There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (VCSSU091)

  • Students meet Australian animals and learn about different ways to classify them according to similarities and differences, such as features or endangered status

Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity (VCSSU093)

  • At up close encounters with Australian animals, students will discuss food chains and webs to explore relationships between organisms and human impacts on ecosystems

Plan your excursion 

Food Webs and Classificationis 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.   

All onsite excursion bookings are subject to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and as such are subject to change in line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice. We will be in contact with all teachers prior to their booked date if we need to clarify any new requirements. See the COVID-Safe information for schools before your visit.

Book your education experience

Fill out an online form to request a booking for your zoo education experience

Request booking now

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