Expansive grassland once covered one third of Victoria. Now, less than 0.5% remains. Explore one of the last remaining vestiges of this critically endangered ecosystem.
Werribee Open Range Zoo sits within some of the last remaining native grassland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain. Formed over millions of years, the volcanic plain is the third largest of its kind and has been used by traditional owners for food, medicines and materials for thousands of years.
By focusing on a real-world problem and learning about our local threatened species, students will gain an insight into the importance of conservation and the causes and consequences of environmental change.
Students will learn:
- About the natural processes that caused the formation of the Victorian Volcanic Plain and the traditional uses of the land
- About the interactions between organisms through food webs
- To investigate the influence of human impact on the characteristics of the grasslands over time
- How Zoos Victoria is helping to Fight Extinction
Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students’ curiosity before their zoo visit.
Connect and Understand
Students will take the Australian Trail at Werribee Open Range Zoo and discover how this unique landform developed. Learn about how the characteristics of the grasslands have changed over time and animals that reside there. By understanding the interactions between organisms through food webs, students will discover how critically endangered species depend on other organisms to survive and can be affected by human impact.
Your zoo visit will include: Introduction (for arrivals between 9:45am – 10:00am), Zoo Teacher workshop (30 minutes), Safari Bus Tour (40 minutes) and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at the zoo.
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
Your booking confirmation email will list your group's education workshop/s and safari bus tour time. Each workshop time has its own map and daily itinerary. Paper maps will be provided to you on the day.
Grassland Ecosystem Teaching Guide *coming soon*
Victorian Curriculum 7-8
Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity (VCSSU093)
- Establish food webs to show the interaction between grassland species at both a local and international level
The importance of conserving the remains of the ancient past, including the heritage, culture and artefacts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (VCHHK108)
- Students will discover how some native grasses were used sustainably by indigenous people as a resource.
Human causes of landscape degradation, the effects on landscape quality and the implications for places (VCGGK119)
- Explore the Australian Trail to learn about the natural and human induced changes that have shaped the grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plain as we see them today
Explain processes that influence the characteristics of places (VCGGC099)
- The landscape showcased in the Australian Trail tells the story of the natural and human factors that have influenced the landscape over time
Plan your excursion
Grassland Ecosystem is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection.
The organising teacher should make themselves known to Admission Staff prior to entering the Zoo so that payment can be made. 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.
Book your education experience
Fill out an online form to request a booking for your zoo education experienceRequest 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