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:
- How ecosystems consist of interdependent organisms and abiotic components through food webs
- The distinctive characteristics of the grassland biome
- About the human alteration of the grassland biome to produce food, industrial materials and fibres, and the environmental effects of these alterations
- 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 9-10
Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (VCSSU121)
- Identification of biotic and abiotic components and demonstration of their interactions through a food web activity
Distribution and characteristics of biomes as regions with distinctive climates, soils, vegetation and productivity (VCGGK133)
- Immersion within the grassland ecosystem of the Victorian Volcanic Plain
Human alteration of biomes to produce food, industrial materials and fibres, and the environmental effects of these alterations (VCGGK136)
- Discussion of the impact of human settlement on the in the western region since the late 1800s.
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.
School groups will enter Werribee Open Range Zoo 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.
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