Grassland Ecosystem

Year levels

Year 7, Year 8

Cost

$19 per student

Availability

Monday to Friday (during school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students

Themes

Adaptations, Australian Animals, Biodiversity, Classification, Ecosystems / Habitats, Endangered Species, Food Chains / Webs, Human Impact, Resource Management

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.

Program description

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

Program sequence

Before your visit

Connect  

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

During your 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 9:50am – 10:10am), 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.

After your visit

Understand 

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

Act 

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 time/s. Each workshop time has its own map and daily itinerary. Paper maps will be provided to you on the day.

Program resources

Grassland Ecosystem Teaching Guide *coming soon*

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 7-8

Science

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
Geography

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 excursion

Call (03) 9340 2788

You will need the following to book your excursion:

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