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  • What is a Minibeast?
    Minibeasts are just what their name implies, small creatures ('mini beasts') that do not have an internal skeleton and are scientifically known as invertebrates. Including butteflys, ladybugs, spiders, ants, bees, scorpion, praying mantis, stick insects and many more They live all around us in a variety of habitats, even in our gardens and homes! Interestingly there are more invertibrates on earth, than any other type of animal.
  • Can I adapt this theme to fit other year groups?
    Yes. There are lots of ideas in this website of how you can use the Minibeast theme and adapt it to the curriculum of diffente age groups. Here in Western Australia we use the School Currliculum and Standards Authority (SCSA). SCSA is responsible for Kindergarten to Year 12 curriculum assesment, standards and reporting in all Western Australian schools. This is closely linked to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and can be easily adapted. Year 1: Science Understanding, Biological Sciences. Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017). Elaboration: recognising common features of animals, such as head, legs and wings. Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211). Elaboration: Exploring different habitats in the local environment such as backyards. Year 2: Science Understanding, Biological Sciences. Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030). Elaboration: Exploring different characteristics of life stages in animals such as egg, caterpillar and butterfly. Year 3: Science Understanding, Biological Sciences. Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features (ACSSU044). Elaboration: recognising characteristics of living things such as growing and reproducing. Year 4: Science Understanding. Biological Sciences. Living things have life cycles (ACSSU072). Elaboration: making and recording observations of living things as they develop through their life cycles. Describing the stages of life cycles of different living things such as insects and frogs. Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive. Elaboration: Recognising that the interactions between living things may be competative or mutually beneficial. Observing and describing preditor-prey relationships. Year 5: Science Understanding. Biological Sciences. Living things adapt to help them survive in their environment (ACSSU043). Elaborations: Explaining how particular adaptations help survival. Listing and describing particular adaptations suited to the Australian environment. Reference: Scool Curriculum and Standards Authority (2014). The western Australian Curriculum: Kindergarten to Year 10: Science.
  • Are frogs Minibeasts?
    Technically no. Frogs are Amphibians. It is suggested to iclude frogs because they increase motivation and excitment, especially on a minibeast hunt!! However, it is important to explain to students that they are not technically classed as minibeasts because they have a backbone unlike invertabrates. Also, frogs fit in to the year four curriculum elaborations (see question above).
  • Do the students chose their own Minibeast lifecycle?
    There is a variety of ways that you may want to do this. You know your students and if they will respond better to being assigned a Minibeast or if they would like to choose their own. I have tried to make it easy for students to choose. Visit our research, lifecycle and photograph page to get some ideas of possible Minibeasts to choose. Minibeasts typically include aracnoids and invertabrates, however we suggest to also include fogs to increase student interest and motivation. Frogs fit with the theme in several ways (they are in students environment, and they have very interesting life cycles (under go a huge transformation). This also fit in with SCASA................ eloboration. Next you may wish to bring tadpoles into the classroom etc etc.
  • Is it safe to collect Minibeasts?
    A Minibeast hunt can be a really fun and motivating experience for children. You can explore different habitats such as under rocks and in ponds. However, it is important to talk to the students first and educate them about which Minibeasts can bite and sting. I would suggest focusing your search around the collection of harmeless minibeast such as beetles, caterpillars, snails, slugs, frogs, tadpoles, butterflies.
  • What photographs can my students use?
    It is suggested to use a website like Pixabay which provides hundreds of copyright free photographs. All images are released under the Pixabay licence. This means that you can use them safely without having to give credit to the artist. However, if your students are at the stage when they are learning about copy right then you may wish to get them to add a reference page on the last page of their digital story paying credit to the provider of the image and the artist.
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