The Humanities

Safety at the Beach & Rock-pools

How can you be safe at the beach and rock-pools? How do you stop getting sun burnt? Where should you swim? Can you go for a swim by yourself? Create a mural or poster about water safety.

To ensure you have a safe but fun experience on the rock-pools, go through these important rules, think about your safety and the safety of the animals. Can you think of any others?

  • Always walk carefully
  • Always make sure you can see your fingers (Blue ringed octopus like to hide in dark places during the day)
  • Do not touch it if you do not know what it is
  • Wear shoes
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wear a hat
  • Keep the animals in the water
  • Always put animals back where you found them – in their home
  • Leave rocks where they are
  • Stay away from the water’s edge
  • Watch out for waves
  • Take home any rubbish

Check here for more information on ways to look after yourself and the coast

Indigenous Fishing

Find out about your local Indigenous group or groups.  Draw maps to show tribal boundaries and locations of any known heritage sites.   Are there any middens near you?  Have a look at the Wadawurrung Fishing Methods and Indigenous Australian Fishing posters.

Shells are homes too!

Have you ever taken a shell home from the beach. What did you do with the shell? If you hadn’t taken it home what would have happened to that shell (turned into sand?  made a home for a Hermit crab?)  What would happen if everyone took a shell home with them?

Human Impacts

Use the habitat posters found here.  How can humans impact these environments?  Interview older people to find out what the beach and coast or rivers were like when they were young. Do they think it has changed? How? Develop a role play about one of the following topics: Litter and pollution, fishing, collecting shells or objects from the beach, going to the rockpools.  Discuss positive outcomes for the role-plays, e.g. ways in which students can care for the sea.

Animal invaders

Research introduced marine animals and their effects on the food chain.  Investigate the introduction of marine animals through ships’ ballast water.  Research the effect the northern Pacific Sea Star has on the Port Phillip Bay ecosystem.  Design a machine/ instrument / system that would satisfy the following criteria: allow a ship to change its ballast water safely; prevent the introduction of marine organisms into other countries; prevent the initial uptake of organisms in the country of origin.

Recreational Fishing Quiz

Do you like to fish? Use the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide to answer these questions or use the guide to make up more questions.

  1. What age must you be to buy a Fishing Licence?
  2. Are you allowed to fish in a Marine National Park?
  3. How can you be a responsible fisher?
  4. How many Blue Groper are you allowed to take home?
  5. What is the bag limit for King George Whiting?  What is the minimum legal size?
  6. How many Elephant Fish can you take? Why?
  7. Which shark species are protected?
  8. How far must a jet ski stay away from Dolphins?
  9. Are Short –finned Eel native to Australia?
  10. How many Murray Cod can you take home? What is the maximum and minimum legal size allowed?

Past and Present

Students investigate the impact of settlement on a chosen marine coastal or freshwater environment

  • Create a drawing of a landscape depicting the difference between what the landscape would have looked like pre colonisation and what the landscape looks like now
  • Discuss and investigate human impacts on the marine and coastal environment
  • Choose particular locations – eg. The Yarra river, Queenscliff marina, Port Melbourne etc.

Indigenous calendars

Research the indigenous calendars for different parts of Victoria and Australia.  The knowledge in these calendars has been used to inform scientific understandings of natural processes in our environment.

Treasures A’hoy!

Legend has it that pirate Benito Benita hid treasure in a cliff somewhere surrouding Swan Bay, Queenscliff, in 1798.  Students research the myth of the hidden treasure and create a scaled map of Swan Bay with a suggested location of the treasure.  Why did you choose this location for the treasure?

Geography under the Ocean

Students explore the features and depths of the ocean floor through creating a shoe box model. Investigate the terminology related to ocean bathymetry. Make an ocean floor with play dough or modelling clay