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Australian Curriculum Geography – The Earth's environment sustains all life – Year 4 ebook

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The Earth’s environment sustains all life

  • The location of the major countries of Africa and South American in relation to Australia, and their main characteristics, including the types of natural vegetation and native animals in at least two countries from both continents (ACHGK020) 
  • The types of natural vegetation and the significance of vegetation to the environment and to people (ACHGK021) 
  • The Importance of environments to animals and people, and different views on how they can be protected (ACHGK022) 
  • The Custodial responsibility Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have country/place, and how this influences their past and present views about the use of resources (ACHGK023) 
  • The natural resources provided by the environment, and different views on how they could be used sustainably (ACHGK024) 
  • The sustainable management of waste from production and consumption (ACHGK025) 


  • Determining the areas of the African and South American continents that lie within the same parallels as Australian, south of the equator; and the areas of the African continent that lie within the corresponding parallels in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Determining the factors that affect climate, comparing rainfall and temperature, the main characteristics of climate in the state and territory capital of Australia and relating the distribution of Australia’s population to climate.
  • Determining the location of each country within South America and its position in relation to the equator, recording physical features of countries within the same latitudes as Australia, and comparing the biomes of these countries with those of Australia.
  • Determining animals unique to the continents of Australia, South America and Africa; comparing the natural vegetation found in desert, mountain, plateau and lowland regions; and comparing the physical features, climate, natural vegetation and native animals of one country in Africa and one in South America.
  • Understanding the spread of natural vegetation and its relationship to climate. Investigating an animal species and its natural environment. Investigating the biomes of Australia.
  • Understanding that plants are at the heart of life on Earth. Investigating the importance of plants to native Australian animals. Explaining the effects of common natural disasters on natural ecosystems.
  • Identifying how humans have used natural vegetation and how they adapted it to suit their needs. Investigating the many plats that provide us with fibre used to make a range of products. Investigating the value of trees to humans.
  • Understanding how zoos have changed since their introduction, focusing on conservation and protection and restoration of wildlife habitats, and working to increase the numbers of endangered animal species.
  • Understanding the need for wildlife corridors to support biodiversity in areas where natural vegetation is isolated by land development. Suggesting ways to create wildlife corridors within communities to link isolated land with larger areas of natural vegetation. Investigating ways to attract native wildlife into a suburban garden.
  • Recognizing how humans thoughtlessly destroy the natural environments they enjoy. Interpreting survey results presented as a chart. Presenting survey results from a table as a chart. Researching information on the importance of sand dunes, the environmental impact of human actions on them and how they are being protected.
  • Before white settlement, indigenous Australians lived in coastal and riverine areas of Australia. After the settlement, most were forced to move to other regions.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes such as the Arrernte (Aranda) and Ngarigo Peoples adapt their way of life to suit the resources like food and water that are available to them.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander used their knowledge of the environment to engage in many sustainable practices.
  • Identifying the different resources that exist in the natural environment and their role in the production of familiar objects. Sorting organic and inorganic natural resources, and natural and synthetic resources. Identifying natural resources from which synthetic materials are made.
  • Identifying the effects of unsustainable practices on natural resources including marine life, forests, soil and wetlands. Comparing sustainable and unsustainable fishing practices and their effect on the population of marine life. Discussing alternative, sustainable practices for use of resources.
  • Recognising the role of the individual is effecting change. Determining the current commitment to sustainability. Encourage others to commit to sustainability.
  • Recognising that problem waste is a human concept. Researching the recycling of organic and inorganic waste. Illustrating the effects of acid rain and water pollution on the natural environment.
  • Identifying the choices available to the individual for domestic waste disposal. Gathering information from a consumer to determine how domestic waste is managed. Collating information from a number of consumers to create a test sample for analysis. Evaluating the results of a test sample to determine how well the sample families have managed their domestic waste.
  • Identifying the historical reasons for many of today’s pollution problems. Identifying the scientific principles of the wetlands system of water treatment and its environmental advantages and disadvantages. Comparing the two constructed wetland systems: surface and subsurface.

Key inquiry questions

  • How do different views about the environment influence approach to sustainability?
  • How does the environment support the lives of people and other living things?
  • How can people use places and environments more sustainably?

Geographical Inquiry and Skills

  • Develop geographical questions to investigate (ACHGS026) 
  • Collect and record relevant geographical data and information, for example, by observing, by interviewing conducting surveys and measuring, from sources such as maps, photographs, satellite images the media and the internet (ACHGS027) 
  • Represent data by constructing tables and graphs (ACHGS028) 
  • Represent the location of places and their features by constructing large-scale maps that confirm the cartographic conventions including scale, legend, title and north point, and describe their location using simple grid reference, compass direction and distance (ACHGS029) 
  • Interpret geographies data to identify distributions and patterns and draw conclusions (ACHGS030) 
  • Present findings in a range of communication forms, for example, written, oral, digital, graphic, tabular and visual, and use geographic terminology (ACHGS031) 
  • Reflect on their learning to propose individual action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge and identify the expected effects of the proposal (ACHGS032) 

Geographical concepts

  • Place
  • Scale
  • Environment
  • Interconnection
  • Sustainability
  • Change

Which countries have over 100 million inhabitants? What is the most widely spoken language in the world? Discover the answers to these and many more questions in Australian Curriculum Geography, a seven-book series which will see students navigating through continents, wading through oceans, and discovering cultures, creatures and creations from around the world.


  • 4-page units each with a supporting Teachers page and three student activity pages
  • organised into sections according to the content descriptions in the Geographical knowledge and understanding strand for each year
  • a general note on the importance of geographical skills and an overview and explanation of the skills specific to the year level
  • a geographical skills class record for teachers to record each student’s progress
  • a list of additional R.I.C. resources that support the teaching of geography at each year level
  • where appropriate, links between the content of each unit and the general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities have been recognised

**This ebook is not transferable, nor can it be on-sold or uploaded to an intranet site. For full copyright details, please see the Copyright Notice outlined in the ebook or refer to the Copyright Agency Limited www.copyright.com.au

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