Classroom activities using the Atlas of Living Australia

Classroom activities using the Atlas of Living Australia

A variety of educational materials for using the Atlas of Living Australia in classroom have been provided. These activities have been designed to align with the requirements of the Australian Curriculum and cover levels from F-12.

Science Activities

Clicking on the year levels in the table below opens up the suggested activities for using the ALA in the classroom for students. At different points, there are links to printable activities that the students can complete. You can complete as many or as few of the linked activities as you like, and you are encouraged to amend them as necessary to suit your local area.

Year level
Foundation – Year 2
Years 3 – 4
Years 5 – 6
Years 7 – 8
Years 9 – 10
Years 11 – 12

The ALA classroom activities From Foundation through Year 8 guide teachers through suggested discussions with students, with the teacher initially demonstrating the Atlas to the class. The activities branch off from the discussion. Just completing the discussion and demonstration alone addresses some of the curriculum requirements. Details on how to use the Atlas with these exercises are given in the ALA User Guides. For each step, there is a link to the appropriate guide.

From Years 9-12, the activities are set out under related topic headings. These activities form summaries of the topics using data in the ALA to provide local relevant examples. Though the students could use the User Guides themselves, we recommend the teacher demonstrate the use of the Atlas first.

Mathematics Activities

A number of the Science Activities cross over into the mathematics curriculum. Representing data using tables and graphs is included in the Science Activities from  Foundation-8 listed above. However, there are some stand alone Mathematics activities using the Atlas of Living Australia.

The mathematics activities using the ALA fit into two areas of the Australian Curriculum – Mathematics: the Statistics and Probability Content Strand (Chance and Data representation and interpretation sub-strands) and the Measurement and Geometry content strand (Location and transformation sub-strand). The content descriptions covered are listed at the end of each activity.

Activity 1 – Data collection and graphing (Suggested for Years 1-7)
Activity 2 – Data collection and mapping (Suggested for Years 2-7)
Activity 3 – Graphing and probability (Suggested for Years 2-7)
Activity 4 – Data collection, mapping and interpretation (Suggested for Years 1-5)


The activities provided are examples of how the Atlas could be used in the classroom.  Teachers are encouraged to modify the lesson plans to suit their classes. The Activities for Foundation to Year 6 focus mainly on birds. There is a lot of bird data in the ALA, they are relatively easy to see and identify and younger students tend to be quite familiar with them. These factors all make birds a good example to use to best demonstrate some of the functions of the Atlas of Living Australia. You can substitute any native species in the place of the birds – anything you think the students might be interested in, or whatever you might be studying at the time.