The theme for Year 4 is The earth's environment sustains all life.
The focus is on the concept of environment, the interactions within it and developing an appreciation of the need for sustainability. The need to understand and protect environments for the use of animals, plants and people is emphasised. The curriculum looks at the use and abuse of resources and the consequent issue of wastes.
Children of this age often have a particular interest in the environment as a place for animals, and a feeling that the world could be a better place. Both of these are used as starting points in the illustrations of practice given. These illustrations also develop a variety of communication skills.
About the illustrations
Illustration 1: Habitats for animals – an inquiry uses children's interest in animals to develop this into an understanding of habitats and their diversity throughout the world. The drawing of maps, diagrams and sketches are important skills developed through this focus. Students are asked to communicate the information by these visual means as well as in words. This can be developed further into their feelings about extinction and conservation.
Illustration 2: The GeoSix and the swamp monster story develops student's knowledge and understanding of resources and wastes. It does this by involving children in a story about other children who have adventures. The story focuses on the issue of wastes. It contains information but is enhanced by suggestions of ways that the teacher can involve the class in predicting, discussing and commenting on events.