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Bridge upgrades at the Julius River Regional Reserve are now complete.More

Activity Teacher Notes 1.2

1.2 Why do we have national parks?

Levels: LP, P, S, SS
Focus curriculum areas: Society and history
Supporting curriculum area: Science
Key concepts: Public land, national parks, values, biodiversity

Understanding goals

To stimulate discussion on why our society has established national parks. Students to understand their personal connections and responsibilities for the Tasmanian environment. Students look at the concepts of biodiversity and interdependence.

Workshop Method

This method assists with effective team participation, try it for any of these activities.

You will need

  • A4 sheets of paper cut in half
  • Blu-tack
  • grafitti or white board

Students write one sentence answers to the focus question on half an A4 sheet. Use one sheet per statement and bold pens, so they can be read from the back of the classroom. Blu-tack or tape sheets to a board and then number each sheet. Using the numbers, students direct the teacher to group together sheets with similar ideas, into columns. Students suggest an overall title for each cluster of ideas.


furry face in the green grass


view down to the water

Freycinet NP

Trigger Plant

1. Discuss the focus question – "Why do we have public land and national parks?" See Background Note 1a - What are national parks? and Background Note 1b - Why have parks?

2. Use the workshop method for the following:

  1. Which of the ideas do you think are most important to society? Write down each reason on a separate sheet of paper.
  2. Group together sheets with like ideas. Give each group a title to reflect its contents.
  3. Each student puts a star or dot beside the two group titles they think are the most important. Tally the class results and discuss.

3. Research and note the unique features of one of Tasmania's national parks. Share your findings with members of your class.

4. Write or list your thoughts about the statement. "Our national parks are living treasures." Discuss in pairs or have a class debate.

5. What is biodiversity and why is it important? What are threatened species?

6. How do national parks assist in protecting biodiversity including threatened species?

7. Research what you can do to help protect biodiversity and act as a responsible global citizen.

Click here to listen to
a student give his
opinion on Question 7.

8.Have a class debate. "Our wildlife is the same as everywhere else and there is no need to look after them." (Listen to a Grade 5 student's opinion.)

9. Interview four people. Ask them to comment on this statement. "All public land should be sold to private enterprise." Compile your results and compare with the class.

Going Further

Investigate why we need to maintain biodiversity including ecosystems and gene pool diversity.

Discuss – Is conservation a luxury?

Discuss – How might an eight-year-old’s view of national parks vary from an eighty-year-old’s?