Respiratory System

Image Source

Learning Intention: Science Understanding – “Cells are the basic units of living things and have specialised structures and functions. Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce.”

Success Criteria:  Students will be able to identify the organs within the respiratory system and describe how it functions. They will understand how the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems are connected and work together to deliver nutrients and oxygen and remove wastes from every cell within the human body.

So far we have learned about nutrition and the digestive system and how the circulatory system transports materials around the human body. Now we are going to investigate the respiratory system, which provides oxygen to every cell, to allow energy to be released from food. The respiratory system consists of the trachea, bronchus and lungs containing alveloi. There is an important muscle, called the diaphragm, that allows air to be drawn into the lungs and the carbon-dioxide-rich air to be expelled. Access the following sites and then answer the questions below:

  1. Label the diagram of the respiratory system, including the alveoli.
  2. What are the advantages of breathing through your nose?
  3. Why should you blow your nose when you have a cold, rather than sniffing?
  4. What is the function of the epiglottis and happens when you choke?
  5. Where do the respiratory and circulatory systems meet?
  6. Both systems have a large surface area – explain why.
  7. Breathing and respiration have different meanings – explain each.
  8. Both your breathing and heart rate increase during exercise – explain why.
  9. How do high altitudes affect your breathing and circulation? Why might athletes do high altitude training?

Circulatory System

Image source

  • Science Understanding “Cells are the basic units of living things and have specialised structures and functions. Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce.”
  • Science Inquiry Skills – “Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships, including using digital technologies as appropriate.”

Learning Intention and Success Criteria: Students will be able to identify the structure and function of organs in the circulatory system and be able to name and describe the components of blood. Students will complete a labelled diagram of the heart and circulatory system and be able to describe how it works.

The Circulatory System is also called the “Cardiovascular System” and consists of the heart, arteries, veins, capillaries and the five litres of blood (approximately) that flows through this system.

1. Work your way through the National Geographic – Heart Interactive. Label the blank heart diagram with the names of each structure, including the atria, ventricles, aorta and valves.

2. Watch the National Geographic Video – Cardiovascular system and then colour the cardiovascular diagram showing oxygenated (red) and deoxygenated (blue) blood.

3. Access the Blood Buddies – the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website and find out how you are tested for your blood type. Do you know what blood group you belong to? Create a graph (bar graph or pie chart) showing the different blood groups:

  • O positive – 40%
  • O negative – 9 %
  • A positive – 31%
  • A negative – 7 %
  • B positive – 8%
  • B negative – 2%
  • AB positive – 2 %
  • AB negative – 1%

Other information:

Student graph showing percentages of each blood type from Australian Red Cross data using “Create-a-graph”.

Year 9: Energy of Life


Image Source

Learning Intention: Students will understand that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another; that almost all the energy on earth comes from our sun and that this energy flows through food chains. Only about 10% of chemical energy is passed form one trophic level to the next, as energy is converted to sound and heat.

Success Criteria: Students will complete the following activities to demonstrate their understanding of the flow of energy through ecosystems.

First, go to the Gould League Food Webs Page and complete the Australian Grasslands Foodweb. Identify the producers, first-order consumers (herbivores) and second-order consumers (carnivores). Take a screenshot of the final food web when you have completed the activity.

Download the graphic organizer document from titled “Energy Transfer”. From the “Australian Grasslands Food Web”, complete the worksheet by identifying the producers, herbivores, carnivores and decomposers. Stick this firmly into your book.

Read through the Food Chains, Food Webs, Biomass Pyramids and Cycles page from the Queensland Science Teacher’s Association, then try their quiz. You could also try the McGraw-Hill “Life Science” Quiz.

Year 7 Skills for Living

Today we have several things going on due to production rehearsals and a special program with Quantum Victoria.

The boys who have not been going to Dance classes and have been working on their ideal school project will be signing up to Minecraft today. You will each be given a sheet of instructions, a web address and Minecraft access code.

  1. Firstly, get a Mojang account, by going to and registering with your name, email address and password.  Go to your email and click on the confirmation link.
  2. Next, register with Quantum Victoria – when you use the invitation code, make sure you use a capital ‘Q’ and exclamation mark ‘!’. Go to your email and click on the confirmation link – if you can’t find the message, it may have gone to ‘junk mail’.
  3. Start playing Minecraft by going to Quantum Victoria Massively Minecraft and have fun!

For those students who have been doing Dance – you need to complete your Maths homework – send me a photograph annotated with the length, width and height of a rectangular prism. We will calculate the surface area and volume of this three dimensional shape.

When you have finished, you can design the programs, posters and tickets for the school production – An adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, “A Winter’s Tale”. The show will be on Monday 29th October (7.30pm) and Wednesday 31st October (7.30pm). Tickets cost $5.00 for children and $10.00 for adults. Make sure your design is cohesive across the three items and uses appropriate fonts and creative commons images.

My Ideal School

The Guardian newspaper in United Kingdom is running a competition similar to the task we have been doing at school during term 3. They are calling for entries into “The School We’d Like” competition, with the judging criteria as follows:

• Measurable benefits to your school community, please provide clear evidence where possible.
• Innovation – is this an example of clear innovative practice which could be used by other schools to the benefit of their communities?
• Consultation – evidence that there was a genuine consultative exercise across the school community to develop the idea.
• Collaboration – compelling evidence that teachers, students and other members of the school community worked together on the project.
• Pupil voice – evidence that pupil voice was developed by the exercise.
• Evidence that as many students as possible had the opportunity to learn or be exposed to life-long skill development such as project planning, financial planning, consultation, collaboration, presentation and interview.
• Evidence of positive learning from the exercise both for the presentation group and the wider school community.
• An indication of how the school community would use the lessons learned through the competition in the future.
• Sustainability: thought about the long term plans, how their idea will be maintained and sustained.

Consider this criteria as you prepare your plan and up to 500 word report describing your ideal school. Remember to justify each component of your plan and describe how it will improve student outcomes.  When you have completed your blog post, including an image of your ideal school, please add a comment below, with your blog address in the message.

Science Week – Energy Revolution 11th-19th August

Australian Science Teacher’s Association Science Week Booklet

Next week is Science Week across Australia and ASTA have produced an excellent, free resource with information and activities on the theme “Energy Revolution”. It includes sections on types of renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable homes, schools, transport and buildings. There are plenty of links to resources and practical activities for your classroom.

We have a few things happening at Hawkesdale to celebrate Science Week:

Monday 13th August (11.30am – 12.30pm): Games and Game Design: Skills needed for a career in games Quantum Victoria present “The Young Scientist and Engineer series” with Paul Taylor, a game designer, educator and software engineer. Click on this link for the Blackboard Collaborate session.

Tuesday 14th August (9.00 – 10.00am) Mags Lum (@ScientistMags on Twitter) is a chemist, metallurgist, photographer and writer. She writes a blog, “Philosophically Disturbed” and will be Skyping into our classroom to talk about “Science is a journey” with our year 9 class.

Wednesday 15th August (11.15am to 12.05pm) Catherine Anderson (@genegeek) is a molecular genetics specialist who writes at “Musings of a gene geek”  about science, DNA, genetics and more. She will be Skyping in to our Year 7 class with “Genetics 101, Why I love it and science career paths”. Catherine has written a great post about DNA on her blog, “What is DNA?”. Please leave a comment on her blog about what you found interesting about today’s session, if you might be considering science as a career and thanking her for her time today.

After our Skype sessions, please follow the links to Mags’ and Catherine’s blogs and add a comment – What did you find interesting, amusing, difficult to understand or strange? Did their talk make you think about a career in science?

On Monday 27th August (11.30am to 12.30pm): Quantum Victoria present “The Young Scientist and Engineer series” with Matt Bliss, a geologist studying the chemistry of volcanoes, who will be speaking about “The Earth as a Dynamic System”.


Love your Locals – Get Grubby

Learning Intention: Students will continue to develop their understanding about the importance of biodiversity and how threatened species can be affected by human activities. They will contribute to discussion about how we can maintain biodiversity in Victoria and learn about the ways that Zoos Victoria contribute to biodiversity management programs.

Success criteria: Students will participate in the Zoos Victoria webinar, demonstrating appropriate online behaviour and contribute to discussion about threatened species. They will produce a blog post describing what they have learnt about biodiversity, threatened species and the ways that Zoos Victoria contribute to biodiversity management.

Zoos Victoria is Fighting Extinction for 20 local threatened species and they need your help! In this interactive web-conference you will get to know a bit more about some of our most endangered and amazing local animals, and some of the people working hard to save them. You will also gain some practical tips and how to best help native wildlife. Chat live to experts from the Zoo and Greening Australia, view exclusive video footage, and find out how you can help to get grubby to directly help save these shy and unique Victorian animals from extinction.

To Join this session on Tuesday July 24th at 11.30am, please click this session link within 30 minutes of start time: Love your Locals – Get Grubby!

Enter your name and school e.g. Britt at Hawkesdale P12 College and remember your online etiquette  – no spamming, be respectful of everyone in the room and use all the tools appropriately.

Year 8 Diseases Project

Isn’t this a great infographic about Smallpox? It came from AJC1 at FlickrCC

Your task is to research a disease of your choice and answer the following questions in your own words:
1. Is it infectious/contagious?
2. What are the symptoms of this disease?
3. What causes the disease?
4. Is it spread by vectors?
4. How is the disease treated?
5. How can the disease be prevented?

Create a slideshow about the disease, adding creative commons images from Search Creative Commons or Flickr Creative Commons (be sure to select Creative Commons images only).
Make sure you have a Title slide with your first name only and the topic of study and a page for all your References at the end. Then upload your slideshow to Slideshare and embed the slideshow into a post on your blog.
The last step is to send me an email with the link to your blog post. Daniel has done each of these steps and can explain to you how to do it, or perhaps Mrs Davey can help you in ICT. This is Daniel’s project on pulpy kidney, a disease in sheep, goats and cattle:

Year 8 Diseases Project


The school is trialling a new source of information resources, online databases and eLearning modules, that I would like you to test out. Please access and I will let you know the username and password. Go to the Medical and Health section, just below the science links and search for your disease.
Also, try the ebooks at, (same username and password) which has a range of digital enyclopedias for you to search for your information.

Fifteen minutes before the bell goes, I would like you answer the following questions in a comment on this post:

1. What are the advantages of using these types of digital resources over a Google Search?
2. What are the advantages of using these types of resources over similar non-fiction books in the library?
3. Are there disadvantages of using online databases and ebooks? Explain.
4. Did you like using these resources? How did you find getting the information – easy, medium, difficult?
5. Would you recommend that the school purchase these resources, basd on your experience?