Resource Type

The Mysterious World of Eels video

This recording of an ARI seminar features Uncle Denis Rose and Dr Wayne Koster presenting on their partnership in eel migration research.  It shares the importance of eels (both culturally and ecologically) and what we’ve learned through satellite tracking.

The video runs for 1hr and is suitable for older viewers as a rare chance to dive deeper into the mysterious world of eels.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Manungaboomboom – Uncle Rick Nelson video

Uncle Rick Nelson’s story of Dja Dja Wurrung People and the impacts of colonisation on Dja Dja Wurrung County. Filmed in and around Leanganook, Mt Alexander region.

This is a powerful and important story but please be aware there is some graphic content for younger viewers.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA,

Wanyarram Dhelk, Bendigo Creek site tour video

Bendigo Creek is being transformed as a priority project of Water Sensitive Bendigo.  This important project demonstrates how integrating Traditional Owner knowledge with water sensitive design can help restore cultural, social and environmental values to a degraded urban creek and is a great example for students.

The video can be used by students, for students or as background for teachers to increase their own knowledge.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

‘Drought’ and ‘Flood’ picture story books

Two books by Jackie French highlighting the impact of Drought and Flood on landscapes, flora, fauna and people.  Read the books or watch the online readings to start discussions about the way climate and natural processes sometimes seem irrelevant in everyday life but their impact on us are brought to the fore in times when nature is out of balance. Use the teachers notes for Drought and Flood to explore the two books with students.

  • General, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Build Me A River video

John Gooderham is an aquatic and macroinvertebrate ecologist with a knack for sharing his enthusiasm for waterbugs.  This video highlights the importance of in-stream and riparian zone habitat to healthy bug populations, takes us underwater into the secret world of waterbugs and provides incredible close-up video of waterbugs that you are unlikely to see elsewhere (including time lapse footage of a caddisfly emerging from it’s larvae form).

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

The impact of animal poo on our waterways

This article (and video) explains the impact animal poo has on our waterways and makes some interesting  comparisons between the impact of native animal poo and exotic animal poo.  The article is quite detailed but information can be extracted for younger students.  The video is short and simple.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Barapa Water for Country video

A great video to showcase the importance and value in collaborating with Traditional Owners to understand, explore and heal country by embedding cultural knowledge, skills and aspirations in land management decisions.

Follow the journey of the project;  See here for a look at how the project began and for more information about its goal to work with the Barapa Cultural Team and identify, map and record the cultural values of the Lower Gunbower Forest to improve the management of environmental water.

See here for the 2019 video.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Deadly and Proud website

Many Aboriginal people use the word “deadly” to mean awesome, strong, brilliant.

The many deadly stories of Aboriginal history and cultures are part of our collective identity as Victorians.

Students can use this website full of engaging videos to explore and learn by listening to the stories of Aboriginal people around the state.  The questions section is also a great place to watch videos that answer some of the most common questions people have about Aboriginal culture.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Website,
  • All Regions,

Kamarooka Saltland Restoration project fact sheet

This fact sheet will be useful for secondary students to understand the positive impact that strategic revegetation on saline land can make to lower the watertable.  Northern United Forestry Group’s Kamarooka Saltland Restoration project site is 30km north of Bendigo.

More information about the project can be found here and excursions can be organised by emailing nufg@nufg.org.au

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Secondary,
  • North Central CMA,

Nature-scrolling activity

A nature scroll is simply a long, narrow piece of paper used to record your responses to nature, in words and pictures.  It can be a portable, bite-sized alternative to nature journalling and a wonderful way for your students to engage with their local environment or make observations whilst at your adopted water testing site.  Make it scientific, make it artistic or both !

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

The Riparian Revegetator video

The riparian zone is the area between the land and a river or creek. Plants that thrive in this zone are known as riparian vegetation.

The Riparian Revegetator tells the story of how, over the last three decades, Paul has transformed his land in Gippsland from a degraded and barren farm into a thriving environment, acting as a critical refuge for the local beasties.

This is a great example of what landholders can achieve to enhance the health of waterways

  • Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

River Moorabool movie trailer

the River Moorabool was made by People for A Living Moorabool (PALM) and Sheoaks Films.  It features local landowners, scientists, and healthy river advocates, as well a spectacular and wide-ranging views of the Moorabool river valley and catchment.

This short trailer highlights the issues facing the Moorabool River; declining catchment health, regulation and lack of environmental flows.  Note: ideas expressed are those of the producers/presenters to shine a light on the very complex issues involved.

  • Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Desert Lake – The Story of Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre picture book

It’s raining up north and soon everything will change for the desert lake.

The dry salt bed of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre shimmers in the desert heat. But far up north, the rains have come. Water is flooding into empty riverbeds and swirling down towards the lake. Soon everything will change.

Although Lake Eyre is far from Victoria, this is a beautifully written narrative that explores the unique story of one of Australia’s most amazing phenomenon.  It builds an appreciation of the wonder and resilience of nature along with the function of a catchment.

There are no online versions of this book but a hard copy or big book version can be ordered at your favourite book store.

Alternative teacher notes can be found here.

  • Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Platypus and Litter fact sheet

A simple fact sheet highlighting the horrific facts about litter and platypus and the good news of how we can help.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Water Cycle activity sheet

Students can use this activity sheet by our friends at Gippsland Water to fill in the gaps and name the water cycle processes then colour it in.

  • Activity Sheet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Why do mass fish deaths occur ? videos

Between December 2018 and January 2019, three mass fish death events happened along a 40km stretch of the Lower Darling River, downstream of Menindee Lakes.  Although this event occurred far from us in Victoria it was a highly public and very distressing event for everyone, seeing up to a million fish including 100-year-old Murray cod die in one of the biggest environmental catastrophes to hit the river.

The video linked to the title above and this one here help students understand the issues around what happened.  Note: views expressed are the opinion of the video producers not River Detectives or any participating CMA.  And a warning that some scenes could be distressing for students.

 

  • Catchments, Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Linking the Landscape – The Cobaw Biolink video

This video by Newham Landcare promotes the important role of the Cobaw Biolink in enhancing the connections between Mount Macedon and the Cobaw Range on both private and public land. Protecting existing high quality vegetation and creating connectivity in the biolink will help native plants and animals adapt to climate change.

The video aims to engage the community and make them aware that their contribution, no matter how big or small, can have a positive impact on the environment on a landscape scale, making catchments and waterways healthier and everything that relies on them.

  • Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA, Melbourne Water,

Bird Quizzes

Your students will love exploring these three bird quizzes on Birdlife Australia’s Aussie Bird Count website;

  • Fauna (animals), Game, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

The Water Cycle poster

Use this poster when introducting/discussing the water cycle with students.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Intergenerational Trauma animation

In Australia, Intergenerational Trauma predominantly affects the children, grandchildren and future generations of the Stolen Generations.  This is a confronting topic causing all Australians to reflect on our shared history.  Care should be taken about how/when this content is presented but the video from the Healing Foundation is extremely well done and thought-provoking to stimulate conversations with older students.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Share Our Pride website

This website by Reconciliation Australia provides introductory cultural awareness training to give non-Indigenous people a glimpse into the lives and cultures of Australia’s First People. It has been put together for organisations to consider what they might do differently to build better relationships with Indigenous peoples to show respect for Indigenous Australians and to create opportunities for Indigenous peoples to help close the life expectancy gap and build a stronger Australia.

The content is simple and presented in a very user-friendly, engaging format.  Users can take the journey through each ‘chapter’ simply by scrolling down and clicking links or selected chapters/videos can be viewed.  Note: Please preview content for its suitability to the age group you are teaching.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

The history of Mt Greenock

Time travel back 180 years to rarely visited places and events from the early contact period that marked the beginning of unimaginable loss and trauma for Dja Dja Wurrung people. Join Jaara Elder, Uncle Ricky Nelson and Professor Barry Golding as they stand together and reflect on top of the iconic volcanic slopes of Mount Greenock.

This video teaches students a different way to look at their local landscape with fresh eyes and appreciate its history and significance to Aboriginal people.  This is one of three videos in this series.  You can also watch videos about the Loddon River at Neereman and Merin Merin wetland.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA,

Traditional life at Merin Merin wetland

Join Jaara Elder, Uncle Ricky Nelson and Professor Barry Golding as they stand together on the top of the iconic volcanic slopes of Mount Greenock and explore the life-providing Merin Merin Wetland near Clunes where kangaroos still graze, highlighting the European and Aboriginal history of the site.

This video teaches students a different way to look at their local landscape with fresh eyes and appreciate its history and significance to Aboriginal people.  This is one of three videos in this series.  You can also watch videos about the Loddon River at Neereman and Mt Greenock.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Loddon River at Neereman video

Time travel back 180 years to rarely visited places and events from the early contact period that marked the beginning of unimaginable loss and trauma for Dja Dja Wurrung people. Join Jaara Elder, Uncle Ricky Nelson and Professor Barry Golding as they stand together on the top of the iconic volcanic slopes of Mount Greenock to give a fascinating insight into the history of the Loddon River at Neereman near Baringhup and the early interactions between European and Aboriginal people.

This video teaches students a different way to look at their local landscape with fresh eyes and appreciate its history and significance to Aboriginal people.

A must watch if you’re studying the life and times of the Loddon River.  This is one of three videos in this series.  You can also watch videos about Merin Merin wetland and Mt Greenock.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Digital story; If We Care We Can: A Story of How One Glider Helped Save a Forest

‘If We Care We Can’ is a digital children’s story which is freely available online.  It is reasonably long, 60 pages, but turn on the audio and it’s perfect to watch/listen to as a serial over several days.  It is set in the forests of northern NSW but has many relevant messages for Victorian students.
‘If We Care We Can’ tells the story of Acacia, a Squirrel Glider, who is rescued as a tiny joey and raised by human wildlife carers. When she is released into the wild she travels to a nearby forest, meeting and learning about native plants and animals, and how important the forest is to them. She overhears humans talking about plans to log the forest and, by collaborating with animals and humans alike, the forest is saved.

This story is best viewed on a tablet or computer in landscape view.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

City of Greater Bendigo – Our Vision for Reconciliation video

In November 2020, the City of Greater Bendigo launched its new Reconciliation Plan 2021-2025, Barpangu. Meaning ‘build together’ in Dja Dja Wurrung language, Barpangu was developed through conversations and consultation with the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Traditional Owners, the broader local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and City staff. It builds on the success of their first Reconciliation Plan and aims to further advance reconciliation across the municipality.

It is great example for students of how organisations can actively work on and promote reconciliation.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA,

2021 Koorie Education Calendar

Framed around significant events throughout the calendar year, the interactive Koorie Education Calendar has been developed by VAEAI to assist educators and learners alike. The Calendar draws the learner to Victorian Koorie voices, stories and achievements, and features Koorie leaders, artists, authors, playwriters and more.

The Koorie Education Calendar is updated annually and can assist schools in planning for key events and locating information about Victorian Koorie cultures, histories and perspectives. Designed to be printed on A3 paper.

We strongly recommend consulting with Aboriginal people and Aboriginal sources for information. Where available, your local LAECG is a good first point of contact and VAEAI can assist with contacts. Try to work with local community people and Elders, and always respect their intellectual and cultural property rights.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

2021 Environmental/Cultural Celebration Dates

Schools and the community are invited to recognise and celebrate significant environmental / cultural days each year; some are regional, some national and some international.  Many of these days tie in perfectly with the ethos of the River Detectives program and provide valuable opportunities to broaden and deepen environmental learning, explore curriculum links, make meaningful connections with other organisations and community groups and encourage your students to advocate on a range of environmental and cultural issues.

Check out this calendar (embedded with loads of links) and go wild !!

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Easter Basket

While Easter is not an Aboriginal celebration, eggs were a big part of customary life and looking at how Aboriginal people used eggs is a great perspective for all age groups at Easter time.

The protocols around egg gathering took into consideration the sustainability of the species producing them. Eggs were respected as a source of life as well as nourishment for mob. Eggs would be collected in vessels weaved by Aboriginal women from the naturally available reeds and materials of the local area.

This Easter printable features the artwork of Darug Artist, Chloe Webb.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

River Detectives Program School Plan

Use this School Plan to start a conversation with colleagues delivering the River Detectives program in your setting.  This is a great template to use at the start of the year with lots of useful questions to promote thinking and space to document the approach you plan to take.

There is also a useful template for sharing your River Detectives data and experience with others at the end of a term/year.

 

  • Activity Sheet, General, Teacher, Water bugs, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

NAIDOC Week website

The learning resources available to all students through the NAIDOC website are invaluable for teachers and students.

The NAIDOC teaching ideas developed by the National NAIDOC Committee relate directly to supporting teachers in addressing The Australian Curriculum: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture cross-curriculum priority; with provision of content that can be used across multiple learning areas and stages/grades from Foundational Studies to Year 12.

SBS produces a NAIDOC Week Teaching Resource annually for Foundation to Year 10. The Teaching Resource contains concepts relevant to a broad range of learners and topics, and will provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in classrooms beyond the dates of NAIDOC Week each year. The 2020 resource is available here and the 2021 resource for the ‘Heal Country’ theme is available here.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Earth Ovens – Celebrating Aboriginal Intangible Heritage

In November 2016, Barengi Gadjin Land Council, in partnership with Maurizio Campanelli, held Bakang Dyakata – a traditional Aboriginal earth oven recreation event.

This annual event, held on the banks of the Wimmera River, brings the community together to cook using traditional techniques and taste native foods. It is an example of the rich intangible heritage of Aboriginal communities in Victoria.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Connection to Country: Leanganook (Mt Alexander Regional Park) video

Follow Ranger Trent, a proud Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta man, through Leanganook/Mt Alexander Regional Park as he describes the importance of connecting to and caring for Country.

A lovely video to see the landscape through a different lens for students in central Victoria.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA,

Cultural Fire and Healing Yorta Yorta Country video

Listen to Yorta Yorta man Ralph Hume discuss cultural fire and healing country at the 2019 National Indigenous Fire Workshop near Dhungala (Murray River), Victoria, Yorta Yorta Woka (Yorta Yorta Country).

A very interesting insight into how the landscape has changed since European settlement, why the riparian environment we see today is not considered healthy by traditional owners and how it can be healed.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions, North Central CMA,

Dja Dja Wurrung Tanderrum cultural ceremony video

This is a powerful video put together when the Dja Dja Wurrung participated in the Melbourne Festival Opening in 2016 at Federation Square.  Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owners joined five groups from the Kulin Nation in a tanderrum; a ceremony of welcome and hospitality for visitors to the land of the Kulin Nation.

The video highlights the importance of cultural ceremonies to traditional owners, particularly now as a way of healing injustices of the past.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions, North Central CMA,

Campaspe River resource

This guide is a great resource for teachers and older students to understand the Campaspe River; catchment, Aboriginal and European history, flows, health and management.

Produced as part of the Caring For The Campaspe project, this guide will be a useful resource for the many schools now engaged with the project through the River Detectives program along the Campapse River.

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Plan of the valley of Bendigo 1858

This map drawn by the District Surveyor, Richard Larritt in 1858 shows the alignment of the Bendigo Creek at the time between Kangaroo Flat and Huntly.  Goldmining had already taken a significant toll on the landscape by 1858 but this map from the State Library is possibly the best evidence (besides doing archaeological digs) of the original form of Bendigo Creek.

As time went on, the Creek was drastically modified to be what we see today.  This is a fascinating insight for students in the Bendigo area.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Map, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Weaving activity

Use natural items found at your local waterway or bushland, in your school yard or home garden to make a weaving like the one pictured at the link above.  Hang it somewhere special to connect you with nature.

  • Flora (plants), General, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

What’s In Your Habitat ? activity sheet

Use this simple template to challenge students to sit quietly outside and record what they see, hear and smell using words/sketches.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Nature Journalling activity

Be inspired by these images of nature journals and start recording the things you see, hear, touch and smell at your local waterway or anywhere in nature.  Sit for a while and observe, notice the small things and hone into colours, sounds, textures, shapes and movement.  Sketch, note or photograph your discoveries.  Journal throughout a year and record the seasonal changes you observe.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Brolga Bangarra Dance Theatre video

The brolga is a majestic bird of Victoria’s wetlands and has long been held as an important totem in traditional life.  Watch a video of brolga’s visiting Tang Tang Swamp or a video about the birth of a brolga in central Victoria then enjoy watching the way the Bangarra Dance Theatre represents brolgas through dance.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Mandala Art

Making a nature mandala is a great activity to tune into the colours, shapes and textures of natural objects at your waterway.  Collect some treasures, plan a design and create a masterpiece.  Ideally, this is done by the waterway where collected materials can stay on site.  If collecting from your waterway and completing the activity back at school, try to return the materials later.

Extension: find objects in nature that are mandalas in themselves.  See this article for examples.

  • Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

The Water Tribe and Ochre

Proud Wathaurung man Barry Gilson is learning and writing songs in the language of his ancestors – a difficult task because “everything has been lost”. What does he mean by this?

He also speaks of how ochre was and is used in Aboriginal ceremonies.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Soil Salinity in Australia video

This video was produced many years ago now but does a great job of explaining why increasing soil salinity in Australia is a serious land degradation issue. It outlines how all over the country, salt is rising out of the ground and destroying our farms, homes and towns. To understand why we have this problem, the video takes us back in time for a journey through Australia’s history.

  • Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

How Does Desalination Work ? video

Perth’s water supplies are under pressure. The reason: declining rainfall in the southwest of Western Australia. Watch this video to tour a desalination plant and learn how sea water is turned into drinking water. With similar plants popping up around Australia, will desalination be the solution to our water shortages?

  • Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

What Is A Catchment ? video

This very short video is a simple visual introduction to the concept of a catchment, suitable for all but perfect for younger students.

  • Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Your hand as a catchment

Use this activity sheet to model a catchment with your hand; high points representing hills and wrinkles in your palm representing waterways.

  • Activity Sheet, Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

River Rehab: Protecting Waterways From Livestock video

Watch this video to see how Tasmania’s farmers are taking measures to reduce degradation of the state’s waterways from livestock.

This video introduces students to sustainable farming practices that protect waterways and increase farm productivity simultaneously.

Draw your own farm plan and illustrate how it can be managed sustainably.

  • Catchments, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Where Does Water Go After It Rains ? video

What happens to rainfall in Australia? Water usually flows downhill, and because we know where the hills are, scientists have been able to divide the country into drainage divisions, or catchments.

Watch this video to find out which drainage division you’re in, and learn what happens to rainwater that doesn’t make it to the sea.

  • Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Catchment Mind Map

Use this template or use your own method to brainstorm all of the elements that exist within your catchment from natural features such as ranges, waterways, plants and animals to human features such as roads, towns, industry and agriculture and to the ways we enjoy and use the catchment; camping, bike riding, kayaking, sport, etc.

This exercise is a good introductory activity (after you’ve established what catchment you are a part of) to highlight all of the elements that need to be functioning well to maintain catchment health and how they are inextricably linked.

To extend this activity add arrows/captions to show cause and effect between elements; to demonstrate an unhealthy catchment with negative actions causing negative knock on effects; then compare to a healthy catchment where positive actions cause positive knock on effects.

 

  • Activity Sheet, Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Budj Bim eel trap system video

Budj Bim is a dormant volcano in South Western Victoria on Gunditjmara Country.

Budj Bim means High Head in the language of Gunditjmara people and is home to one of oldest aquaculture systems in the world. Budj Bim is said to have erupted over 30,000 years ago and the lava flow that resulted created a system of channels that Gunditjmara people developed into weirs, dams and traps for fish and eels.

Older students may wish to find out more about the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Budj Bim National Park by watching this 30 minute virtual tour presented by the Glenelg Hopkins CMA for the 2020 Victorian Nature Festival.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Virtual Electrofishing Tour video

Join Arthur Rylah Institute scientists for an electrified virtual field experience. Fishing with electricity (electrofishing) helps us learn more about fish, their habitat and how we can protect them. Arthur Rylah Institute work right around Victoria to surveys rivers, streams and creeks for all kinds of fish.

This is one video in a series of incredible 360°perspective, virtual reality (VR) films. The films create virtual, first-hand experiences bringing science and the work of scientists to life.  Although these films are best experienced using a VR headset, they are available online (viewing quality will vary depending on your internet connectivity). When viewing on your computer, use your mouse to hover over the video and look around or click on the arrows that are in the upper left-hand corner.

Arrows will help guide you to key features of the video we don’t want you to miss, but remember, your time in the field is your own, and you can always revisit and explore other parts of the video.

Visit here for other videos in the series.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Virtual Turtle Trapping in the Barmah-Millewa Forest video

Join DELWP scientists for an immersive field experience trapping for turtles in the Barmah-Millewa Forest  on the Murray River. They’re monitoring the health of turtles to better understand how we can reverse the population decline of turtles in the area.

This is one video in a series of incredible 360°perspective, virtual reality (VR) films. The films create virtual, first-hand experiences bringing science and the work of scientists to life.  Although these films are best experienced using a VR headset, they are available online (viewing quality will vary depending on your internet connectivity). When viewing on your computer, use your mouse to hover over the video and look around or click on the arrows that are in the upper left-hand corner.

Arrows will help guide you to key features of the video we don’t want you to miss, but remember, your time in the field is your own, and you can always revisit and explore other parts of the video.

Visit here for other videos in the series.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

The artistry and ingenuity of bird nests video

Whilst visiting your waterway each month for water quality testing you might notice the building and use of bird nests as a key seasonal change.  Bird nests are endlessly fascinating and we can learn much about the skill, patience, resilience, artistry and ingenuity of birds by learning about the way they build and use nests.

Although this is an American video it is a great resource to showcase the many different types of nests that birds build around the world.  There are also some great picture story books about bird nests; Bird Builds A Nest by Martin Jenkins, Birds Build Nests by Yvonne Winer and Mama Built A Little Nest by Jennifer Ward.

Watch this video of nest building up close or challenge students to gather materials and try building their own nest – it’s harder than they might think !

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Seasonal Calendars

Aboriginal people traditionally lived by seasonal calendars not dictated by the conventions of summer, autumn, winter and spring but by the changes they observed in nature throughout a year.

This is one example of a Kulin Nation seasonal calendar.  You might be able to source one that is more specific to the traditional owners of your area ?

Click here for an outline of the Wotjobaluk seasonal calendar for the Wimmera-Mallee area or view another version at the Visit Grampians website.

Click here to watch a video about Dja Dja Wurrung seasons.

Keep observations of your waterway and local catchment throughout a year with your students and make your own text or pictorial calendar inspired by a traditional seasonal version or this riparian/agricultural example from the North Central CMA. . . . .or combine the two !

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions, North Central CMA, Wimmera CMA,

The Wing Thing bird booklets

Print off one of four Wing Thing bird booklets packed with facts and activities for upper primary students;

Shorebirds       Woodland Birds       Beach Nesting Birds      Threatened Mallee Birds

  • Estuaries, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary,

Bird-inspired fashion

If you were a bird, which one would you be ?  Why ?

Choose your favourite bird or the bird that represents you best due to it’s personality, appearance or behaviour.  Study its colours and find items with matching colours in your wardrobe to represent its colourful plumage and be a ‘bird’ for a day.

A great idea for National Bird Week in October or for good fun anytime.

 

  • Fauna (animals), Game, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,

Bird Call Bingo

Use this bingo sheet and play respective calls from the Victorian Fauna Field Guide App in random order to see who can match calls to the pictures best.

Make your own bingo sheet of favourite birds in your local area.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Backyard Bird Bingo

A very simple activity sheet to involve young students in an assessing their school, waterway, home, etc for not only birds but the qualities of good bird habitat; plants and prey.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Teacher,
  • All Regions,

Nest Boxes for Wildlife

Use this website for all you need to know about nest boxes; nest box designs, installation tips and monitoring methods.

Making and monitoring nest boxes is a great project for students and a fantastic way to enhance habitat at your waterway, school, home, local park, etc.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Platypus in Peril video

This video from our friends in the Upper Murray area explores the challenges platypus populations are facing and outlines the practical things that can be done to help.

Features Geoff Williams from the Australian Platypus Conservancy.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Backyard Birds of Victoria

This great resource can be used as a identification chart for students to begin their birdwatching adventures and the second page is an excellent fact sheet with tips on bringing back birdlife to our parks, homes and gardens.

  • Activity Sheet, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Melbourne Water Platypus Program

This short video provides some great information about the physical features of the unique platypus, their diet, habitat, threats, what is being done to help them and what we can all do to contribute.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Bird colouring sheets

Birds can be thought of as ‘nature’s flying rainbows’.  Colour these fact sheets or use them to inspire your own drawings and make a bird mobile or bird bunting to decorate your classroom, bedroom or garden:  galah, pelican, rainbow bee-eater, red-capped parrot, star finch, variegated fairy-wren.

  • Activity Sheet, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Edithvale-Seaford Wetland video series

These six educational videos focus on the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands in the Melbourne Water area, exploring their fauna and flora, rich history, role in providing drainage, and the community groups who play a key role in caring for them.

Get a well-rounded understanding of the wetland’s many diverse roles, by watching the full video series: Animals of the wetland    Birds of the wetland      Drainage story of the wetland

Friends of the wetlands    History of the wetland     Plants of the wetland

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Melbourne Water,

Animals of the Wetland video

Learn how wetlands support a variety of wildlife — including birds, reptiles, frogs, fish and bugs — which are all part of a complex food web.

Filmed at the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands in the Melbourne Water area the content is true for most wetlands.

This is one of six educational wetlands videos featuring the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Surveying for platypus using eDNA video

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a non-invasive sampling technique that detects genetic material from a target species secreted into the surrounding environment (e.g. water).

During 2020 the Upper Campaspe Landcare Network conducted the Platypus Project aimed to address the lack of contemporary knowledge about platypus and blackfish populations by investigating the current distribution of platypus and blackfish throughout the upper Campaspe area of the North Central CMA region using eDNA.

Senior ecologist and platypus expert Dr Josh Griffiths from EnviroDNA led the project and provided the technical knowledge and advice to Citizen Scientists participating in this Project.  Here he tells us all about it in a fascinating 14 minute video perfect for older students.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Why waterbirds don’t get soggy video

A great video from the Deep Look youtube channel looking at the waterproof qualities of feathers.

Ducks and geese spend a lot of time preening their feathers. This obsessive grooming – and a little styling wax from a hidden spot on their back side – maintains the microscopic feather structure that keeps them warm and dry in chilly waters.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Cutting the Carp video

Find out why European carp fish are called ‘river rabbits’ in Australia. Listen to how they came to Australia and what makes them such a pest now.

Discover how a local entrepreneur is exploiting the new resource while scientists are doing their best to cap the carp population explosion.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Backyard Buddies website

If you are looking to find out more about the native fauna and flora at your waterway, home, school, etc this website is a great place to start.

Explore‘ your own piece of wilderness by reading profiles about native birds, bugs/insects, mammals, frogs, reptiles and some plant families.

Get busy with a project and ‘Create‘ buddy habitats for birds, bugs/insects, mammals, frogs, reptiles and plants.

Use the tips to ‘Help‘ a backyard buddy.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay picture story book

This picture story book by Narelle Oliver is perfect for understanding how animals, in this case birds, have evolved over time to possess bodies that are just right for finding and eating their favourite foods.  The birds in this watery environment all compete for the title of the ‘best beak’ but discover that they all have the best beak for their own needs.

Use this book as a springboard to studying the adaptions of animals to survive – the ‘feathery friends’ activity is a small way to start with younger students.

  • Activity Sheet, Estuaries, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Plants of the Wetland video

Learn why plants are important to a wetland, and how some were used by indigenous people for food, fibre and medicine. Filmed at the Edithvale-Seaford wetlands where there are 87 plant species with records of Aboriginal use, this is a great video for students in any region to understand the role wetland plants play.

This is one of six educational wetlands videos featuring the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Frogs of the Wimmera slideshow

This very informative powerpoint presentation was put together by the Wimmera CMA as a PD for River Detectives educators in that region during 2020.

It is full of information, graphics and useful links for teachers to brush up their own skills and arm themselves with content and resources to teach students about frogs.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Video/Audio,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Louie and Snippy: Save the Sea picture story book

Louie and Snippy: Save Our Seas by Collette Dinnigan is a story of a little boy whose love of the ocean takes him, and the reader, on an incredible underwater journey.

Louie and his trusty companion, Snippy the dog, dive into the ocean and are surrounded by brilliant coral reefs. But they soon discover that human rubbish – bottles, plastic straws and plastic bags – have trapped fish and other creatures. What will Louie be inspired to do?  What will you be inspired to do ?

A great book for younger readers to highlight the problem facing our oceans and to explore the links between our waterways and where our rubbish travels.

Grab a copy of the book or enjoy this online reading.

  • Estuaries, Lower Primary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Urban Water,
  • All Regions,

How the Murray River was made

Many of the waterways in northern Victoria enter the Murray River.

Enjoy this re-telling of the story as it has been come to be learned by Narjiic Day-Burns.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Fern Hames the Fish Lady video

Fern Hames, Murray Darling Basin Authority Native Fish Strategy Co-Ordinator for Victoria, explains that because of the change of river flows, human water usage and the introduction of non-native fish species, there has been a 90% reduction of native fish numbers since the 1860 Burke and Wills expedition passed this area.

A short engaging video with some great facts about native fish; Silver Perch and Murray Cod; and introduced fish; Carp and Weather Loaches.

  • Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Garden Habitats for Small Aussie Birds

This video highlights suitable plants for three groups of small Australian birds; small honeyeaters, small insect-eaters and small seed-eaters. Boosting bird habitat at home, at school, at your River Detectives test site or in your local community is a great project to help our native feathered friends.  You may even be able to attract grant funding !

  • Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Tarrengower and Lalgambook: A teaching from the Jaara Jaara

As part of North Central CMA’s 2020 NAIDOC week celebrations, Aunty Marilyne Nicholls spent time on Country at beautiful Tarrengower to share this special creation story of a Dja Dja Wurrung storyline from central Victoria.

This book was created by the kids at The Meeting Place and proudly published by Nalderun.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • North Central CMA,

Uncle Bryon Powell Interview on the Barwon River, Wadawurrung Country

In this extended interview Uncle Bryon Powell, Wadawurrung Elder and Chair of Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation, discusses the significance of bark canoes, the impacts of colonisation and the changes to the river landscape for Wadawurrung (Wathaurung) people, and hypothesises what life must have been like for a Wadawurrung man who helped a white domestic servant cross the Barwon River in the 1840s.

Please note this is an audio interview, not video.

Part 1 (22 mins)

Part 2 (22 mins) 

For other cultural/historical videos, documents, photos, etc about waterways near you, type the name of your creek/river into the search bar of the Collection Search tab of the Culture Victoria website.  You’ll be amazed at what you find !

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Rick Nelson Interview at Bet Bet Creek, Dja Dja Wurrung Country

In this extended interview Rick Nelson, Jaara descendant, is interviewed by Lucinda Horrocks on the banks of the Bet Bet Creek, in Eddington, Victoria, part of the traditional land of the Dja Dja Wurrung language peoples.  Please note this is an audio interview, not video.

Rick talks about how Aboriginal bark canoes were made and what they were used for in the swamps and waterways of Dja Dja Wurrung language country. He talks about the impacts of colonisation and the gold rush on the landscape on the lives of Dja Dja Wurrung people. Lucinda and Rick discuss the life of ‘King Tommy’, an Aboriginal man who lived close by, never far from the Loddon River, in the 19th century.

Part 1 (14 mins)

Part 2 (39 mins)

For other cultural/historical videos, documents, photos, etc about waterways near you, type the name of your creek/river into the search bar of the Collection Search tab of the Culture Victoria website.  You’ll be amazed at what you find !

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Ten ways to improve the natural assets on a farm

Sustainable Farms is delighted to launch a new booklet, Ten ways to improve the natural assets on a farm. The booklet highlights ten discrete projects that landholders can undertake to improve the health of natural assets – such as dams, shelterbelts or riparian areas – on their properties.

The Ten Ways booklet highlights how one small change on a farm could create new habitat for native animals and lead to increased stock productivity. And these changes don’t have to be onerous or expensive – simply fencing a paddock tree or rocky outcrop can help protect these sensitive assets for the future.

This booklet, although written for adults, is a user-friendly guide for teachers and secondary students with information to inspire environmental action.

  • Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Geographic Concepts for a Floodplain and Catchment powerpoint slides

Want to know what some basic floodplain Geographic terms and concepts mean? Jeanie Clark from the Wimmera CMA put together the following three presentations to introduce the basic Geographic terms in a riverine landscape to teachers with little geographic training.  Click on the links below to access each one. The slides could also be used with upper primary/secondary students.  The Jeparit Showgrounds, Jeparit Primary School’s Waterwatch/ River Detectives site, was used as a local example to describe:

  • geographic features  –  of the site, the floodplain in which it  sits and the catchment that it belongs to. Names and explains some river processes that create them.
  • geographic terms  – the nine basic concepts in Geography: location; distance; scale; region; distribution; movement; spatial association; spatial interaction; and spatial change over time.
  • geographic changes over time  –  Follow the changes from 1996-2015 to see what happens to salinity, river height, erosion and vegetation changes through the Millenium Drought, return of flow, major flood and sustained levels at the site.

Jeanie is an ex-VCE Geography teacher and can be contacted through the Wimmera CMA for advice/support (time permitting).

 

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water cycles, Waterways,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Aussie Backyard Bird Scavenger Hunt activity

Use this ID sheet to enjoy the fun of birdwatching on your own, with others, anywhere, anytime.  This simple sheet can be an introduction to more birding fun using the BirdData app to complete seasonal bird surveys or by participating in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count in October each year.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Aussie Backyard Bird Count App

BirdLife Australia has created the Aussie Backyard Bird Count app for participation in Australia’s nationwide bird survey. For one week each year near the end of October, as part of National Bird Week, thousands of people get to know their local birds and help Birdlife Australia discover how our birds are getting on. It only takes 20 minutes in your backyard, neighbourhood park, or favourite green patch to be a part of this exciting event.

You can use the Field Guide year round to learn more about your feathered friends.

  • App, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Aussie Backyard Bird Count

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is an annual citizen-science event held in National Bird Week (October).  It is a great way to connect with the birds in your backyard no matter where your backyard happens to be — a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of forest, down by the beach, or the main street of town.

You can use the App  to do as many 20-minute surveys as you like over the week with the data collected assisting BirdLife Australia understand more about the birds that live where people live.

Use the lesson plans to explore birdwatching at school.

Check out an infographic of the 2020 results for some great maths stats.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

An introduction to identifying waterbugs with the Waterbug App

This hour-long video was recorded in 2020 for a Melbourne Water webinar series. John Gooderham is a lead expert and creator of the National Waterbug Blitz and the knowledge he shares in this webinar could be very useful for upper secondary students or teachers wishing to improve their identification skills and expertise with the Waterbug App.

  • Teacher, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Discover Ducks

Did you know that Australia is home to 15 native duck species? Yet five in six Victorians can’t name a single one! The ‘Discover Ducks’ website wants to change this and build a nation of duck lovers who are passionate and knowledgeable about our native ducks.

Head to this website to; learn about iconic Victorian duck species, learn how to care for ducks, use the duck detector guide to go duck spotting, use the duck detector map to find out where ducks have been spotted or add your own sighting, challenge yourself to the ‘know your ducks quiz’ or complete a fun survey to discover which duck you are.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Game, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Wanyarram Dhelk Bendigo Creek Restoration Project Case Study

Wanyarram Dhelk – which means Good Waterhole in Djaara language – aims to improve the water health of the Bendigo Creek and its tributaries.

Wanyarram Dhelk is a cultural expression encapsulating what Bendigo Creek once was, a series of waterholes that provided food and fibre resources as well as recreational opportunities for Djaara people.

The project in 2019/20 provided an important step in the healing process required for Bendigo Creek that has been left in poor condition since the gold rush period.  Strategically, Wanyarram Dhelk has provided an example for the whole community of the potential to ‘Reimagine Bendigo Creek’ and embrace its possibilities as a valued natural resource.

Use this case study to learn more, visit the site with your students, talk with traditional owners about the project or do some of your own ‘reimagining’.  View this great video about the City of Greater Bendigo’s new Reconciliation Plan.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Climate Change activity book and game

ADAPT Loddon Mallee have produced a Kids Climate Change Activity Book, including a climate change snakes and ladders game, for middle to upper primary school students filled with interactive puzzles and a story that follows Griffin the Growling Grass Frog on his mission to discover why the Loddon Mallee landscape is changing and his wetlands are drying up.

Many children are engaged with environmental issues including climate change, but often resources are nationally or globally based leaving people feeling powerless to take action. By keeping the story local and providing activities and choices the children can make at home, they may feel more positive about what they can do to make an impact.

If you are a school in the Loddon Mallee region and would like to register your school for free hard copies visit the ADAPT Loddon Mallee website.

  • Activity Sheet, Game, General, Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • North Central CMA,

Waterwise; Innovations In Water Management video

Could Melbourne/Victoria run out of water? In this 43 minute video for secondary students, environmental educator Arron Wood, from Kids Teaching Kids, travels the state to see what’s being done to ensure our water supply in the future and shows just how finely balanced this supply will be.

He talks with farmers, town planners, irrigators and park rangers, tours the desalination plant, goes underground at the MCG and learning more about the Werribee sewage treatment plant to see how recycled water is being used for industry and in new housing developments.

  • Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug Discovery video

Join Deirdre and Kristen from Corangamite CMA for a great introduction to waterbugs in the Corangamite region.  Get to know your regional River Detective staff, how to conduct a sampling session and the creatures you might find.  For lower primary students, pause the video to read the text slides aloud.

The Now and Then resource referred to is also found on the River Detectives website.

  • All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Water Cycle word find

A great activity from Gippsland Water to practise spelling, undertstand the water cycle or fill time in a meaningful way during your water studies.

  • Activity Sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Daylesford Water Treatment Plant video

Take a virtual tour of the Daylesford Water Treatment Plant !

  • Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA,

Catchment to tap video

This video has been produced by Central Highlands Water but the majority of content is relevant to all areas of the state.  It features simple explanations of a catchment, the water cycle, how water is shared between users and how water is treated to make it safe in our urban water system.

  • All, Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Make a water filter video and experiment

Join Fernando from Barwon Water as he guides students through the process of making a water filter using common household items.  This experiment will help students understand how the water cycle provides the water we all need for drinking and how water corporations clean this water for us to drink from our tap.

Teacher notes available.

  • Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Make the water cycle in a bag video and experiment

Join Wally the Water Scientist and Kristy from Goulburn Valley Water to learn how to view the water cycle in a zip lock bag !

A great activity to bring the water cycle to life.  Teacher notes provide the blackline masters you need.

 

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Make your own rain gauge video and experiment

Join Wally the Water Scientist and Kristy from Goulburn Valley Water to learn how to make a rain gauge and why tracking rainfall is an interesting and informative activity.

A great activity to connect maths, science and environmental learning.

  • Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio, Water cycles, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Water Cycle Meditation no. 2

Join Fernando from Barwon Water in a water cyle meditation.  The audio will guide your class through this relaxing activity.

Teacher notes include a mindfulness colouring sheet and instructions to make a calming jar.

  • All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Edible aquifer video and experiment

Join Meg Humphrys, author and illustrator of ‘When Water Lost Her Way’ (see Photo/Story Book section of Resource River Bank) for a wonderful edible aquifer experiment students can do to understand groundwater and the water table.

Delicious and educational at the same time !

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Sharing culture across Wadawurrung country video

ABC’s ‘This Place’ project invites Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to create a short video about a place name, and the story behind it.

Bryon Powell takes us on a journey across Wadawurrung country, sharing some of the stories behind its place names. His country stretches from the mountains to the sea. It includes hills, rivers and grassy plains, creeks and coasts and includes modern towns such as Werribee, Geelong and Ballarat in Victoria.

Search for other videos of cultural stories about waterways across regional Australia at the ABC TV Education website, on ABC iview or at the ABC Indigenous youtube channel.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Catchments, Estuaries, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways, Website,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Sharing culture at Barengi Djul (Wimmera River) video

ABC’s ‘This Place’ project invites Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to create a short video about a place name, and the story behind it.

The Wimmera River is known as Barengi Djul in Wergaia language spoken by the Wotjobaluk people. Along the water, not far from the township of Dimboola is a special place known as Ackle Bend or Wutiyeti which means camping place, and is also known for its stories of Bunyip.

Search for other videos of cultural stories about waterways across regional Australia at the ABC TV Education website, on ABC iview or at the ABC Indigenous youtube channel.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways, Website,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Seeing the land from an Aboriginal canoe video

This 10 minute video gives a wonderful insight into the way 19th century European settlers depended on Aboriginal navigators and canoe builders to transport goods, stock and people.

This short documentary film explores the little known contribution Aboriginal people made in colonial times across the river systems of Victoria. It features interviews with the historian Associate Professor Fred Cahir and Traditional Owners Uncle Bryon Powell, Jamie Lowe and Rick Nelson.

For other cultural/historical videos, documents, photos, etc about waterways near you, type the name of your creek/river into the search bar of the Collection Search tab of the Culture Victoria website.  You’ll be amazed at what you find !

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways, Website,
  • All Regions,

Waterbugs and water quality video

This 5 minute video from the Envirotube youtube channel explains how waterbugs are important indicators of water quality and habitat diversity and how changes in waterway health can impact them.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Introducing waterbugs video

This short 3 minute video by Priya from Melbourne Water is a fabulous tool to introduce waterbugs to your students; what they are, how they live, their wonderful adaptions, why they are so important to the aquatic ecosystem and how they can help us assess water quality and habitat diversity.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Advanced identification key (using Agreed Level Taxonomy)

This more advanced key can be used with secondary students to identify waterbugs using a more detailed and scientific process.  It is an alternative to some of the other simpler id charts, keys and digital options found in the Help Me Test -Waterbugs area of the website.

  • Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Make your own window sill pond

This series of videos takes you on a journey watching the development of a window sill pond over three weeks.  Take a look then give it a go with your students !

See how the pond evolves during Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

How to take great waterbug photos with your device

This video by waterbug guru John Gooderham of The Waterbug Company is full of tips and tricks to take great photos of macroinvertebrates with an iphone when using The Waterbug App for identification.

Designed so that photos can be uploaded as part of the National Waterbug Blitz program, this video is just as relevant for River Detectives to study waterbugs and record findings digitally.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

How beetles breathe under water video

A great video from the Deep Look youtube channel analysing the adaptions beetles have developed to survive and thrive in their aquatic environments.

Students will love this peek into the amazing world of water beetles.  Check out Deep Look on youtube for other fascinating videos about the lives of terrestrial bugs.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Water Striders up close video

A great video from the Deep Look youtube channel analysing the various ways that water striders have evolved to become expert hunters of their aquatic prey.

Students will love this peek into the amazing world of water striders.  Check out Deep Look on youtube for other fascinating videos about the lives of terrestrial bugs.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Water Spider v Water Strider video

A great video from the Monster Bug Wars youtube channel showcasing the unique adaptions of water striders and how they would match up in a battle against a water spider.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Resourcing your macroinvertebrate sampling kit

Autumn and/or Spring are great times to sample with students.  Sampling equipment can be borrowed from your Regional River Detectives Coordinator.  Contact them to book it ahead of time.

Ideally it’s wonderful to sample several times a year and across different seasons so students can practise their skills regularly and observe patterns/changes.  Having your own sampling equipment at school ready to go means that you’re more likely to grab opportunities to conduct macro sampling without the hassle of borrowing equipment.

Most equipment is readily available but specialised equipment such as a sampling net and picking trays can be purchased at The Waterbug Shop (a great use of grant funding/sponsorship if you have a supportive local Landcare group or business)

To set up your own kit use this guide.

  • All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Reimagining Our Water Future activity matrix

As part of the River Detective Program’s participation in the statewide 2020 National Water Week Online Learning Festival we put this activity matrix together to offer engaging, multi-age, cross-curricular activities using a variety of learning styles to explore the theme; ‘Reimagining Our Water Future’.

The matrix is a compilation of challenges from a suite of activity matrices under development by the River Detectives program available for registered RD participants and located in this website under the Dive Deeper tab (login required).

Use the matrix to enjoy National Water Week or anytime !

  • Activity Sheet, All, General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

SBAT with the NCCMA

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBAT) are available for high school students over the age of 15 years.  Students work for an employer and train towards a recognised qualification while completing their secondary schooling and studying for their VCE or VCAL.

The North Central CMA have hosted three students during 2020 helping them build connection to their culture, environmental knowledge and skills, self confidence and career pathways.

If you’re an older student looking for inspiration this video shows how SBAT and natural resource management organisations can work together for great outcomes.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, General, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

On The River picture story book

This book is a delight for all ages from the creator of the bestselling At the Beach series.

Follow the mighty Murray River from its smallest beginnings in the mountains to where it meets the sea on an epic journey with Roland Harvey and his pelican friend, in this glorious picture book full of humorous, intricate illustrations and fascinating information.

Together they discover the story of the river: its secrets, history, ecology, people and animals. And you’re invited, too!

There are no online versions of this book but a hard copy can be ordered at your favourite book store.  Teacher’s notes are available along with a worksheet for younger readers.

  • Activity Sheet, All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

You And Me, Murrawee picture story book

You And Me, Murrawee by Kerri Hashmi is a simple yet very powerful story for primary aged children about the rhythms of daily life beside a river and the many reasons we enjoy time by the water.  It highlights the timeless appeal of rivers, the constant yet ever-evolving circle of life for people/plants/animals and prompts us to evaluate modern and traditional life through the subtle revelation that the characters are living 200  years apart.

Murrawee means ‘elder sister’ in the language of the Ngarrindjeri people from the Murray River in South Australia but this story is set at an unnamed river and can be used in any location.

Enjoy this online reading of the story or purchase the book at your favourite book store.  Teacher notes for the story are not available but endless learning opportunities abound.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

City of Kingston Stormwater Treatment and Reuse Project video

Watch this short video to see how the City of Kingston (Melbourne) are minimising flooding in the low-lying suburb of Edithvale by capturing stormwater, filtering it and reusing it to enhance the suburb.

A great example of innovative design helping people and the environment.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Stormwater Harvesting at Fitzroy Gardens video

Each year, 120 million litres of water are used to water the Fitzroy Gardens.  Since installing a state-of-the-art stormwater harvesting system Melbourne City Council have reduced the use of top quality mains drinking water by 60%.

This fantastic video brings diagrams to life showing each step in the process.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Innovative Stormwater Solution videos

There are many inspiring programs using innovative inventions and multi-media campaigns to prevent stormwater pollution and raise community awareness of the issue.

Check out ‘trash traps’ at the linked title above or any of the following; ‘sea bins‘, ‘drain socks‘, ‘soundscapes‘, ‘litter trackers‘, ‘rain gardens‘ and ‘stormwater stencils‘.

Challenge students to do a PMI or venn diagram to compare and contrast each approach.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Reusing Stormwater video

It’s estimated that every year Australian cities produce enough stormwater to fill Sydney Harbour six times over, but only 3 per cent of it is reused.  Water-sensitive urban design values stormwater as an asset, not a problem.

In this 11 minute video hear from experts about changes we can make in our own backyards to increase our water supply and cut down on pollution and flooding.  Use the ideas to redesign a house, street or housing estate in your area . . . .

  • Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Ocean Pollution videos

Regardless of where you are in the state, it is very important for your students to understand how the rubbish they drop could potentially end up in the ocean.

The linked title will take you to a short video about the Pacific Ocean garbage dump.  Alternatively you can view a 24 minute documentary, “A Plastic Wave” or a movie length documentary on Netflix, “A Plastic Ocean”.

Please be aware that ocean pollution and its impact on sea creatures can introduce disturbing images and information to students – please choose appropriately for different age groups and implement with care.

  • All, Estuaries, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Stormwater Harvesting video

Many Australian towns and cities struggle with drought and desperately try to find new ways to get water. One of the answers might be under our feet! Every year billions of litres of rain flows down gutters and into drains. To change that, councils are being encouraged to recycle stormwater.

This old (but still useful) Behind The News video looks at how stormwater harvesting could make better use of water – our most precious resource.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Urban Stormwater Journey photos

This series of five photos and short explanations clearly illustrate the journey of rainfall from an urban roof, road or footpath into a nearby waterway.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water,
  • All Regions,

Stormwater Pollution – The Dirty Truth: Home Activities video

This short animated video from The Dirty Truth website explains how our home activities can impact waterways via urban stormwater discharge; use of pesticides/fertilisers, rinsing paintbrushes, unsecured building materials, oil leaks from cars, litter and dog poo that is not disposed of correctly.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Stormwater Pollution – The Dirty Truth: Home Car Washing video

This short animated video from The Dirty Truth website explains the impact of car washing on hard surfaces where detergents can flow down stormwater drains and end up in our waterways.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Rubbish In The River envirostory

This example of a student-written/illustrated book comes from the Enviro-Stories website.  It is a great example of how the River Detectives program can be embedded into the curriculum and inspire literacy projects.  The topics are endless for solo/group writing challenges.  Check out the enviro-story library for more ideas regardless of how books are eventually published.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Microplastics in our oceans video

This short video helps students understand how microplastic pollution is generated, how it ends up in oceans and the way it can travel through the food chain to us.  It also provides positive ways we can all help to reduce microplastic pollution.  Please be aware that content about the potential impact of microplastics on humans may cause anxiety for some students.

  • Estuaries, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Microplastics in our streams video

This video takes us on a journey with scientists conducting field research on the microplastics being washed down our waterways.  It could provide inspiration to conduct research at your own waterway about the prevalence of these tiny but damaging pieces of pollution . . .

  • Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Where does stormwater go ? animation

This animated video from Canberra is a highly effective way to outline the chain of events from rainfall, through the stormwater system, to waterways.  It uses simple graphics to mathematically represent the volume of water that can be harvested this way and focuses on the many effective strategies that can be put in place by councils, land developers,etc to minimise any negative impacts of urban stormwater.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Stormwater animation

This animated video from Dubbo Regional Council is an engaging way to highlight where stormwater comes from, what pollutants might travel into waterways and their impact on water quality and aquatic plants/animals.

  • Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Urban Water, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Wilam: A Birrarung Story

Wilam: A Birrarung Story is written by Aunty Joy Murphy and Andrew Kelly and illustrated by Lisa Kennedy.  It tells the Indigenous and geographical story of Melbourne’s Yarra River, from its source to its mouth, from its pre-history to the present day and includes words from the Woiwurrung language.

There are no online versions of this book but a hard copy can be ordered at your favourite book store.

Comprehensive cross-curricular teacher’s notes are a wonderful guide to implementing this beautiful book in the classroom.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Estuaries, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water cycles, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Urban Stormwater photos

These photos of stormwater sources, stormwater pits/pipes/swales, stormwater pollution, impacts of pollution, pollution prevention strategies and stormwater management solutions can be used as a springboard for discussion, in conjunction with lessons in the Urban Stormwater Environmental Education Resource (see Topics-Urban Water) or with some of the activities on the Urban Stormwater/Rural Runoff activity matrix found under the Dive Deeper tab.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water,
  • All Regions,

Catchment/Waterway photos

These photos of catchments, healthy and threatened waterways, wetlands and rehabilitation strategies can be used as a springboard for discussion, in conjunction with lessons in the Waterways Environmental Education Resource (see Topics-Waterways) or with some of the activities on the Waterways activity matrix found under the Dive Deeper tab.

  • All, Catchments, Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Victorian Water Corporations map

Although the role of water corporations is different to CMA’s (who manage urban water), there is a shared interest in water health/management and the two sectors collaborate regularly.

Of great interest to the River Detectives program is the wonderful education services that these water corporations often offer with incursions, excursions, teaching resources and activity sheets for students of all ages looking at urban water, the water cycle and water conservation.

Use this map to see which urban water corporation zone your town/school falls in. Head to the group/organisation section of Resource Riverbank for a link to the education tab of each corporation’s website.  Consider getting in touch to access their programs, broaden your studies of water and value add to the River Detectives program.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Map, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water,
  • All Regions,

North East Water education program

For schools in the North East CMA region, North East Water offer  incursions, excursions and resources for students and teachers to educate about urban water, the water cycle and saving water.

  • All, Group/Organisation, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Water cycles, Website,
  • North East CMA,

Barwon Water education program

For schools in the Corangamite CMA region, Barwon Water offer a free comprehensive education program including water-related incursions, excursions and resources for early childhood to tertiary students.  You can also sign up for their e-newsletters.

  • All, Group/Organisation, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Water cycles, Website,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Central Highlands Water education program

For schools in the south-western part of the north central CMA region and the northern part of the Corangamite CMA region, Central Highlands Water offer free education programs and learning materials for schools and community groups. Topics include; water (source to tap), water efficiency, choose Tap and recycled water and wastewater.

  • All, Group/Organisation, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Water cycles, Website,
  • Corangamite CMA, North Central CMA,

GWM Water education program

For schools in the Wimmera, GWM Water offers a range of water-based activities, experiments, fact sheets, puzzles and fun recipes specific to your region.  They also encourage schools to enter the annual National Water Week poster competition.

  • All, Group/Organisation, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Water cycles, Website,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Now and Then waterbug guide

This booklet was produced quite some time ago by Corangamite CMA but remains a useful resource with waterbug profiles including fantastic photos showing the scale of bugs compared to a five cent piece, life cycle sketches and sketches/descriptions of the six main types of waterbug mouthparts (useful graphics for student research projects).

Information and graphics from this booklet have also been used to produce our Waterbug Fact Sheets.

  • All, Fact sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Wetland Illustration

This illustration can be printed at A3 size to outline the important values of wetlands and highlight the factors that threaten their health.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Coliban Water Education website

For schools in the north central region, Coliban Water offer incursions teach students about the value of water, how to use water wisely and wastewater management.

They also provide free print and online teaching resources for use in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools.

Sign up to their education newsletter to keep in touch with their latest news.

  • Group/Organisation, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Water cycles, Website,
  • North Central CMA,

“Rivertime” picture story book

Rivertime by Trace Balla follows the adventures of Clancy who goes on a paddling adventure down the Glenelg River in the Wimmera CMA region with his bird-watching uncle.  It is a story about slowing down (‘rivertime’), growing up and connecting with the land and its creatures.  It’s also a fantastic launching pad for doing some birdwatching at your waterwatch site.

There are no online versions of this book but a hard copy can be ordered at your favourite book store.  The story can be read as a class but is best enjoyed by individuals to read and reflect at their own pace, pore over the detailed illustrations and enjoy every comic-style speech bubble.

Teacher Notes provide suggested activities for middle/upper primary students or use this Rivertime-inspired pocket birdwatching guide by Trace Balla to inspire your students to make a guide for your area !

  • Estuaries, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

“The Rhythm of the Rain” picture story book

The Rhythm of the Rain by Graham Baker-Smith is a magical book for any educator to launch a lesson or a unit on the water cycle, on the geography of our planet, on the diversity on our planet…there are so many themes hidden within.  This story will stretch students’ imaginations, their curiosity, their appreciation of the amazing natural world that surrounds us and nourishes us.

Thanks to Alice from Coliban Water in the north central region you can watch a reading of the book as a springboard to other discussions and activities around the water cycle, catchments and the responsibility we all share around the world to conserve water for everyone.

For schools in the north central region, visit Coliban Water’s website to get involved in their education resources and incursions.

  • Catchments, Lower Primary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio, Water cycles, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

“Water is Water” picture story book

Water is Water by Miranda Paul is a lovely book for lower primary exploring the water cycle, the ways we experience water in all it’s forms; rain, steam, fog, frost, snow, puddles; and how we use water for fun, gardening, drinking, etc.

Thanks to Alice from Coliban Water in the north central region you can watch a reading of the book as a springboard to other discussions and activities around water.

For schools in the north central region, visit Coliban Water’s website to get involved in their education resources and incursions.

  • Lower Primary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Exploring the Water Cycle lesson plans

Lesson plans to help use the story, “When Water Lost Her Way” in the classroom or at home. All plans focus on relevant parts of the story for group discussion based on the Australian Curriculum and reference the Victorian curriculum where possible.

The lesson plans include targeted questions, suggested extension activities with supporting external resources based on achievement standards of the Australian curriculum. Targeted plans are developed for Foundation to Year 6.

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

Water Cycle Meditation

A meditation for kids and grown ups that takes you on a journey through the water cycle. Content is loosely based on the picture story book ‘When Water Lost Her Way’ written and illustrated by Meg Humphrys.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

“When Water Lost Her Way” picture story book

This is a powerful story by Meg Humphrys of ‘water’ questioning who she is.  She seeks all parts of her cycle for answers until an ‘old tree’ helps her to understand her place in the world and her many interconnections with all living and non-living things.

This book is a must-have in the school library, however you can enjoy the digital version or watch the narrated audio version online.

Indulge in water cycle meditation, discuss extension questions or explore enquiry based lesson plans based on the story.

During National Water Week 2020, Meg was interviewed and the video is a great way to further children’s engagement with this book and the water cycle (they’ll love the edible aquifer idea !)

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • All Regions,

North East CMA region map

The North East CMA region is one of ten CMA regions of Victoria.  This map shows the myriad of waterways that exist from the mountains to the Murray, the major towns and the dams that support them.

  • Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Map, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North East CMA,

Environmental Water in Northern Victoria

Many of Victoria’s rivers and wetlands have been modified to provide water vital for farms, homes and industry.  Water for the environment also benefits communities by improving conditions for fishing, camping and canoeing. Improved water quality can have economic benefits for irrigation and urban water supply.

This map shows how water for the environment will help improve and protect plants and animals in northern Victoria in 2020-21 but is of interest to all regions.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Map, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Importance of the Ground Storey

This resource developed by Goulburn-Broken CMA highlights the importance of ground storey to native fauna and catchments.  Ground storey is the layer of leaf litter and woody debris found on the ground and is often misunderstood as a mess or fire risk that must be cleaned up.

This guide with stunning nature photography can be used as a series of fact sheets for teacher background or student research.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Traditional Owners of Australia – text version

This is a different take on standard maps showing the traditional owner areas across Australia with groups displayed as text rather than shaded colours.  It’s an extremely effective way of showing the diversity of Aboriginal cultures.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Map, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

“Where’s Our Water” digital picture story book

This book came out of a project co-ordinated by Hunter Water in NSW.  Although it is not local, the story has valuable messages that apply to any catchment and the project is an inspiring example of what can be achieved when students work closely with traditional owners.

Where’s Our Water? has been written for primary school students in the Lower Hunter region to teach them about the value of water as a precious resource and that it is everyone’s responsibility to care for it to ensure we have enough now and into the future. Hunter Water has collaborated with both the Awabakal and Worimi communities to create this new story that draws on their traditional wisdom and practices of caring for our land and waterways.

You can also watch a video about the project.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Catchments, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

NCCMA region Traditional Owner map

This map (current July 2020) shows the Traditional Owners within the North Central CMA region and it’s catchments.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Map, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • North Central CMA,

Richardson River’s Journey posters

These two posters are an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Richardson River – it’s;  source, path, reaches, catchment, major towns, history, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Re-snagging posters

These two posters are invaluable to explain the importance of in-stream woody habitat to native fish and explains some of the important work that is taking place in the lower Loddon River and the Little Murray River as part of the north central CMA’s native fish recovery plan.  Features include great photos, fact files, information and an excellent diagram outlining the threats and values in a waterway that impact on fish health.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Coliban River’s Journey poster

This poster is an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Coliban River – it’s;  source, path, catchment, major towns, history, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Water Birds of the Loddon River poster

This is a wonderful poster showcasing six of the most important native water bird species of the Loddon River.  It features a map of the Loddon River and its catchment and fact files on six water bird species outlining; appearance, size, life cycle, habitat, diet, breeding, behaviour, calls and conservation status.

Use the Natureblitz App to listen to calls and record sightings.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Frogs of the Loddon River poster

This is a wonderful poster showcasing six of the most important native frog species of the Loddon River.  It features a map of the Loddon River and its catchment and fact files on six frog species outlining; appearance, size, life cycle, habitat, diet, breeding, behaviour, calls and conservation status.

Use the Natureblitz App to listen to frog calls and record sightings.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Fish of the Loddon River poster

This is a wonderful poster showcasing six of the most important native fish species of the Loddon River.  It features a map of the Loddon River and its catchment and fact files on six fish species outlining; appearance, size, life cycle, habitat, diet, breeding, behaviour and conservation status.

Use the Natureblitz App to record sightings.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Avoca River’s Journey posters

These three posters are an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Avoca River – it’s;  source, path, reaches, catchment, major towns, history, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Loddon River’s Journey posters

These three posters are an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Loddon River – it’s;  source, path, reaches, catchment, major towns, history, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Campaspe River’s Journey posters

These two posters are an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Campaspe River – it’s;  source, path, reaches, catchment, major towns, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Waterbirds Field Guide of the North Central region

This guide produced by North Central Waterwatch includes fact files on waterbird species; description, distribution, diet, calls, breeding, habitat and conservation status. Beautiful photos make it a great asset for birdwatching at any waterway.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • North Central CMA,

Habitat Survey Data Sheet

Use this data sheet on site or at school to record your habitat survey results.  You can enter your habitat survey data online at the ‘Let’s Test and Record’ tab of this website.

  • Activity Sheet, All, Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug Data Sheet

Use this data sheet on site or at school to record your waterbug data after sampling.  You can enter your waterbug data online at the ‘Let’s Test and Record’ tab of this website.

  • Activity Sheet, All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Water Quality Data Sheet

Use this data sheet on site or at school to record your water quality data each month.  Make sure you enter your water science data online at the ‘Let’s Test and Record’ tab of this website.

  • Activity Sheet, All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Fish Need Trees poster

This beautiful graphic illustrates the variety of ways that fish use trees in and beside waterways and why it’s essential we retain and replace them.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Fish Need Healthy Rivers poster

This is a great poster highlighting the features of waterways that fish require for food, shelter, breeding and migration, from source to mouth.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug fact sheets

Comprehensive fact sheets on a variety of bugs in each of the sensitivity categories including photos, sketches, life cycle images and information on size, appearance, habitat, diet, movement, predators, life cycles and other interesting facts

  • All, Fact sheet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

The Wimmera’s Flowing Tale video

Take a journey along the depth and breadth of the Wimmera River catchment. Produced in 2006, this short film is a fantastic look back at our river system. It focusses on how Wimmera CMA looks after the catchment and how they manage environmental water releases.

Although many things have changed since this film was made, such as completion of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline and more security for environmental water releases, the themes in this flowing tale have stayed the same.

  • All, Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Wimmera CMA,

River Detectives Field Manual

This is a copy of the Field Manual you receive a version of in your water quality test kit.  If you lose your hard copy you can access it here.  Be aware that this is the full manual – some pages may be irrelevant to you depending on the equipment you have and the region you are in.

  • Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Water bugs, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Water Quality Rating Charts

Numbers are just numbers until you work out what they mean.  Use the regional water quality rating charts in the Field Manual to compare your readings for EC, turbidity, reactive phosphorus and pH to assess the health of your waterway.  Or find your specific CMA region rating charts below;

Corangamite CMA, Melbourne Water, North East CMA, North Central CMA, Wimmera CMA

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

The Waterbug Shop

The Waterbug Shop was established as a better way for people to access equipment and resources for the sampling and identification of waterbugs.
If your school or group is looking to purchase macroinvertebrate sampling equipment this is a great place to start.

  • Teacher, Water bugs, Website,
  • All Regions,

Bendigo Creek Citizen Science Project student presentation videos

In 2019 students of four primary schools along Bendigo Creek were asked to add their voice to the Reimagining Bendigo Creek project.

A collaborative project lead by the City of Greater Bendigo, this project marks the beginning of a process of renewal, understanding and connection over many generations, which aims to create a healthier, more inclusive, connected and beautiful Creek that we all respect and value.

After attending a workshop about the assets and threats of Bendigo Creek students were challenged to present their vision for a future Bendigo Creek and their innovative results were amazing !

View Huntly Primary School’s creative lego model presentation and Epsom Primary School’s engaging video as inspiration for your own student-led waterway championing project.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Waterways, Website,
  • All Regions,

Urban Stormwater brochure

This brochure produced by the Bendigo Urban Stormwater Program details the responsibilities of builders/renovators/land developers to manage runoff from building sites. Diagrams and captions clearly explain positive strategies to reduce impacts and demonstrate an example of a subdivision considering water-sensitive urban design.

This is a useful resource for any region.

  • All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water,
  • All Regions,

Urban Stormwater poster

This poster is a fantastic resource to use demonstrate the impact of litter that can flow into a waterway with urban stormwater.  It highlights the often unknown fact that only 10% of waterway litter is visible from the surface and a disturbing 90% will be hidden under the water.

The  Water Bug pictures could be placed on the poster to create discussion about how they (and other fauna) would be impacted by stormwater pollution and how this would impact on the entire food chain.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Salinity Solutions poster

Print this coloured poster at A4 or A3 size for a great visual aid to discuss the features of a healthy catchment and the strategies to reduce salinity in dryland farming, irrigated farming and urban areas.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Urban Stormwater Environmental Education Resource

The North Central CMA developed this package in 2002 and although it has links to the obsolete curriculum document CSF II, it is jam-packed with engaging cross-curricular activities to enhance student understanding of urban stormwater.  Primarily aimed at Year 5 and 6 students the lesson plans and activities are easily adaptable to lower primary and lower secondary.

Introductory content can be found by clicking the resource title above and lesson plans/activity sheets for each curriculum area can be accessed using the links here;

EnglishSOSEScienceMathsThe ArtsHPEExtras

Some lesson plans refer to photos on a CD.  A selection of these photos are available here.

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Urban Water,
  • All Regions,

Waterways Environmental Education Resource

The North Central CMA developed this package in 2002 and although it has links to the obsolete curriculum document CSF II, it is jam-packed with engaging cross-curricular activities to enhance student understanding of waterways.  Primarily aimed at Year 5 and 6 students the lesson plans and activities are easily adaptable to lower primary and lower secondary.

Introductory content can be found by clicking the resource title above and lesson plans/activity sheets for each curriculum area can be accessed using the links here;

EnglishSOSEScienceMathsThe ArtsHPEExtras

Some lesson plans refer to photos on a CD.  A selection of these photos are available here.

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Golden Perch Profile

Find out about Golden Perch and their distribution across northern Victorian waterways.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • North East CMA, North Central CMA,

Murray Cod Profile

Find out about Murray Cod and their distribution across northern Victorian waterways.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • North East CMA, North Central CMA,

North East CMA

Find out what the North East CMA does and how they care for catchments in the region.  Includes descriptions of the region and projects the CMA is undertaking to protect and enhance environmental values within the region.

If you are in the North East CMA region you may also like to access educational support (urban water, water cycles, water conservation) from the water corporation in your specific location using this map.

It will most likely be North East Water.

  • All, Catchments, Group/Organisation, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways, Website,
  • North East CMA,

Melbourne Water education program

Find out what Melbourne Water does and how they care for catchments in the region.

Includes a myriad of education resources covering frogs, litter, stormwater, catchments, waterways and more.  Some are specific to the Melbourne area but many are relevant to all regions.

If you are in the Melbourne Water area you may also like to access support from the water corporation in your specific location using this map.  It will either be Yarra Valley WaterSouth East WaterCity West Water or Westernport Water.

  • All, Catchments, Game, Group/Organisation, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Water cycles, Waterways, Website,
  • All Regions,

Corangamite CMA

Find out what the Corangamite CMA does and how they care for catchments in the region.  Includes descriptions of the region’s catchments and projects the CMA is undertaking to protect and enhance them.

If you are in the Corangamite CMA region you may also like to access educational support (urban water, water cycles, water conservation) from the water corporation in your specific location using this map;

Depending on your location it may either be Central Highlands Water or Barwon Water,

  • All, Catchments, Group/Organisation, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways, Website,
  • Corangamite CMA,

North Central CMA

Find out what the North Central CMA does and how they care for catchments in the region.  Includes great descriptions of rivers and wetlands in the region and projects the CMA is undertaking to protect and enhance them.

If you are in the North Central CMA region you may also like to access educational support (urban water, water cycles, water conservation) from the water corporation in your specific location using this map;

Depending on your location it may either be Coliban WaterCentral Highlands Water, GWM Water or Lower Murray Water.

  • All, Catchments, Group/Organisation, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways, Website,
  • North Central CMA,

Wimmera CMA

Find out what the Wimmera CMA does and how they care for catchments in the region.  Includes great descriptions of rivers/streams and wetlands in the Wimmera CMA region.

If you are in the Wimmera CMA region you may also like to access educational support (urban water, water cycles, water conservation) from the water corporation in your specific location using this map.

It will most likely be GWM Water.

  • All, Catchments, Group/Organisation, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways, Website,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Surveying Gurru (Lake Hindmarsh)

This documentary was created as part of National Reconciliation Week 2016 by Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Cooper Heritage Management to highlight cultural heritage survey activities on the iconic Lake Hindmarsh in western Victoria.

Their findings help us understand how the area was traditionally used and the importance of Lake Hindmarsh in the past, present and future.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Wimmera Water Short Stories

Our waterways are very special and mean something to each of us.  In this series of three short stories the Wimmera CMA have been innovative and put the voices and stories of people in their region to the animated characters of the Fresh and Salty film.

In Story 1 at the title link above, a tree (farmer) talks about his family being a guardian to the river over many generations.  In Story 2 members of the community appear as a mosquito, fish and mollusc to tell how it feels to waterski on the river or sit beside it.  In Story 3 an egret and fish share what the river means to the young and old.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Wimmera River at Jeparit flows into Lake Hindmarsh

In September 2016 the Wimmera region enjoyed seeing many of their waterways flowing and lakes filling!  The CMA filmed the breathtaking sight of Lake Hindmarsh from the air with the majority of the lake’s 139 square km surface area covered by water.

Lake Hindmarsh is Victoria’s largest freshwater lake. Previously it filled after the 2011 floods but since then had been dry. It is a popular spot for camping, birdwatching, sailing and brings visitors from around the world. The lake also supports a diverse array of plants and animals including birds, frogs, fish and river redgums.

  • All, Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Waterways for life – healthy rivers, healthy communities

The Wimmera River in Western Victoria is where many people start or end their days, socialise, gather and be part of community events.
In this story by the Wimmera CMA join marathon swimmer Tammy Van Wisse and Wimmera locals to see just how much people rely on healthy waterways for their own physical and mental health.  Healthy rivers also keep communities vibrant and alive by bringing everyone together – whether it’s for a walk, a run, a paddle, special event, fishing or just a picnic.
  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Finding Hope – Wimmera Platypus Surveys

The Wimmera CMA take you behind the scenes of their MacKenzie River platypus surveys in the Grampians. This footage was filmed during their 2019 autumn surveys.  In the spring of that year they returned and filmed more beautiful footage of a male platypus.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

World Wetlands Day – A Wimmera Wetland video

To celebrate World Wetlands Day 2020 the Wimmera CMA zoomed in on Dock Lake near Horsham that received water for the first time in two decades in 2016.

They recorded the great diversity and abundance of waterbirds that flocked to the lake, showing how adding water to wetlands can trigger a huge response from nature.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Wimmera CMA,

The Wimmera – A Flowing Fish Tale video

This video produced by Wimmera CMA is a great example for all regions of how a healthy river that strikes the balance between the needs of plants, animals and people can build a vibrant community.

It shows that strategies ensuring healthy fish populations boosts the enjoyment of the river by local and visiting anglers and sends the message that if you look after the river, it will look after you.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Salinity Photos

These photos of salt-ravaged land, healthy land, restoration strategies and urban salinity can be used as a springboard for discussion, in conjunction with lessons in the Salinity Environmental Education Resource (see Topics-Salinity) or with some of the activities on the Salinity activity matrix found under the Dive Deeper tab.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Restoring salt affected land video

West Australian farmers Tim and Val Saggers have been restoring salt affected land on their farm for more than a decade, using native perennial shrubs and grasses. Although native perennial pastures are not yet a popular option in WA compared to the eastern states, the Saggers’  have not been deterred and have managed to reclaim once unproductive land and made their farm more productive and sustainable for future use.

Although not a local example, this video follows principles that are effective in any salt-ravaged environment.

  • All, Salinity, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Salinity Environmental Education Resource

The North Central CMA developed this package in 2002 and although it has links to the obsolete curriculum document CSF II, it is jam-packed with engaging cross-curricular activities to enhance student understanding of salinity.  Primarily aimed at Year 5 and 6 students the lesson plans and activities are easily adaptable to lower primary and lower secondary.

Introductory content can be found by clicking the resource title above and lesson plans/activity sheets for each curriculum area can be accessed using the links here;

English, SOSE, Science, Maths, The Arts, HPE, Extras

Some lesson plans refer to photos on a CD.  A selection of these photos are available here.

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Mooroobull Yaluk Kuwin River Day

In February 2018 the Corangamite CMA and Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation hosted a community fishing day with the Wadawurrung community on the Moorabool River.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Video/Audio,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Celebrating Water and Culture on The Mooroobull Yaluk

Corangamite CMA worked with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners in developing a joint bid for additional water for the Moorabool River. This was to protect the environmental and Aboriginal values within the rivers on Wadawurrung Country.

The bid was successful and an additional 500 megalitres was released down the river when it was most needed. This allowed the Wadawaurrung community to come together, practice cultural values and share their knowledge.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Video/Audio,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Making Every Drop Count video

When Ian Campbell and Dr Sue Swaney bought their Deans Marsh farm in 1988, the landscape had only seven trees and a large erosion gully that nearly split the property in half. The transformation they’ve achieved in just three decades is astounding.

In recent years the Corangamite CMA’s On-Farm Water Efficiency Project has supported Ian and Sue to design and manage a state-of-the-art farm water supply system to improve outcomes for animal health, catchment health and biodiversity.

This is a great example for any region of the responsibility that all landowners in a catchment have toward waterway health.

  • All, Catchments, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Barwon River Planting Day video

Over 40 local recreational anglers braved wet and windy conditions in July 2019 to help revegetate the Barwon River. Thousands of native trees, shrubs and grasses were planted on the banks of the lower Barwon River near Marshall, south of Geelong, to return a one kilometre stretch of the river to its original woodland habitat.

This is a great example of working together to improve fish habitat.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Corangamite CMA,

iNaturalist Citizen Science App Instructions

Instructions on how to download and use the iNaturalist app, developed by Corangamite CMA.

  • All, App, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants),
  • All Regions,

PlatypusSpot Citizen Science App Instructions

Instructions on how to download and use the PlatypusSpot app, developed by Corangamite CMA.

  • All, App, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

FrogID Citizen Science App Instructions

Instructions on how to download and use the FrogID app, developed by Corangamite CMA.

  • All, App, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

‘Birds in Backyards’ seasonal bird survey program

Get involved in seasonal bird surveys with Birdata, Birdlife Australia’s easy-to-use website and app.  Both resources automatically give you a list of 30 birds from your region to help get you started – so you don’t need to be an expert to take part.

Use this video to learn how to get started using the Birdata website to enter your results or, if you are a maths maniac, browse, filter, graph, analyse and compare bird data from anywhere in Australia.

The App is a portable conservation tool allowing volunteers to leap into the colourful world of birdwatching and enter bird survey data via phones or tablets.

You can also get involved in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count in October each year, a nationwide citizen-science event.

 

  • All, App, Fauna (animals), Teacher, Video/Audio, Website,
  • All Regions,

Wild Pollinator website

The Wild Pollinator Count gives you an opportunity to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia. Twice a year (April and November) the community is invited to count wild pollinators in the local environment and help build a database on wild pollinator activity.

You can join in by watching any flowering plant for just ten minutes sometime in the count weeks.

  • You don’t need to be an insect expert.
  • You don’t need fancy gear.
  • You may be surprised by what you see!
  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Teacher, Website,
  • All Regions,

Kids Teaching Kids website

The Kids Teaching Kids Program raises awareness and drives action on local and global environmental issues, helping the next generation of leaders who will take collective responsibility for our future.

By giving students the opportunity to present a workshop to others during Kids Teaching Kids Week or at one of the Kids Conferences, students see that they can have a positive impact on the world, starting in their own communities.

You could consider having a group of students present at a KTK workshop or run a KTK- inspired event at your school with cross-age learning or by gathering with other non-River Detective schools.

  • General, Teacher, Website,
  • All Regions,

Junior Rangers website

Parks Victoria’s Junior Rangers website is a great resource with activity sheets and booklets found at the ‘Make and Do’ link.  Topics are wide-ranging but River Detective related content includes;  a river activity Booklet, pest animals, river red gums, pest plants and weeds, platypus and general activities related to nature studies that can be done at school, in backyards or at your water testing site.

  • General, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Victorian Fauna Field Guide App

Explore Victoria’s unique and diverse wildlife at home or in the great outdoors with Museums Victoria’s free Field Guide app.

Available for both Apple and Android devices, the app holds descriptions of over 950 species, including birds, mammals, fishes, reptiles, frogs and invertebrates from terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.  Bird and frog calls, where held, can also be played for enjoyment and identification.

  • All, App, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

Dhelkunya Dja: Dja Dja Wurrung Country Plan 2014 – 2034

The Dhelkunya Dja Country Plan is about reaffirming the aspirations and describing the future of the Traditional Owners of Dja Dja Wurrung Country.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Group/Organisation, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary,
  • North Central CMA,

ABC Education website

Thousands of free curriculum-linked resources for school teachers and students!  Search for the topic you require and there may be activities, lesson plans or videos ready for you to use.

  • All, General, Website,
  • All Regions,

Cool Australia website

Cool Australia has been supporting teachers since 2008, providing them with learning activities and resources that make teaching and understanding real world scenarios as easy as possible.

Units, lessons and activities are Australian curriculum aligned and FREE to educators and students. You can choose to follow full units of study or pick individual lessons to fit in with your curriculum.

There are a multitude of resources from a variety of curriculum areas that provide content aligned with topics covered by the River Detectives program.

  • All, General, Website,
  • All Regions,

NatureBlitz App

The North Central CMA’s NatureBlitz app is a free citizen science monitoring tool that allows the community to collect important information about our region’s biodiversity and specifically about aquatic fauna in and around our waterways.

NatureBlitz provides a description of 124 species; a small fraction of the complete field guide of Victorian fauna. It is a great tool for students to use as field guide for identification (with maps, photos, information and calls) or to record sightings to contribute to regional data about the health of our waterways.

** NOTE; unfortunately the App no longer supports iphone platforms.

  • All, App, Fauna (animals),
  • North Central CMA,

Aboriginal Victoria

Aboriginal Victoria aims to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage, promote the advancement of Treaty and self-determination, and deliver programs to strengthen Aboriginal communities.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Group/Organisation, Lower Secondary, Resource Type, Suitable Age Group, Teacher, Topics, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Victorian CMA regions

This map shows the Catchment Management Authority regions across Victoria.  In each region, CMA’s are responsible for the management of waterways.  Maybe you could research what the major waterways are in each region ?

  • All, Catchments, Map,
  • All Regions,

Culture Victoria: Aboriginal Culture

Culture Victoria is a gateway to Victoria’s cultural collections and organisations. It provides access to images, videos and stories that showcase the richness and diversity of Victoria.

Type a location or waterway into the Collection search to discover content from cultural agencies and over 300 professional and community collections.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Group/Organisation, Website,
  • All Regions,

Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI)

The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated, or VAEAI, is the state-wide Aboriginal community-controlled organisation for education and training in Victoria.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Group/Organisation, Resource Type, Suitable Age Group, Teacher, Topics, Website,
  • All Regions,

Marrung – Aboriginal Education Plan 2016 – 2026

Marrung is the Department of Education and Training’s strategy to ensure that all Koorie Victorians achieve their learning aspirations.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Resource Type, Suitable Age Group, Teacher, Topics, Website,
  • All Regions,

Frogs Field Guide of the North Central region

This guide produced by North Central Waterwatch includes fact files on frog species; description, calls, breeding, eggs, tadpoles, habitat and conservation status. It also clearly explains the different types of pupils, toes and eggs that can assist with frog identification.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet,
  • North Central CMA,

Fish Field Guide of the North Central region

This guide produced by North Central Waterwatch includes fact files on fish species; description, breeding, fins, eggs, habitat, diet and conservation status including threats. A map showing the fish species approximate distribution in the North Central CMA region and a breeding cycle calendar is also provided for each species, along with a photo or two. It contains simple information to assist with identifying a fish.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet,
  • North Central CMA,

Growling Grass Frog story

This resource from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is a colouring book and treasure hunt focused on the Southern Bell Frog (we call it the Growling Grass Frog in Victoria).  It is a beautifully detailed keepsake for students looking at the habitat, life cycle, diet, call, appearance of the Growling Grass Frog and its place in the ecosystem of wetland life.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Imagine The Yarra

In February 2018 Melbourne Water brought together 24 passionate citizens, known as the Yarra River Community Assembly, to write a 50-year community vision for the Yarra.

Members of the assembly heard from experts, including Wurundjeri Elders and community, about the history of the Yarra and its cultural significance to the Traditional Owners.

The group used the stories gathered from the broader community to write a vision for each of the Yarra’s four reaches (upper rural, lower rural, suburban and inner-city) and an overarching vision for the whole river.

These visions will provide the building blocks for how the river and its land are used and managed in future, to ensure the Yarra remains a proud part of Victoria’s identity.

This link takes you to a video library to explore the project through the stories of all involved.

  • All, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Waterways, Website,
  • Melbourne Water,

Catchments – the sponge effect video

Only around 30% to 50% of the rain that falls on our catchments each year ends up in waterways.  For example, only about 10% of rainfall during summer turns into runoff because the dry soil acts like a sponge, soaking up the rain before it can flow into streams.

Watch this video to see how this changes from season to season depending on how wet the soil in the catchment is.

  • All, Catchments, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Melbourne’s drinking water video

Learn why Melbourne’s water tastes great straight from the tap !

  • All, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Water cycles,
  • Melbourne Water,

Urban Water Cycle

People have changed the natural water cycle; buildings and pipes take water for drinking and remove sewage and stormwater. This is the urban water cycle, and in Melbourne is managed by Melbourne Water.

At this interactive map, water warriors explain the role of each aspect of the urban water cycle.

You can also use this link to check out a summary of the urban water cycle, learn about why Melbourne has some of the highest-quality drinking water in the world or find out why Greater Melbourne’s sewerage has provided Melburnians with world-class sanitation for over 100 years, protecting public health and the environment.

  • All, Catchments, Teacher, Urban Water, Water cycles, Website,
  • All Regions,

Stony Creek Recovery Project

Learn about a multi-agency effort to recover the health of Stony Creek after the West Footscray warehouse fire on 30 August 2018.

  • Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Waterways, Website,
  • Melbourne Water,

Woodend PS planting day video

In October 2019, the NCCMA worked with Coliban Water and Dja Dja Wurrung to hold a planting day on the banks of the Campaspe River with Grade 4 students from Woodend Primary School.

Students helped to plant some of the 20,000 native trees and shrubs, and learned about the positive impact the plants and fencing will have on water quality and catchment health.

  • All, Flora (plants), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

River Detectives involved in river health video

This video explains how River Detectives schools can be integrally involved in river health projects when they partner with NCCMA projects and local Landcare groups.  See examples of how Woodend and Goornong primary schools enjoy participating.

  • All, General, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA,

Enhancing Dandenong Creek

Melbourne Water’s ‘Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek’ project is taking an innovative approach to sewerage management and bringing the creek back to life.

Although Melbourne based, this is a great case study to show students how urban water can be managed effectively.

For more information go to Melbourne Water’s website

  • Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Waterways, Website,
  • All Regions,

Drip Trip game

Join Drippy the raindrop on a journey across the urban water cycle, through your neighbourhood’s water pipes, sewers, drains and waterways as you head towards the bay.

Steer around obstacles and collect bubbles to reveal facts unique to your postcode. You can even build a bike trail or bust a fatberg by activating special effects that improve services to your area!

This Melbourne Water resource does focus on Melbourne’s urban area but will have some relevance to urban areas in any region.

Suitable for ages 12 and above.  Drip Trip can be played on smartphones, tablets and computers. It works best on newer operating systems and browsers like the latest versions of Chrome, Safari and Firefox. You don’t need to download the game to play, but we do recommend a stable internet connection.

  • Catchments, Game, Lower Secondary, Upper Primary, Urban Water, Water cycles, Website,
  • All Regions,

Wonderful Waterbugs

You may like to use this activity sheet from Melbourne Water when completing a sampling activity – includes a space to sketch the bugs you find and profiles on five common waterbugs.

  • Activity Sheet, Fact sheet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterway Treasure Hunt

Use this activity sheet from Melbourne Water to hunt for the sights, sounds, smells and textures along a waterway near you.  Draw other discoveries and reflect on how time spent at the waterway makes you feel.

  • Activity Sheet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Waterway Hero activity sheet

Match pollutants with a strategy to avoid their impact to consolidate knowledge of stormwater pollution and its effect on waterways.  This resource from Melbourne Water has relevance for all regions but bear in mind that in some regions our litter may not make it to the ocean as stated here.

  • Activity Sheet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Urban Water,
  • All Regions,

Puzzling Platypus activity sheet

Read some facts about the diet of a platypus then complete the maze from Melbourne Water to help the platypus return to her nest and babies in the creek bank.  Perhaps students could calculate 25% of their own body weight and work out what foods they could eat to satisfy that quantity each day ?

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

The Frog Lifecycle

A simple worksheet from Melbourne Water to review the stages of a frog’s lifecycle.  Great to use as a reading comprehension activity.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Birth of the Brolga

Rare footage of a pair of brolga incubating and rearing two chicks highlights the need for a plan to deliver environmental water to wetlands.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Frogs at McDonalds Swamp and Wirra-Lo

Delight at the sound of the frog chorus in two of north central Victoria’s wetlands.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA,

Aunty Esther’s Story of Change

Aunty Esther tells the story of the Barapa Barapa connection to Gunbower Forest.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA,

Cohuna Fish Screens

This engaging animation clearly explains the problems that irrigation channels can cause for native fish and how fish screens are proving to be an effective solution.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Gunbower Forest bird breeding event video

This short video shows how environmental watering programs can make a difference to the health and reproduction of water birds.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Barapa Wamba Water for Country River Tour 2019 video

This video showcases an innovative NCCMA event for traditional owners to come together with land managers to spend time on country, learn from each other and allow time together on the river to strengthen relationships.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

The Waterwatch Story

The North Central Waterwatch Program aims to increase the knowledge and skills of community, supporting them to become custodians of local waterways.  River Detectives is the school/youth based component of the program. This video will help your students understand the community of passionate people that they belong to by being a River Detective.

  • All, Video/Audio, Water Science, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Toxic Blackwater Explained

This video provides a simple explanation of the causes and effects of blackwater.

  • All, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Water for the Environment; it’s all about timing

As well as the water in a river that naturally falls from rain, river and wetland flows are actively managed to maintain or improve their health and with the aim of achieving key ecological objectives such as:

  • fish movement and breeding
  • improvement in water quality and riparian vegetation health
  • enhancing bird breeding, feeding and roosting opportunities

This short video is an engaging animation that explains the issue simply.

  • All, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Environmental Water and the Community video

The Loddon Murray Wetlands consist of one actively managed private wetland complex and 13 public-land wetlands located on the Murray and Loddon River floodplains.

The wetlands are of international and/or regional significance and collectively cover an area of more than 2,800 hectares.

This video highlights the importance of environmental watering to return natural watering cycles to waterways and wetlands in the north central region.

  • All, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Lower Campaspe Flyover video

This 9 minute video shows edited footage of a drone journey along the Campaspe River from Axedale (just downstream of Lake Eppalock) to Echuca.  Set to peaceful music it is a relaxing way to soar like an eagle over the waterway and start conversations about land practices along the way and strategies to balance river health with productive community life and agriculture.

  • All, Catchments, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Waterbug Face Facebook page

This page is run by freshwater ecologists dedicated to assisting with waterbug ID from photos.  Send your image in for help with identification and check out posts for very cool photos and videos of waterbugs in action.

  • All, Water bugs, Website,
  • All Regions,

The Waterbug App

The Waterbug app helps you identify waterbugs from Australia.

Work through the scientific key on your device to answer questions that help you identify your waterbug, or whizz through speedbug and see if you recognize it.

A fantastic portable, paper-free resource for waterbug identification.

  • All, App, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

3 Rivers Flow Indigenous Hip Hop project video

Be inspired by this awesome video of Yorta Yorta children leading their mob in a song about their country defined by three rivers; the Campaspe, the Goulburn and the mighty Murray River.

Maybe you could do a similar project with your students to tell (or sing) a story about your local waterway ?

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Caring For The Campaspe project video

The Caring for the Campaspe project is the first large scale on-ground works project to deliver river health improvements for the Campaspe River from its headwaters near Ashbourne to the Murray River at Echuca.

Since 2012, the North Central CMA has been providing fencing, offstream watering, weed control and revegetation incentives to interested land managers on both public and privately owned along the river’s length.

This video is a great example of the great outcomes that can be achieved when passionate groups work together to improve river health.

  • Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Traditional Owner Campaspe River Tour video

The NCCMA’s Caring for the Campaspe River project means more than just ensuring environmental values are protected and enhanced.  The river has a rich cultural history and spending time there is a meaningful way for our Traditional Owners to connect with country and go on a journey of mutual learning with land managers.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

River Detectives Program Achievements Report 2017-20

This report is a great summary of the goals/benefits of the River Detectives program, how it operates across the state and the level of participation by schools.  It could be a useful resource to share with your staff or school community to explain and share the program.

  • Fact sheet, General, Teacher,
  • All Regions,

ABC Catchment Detox online game

This is an online game where the player manages a virtual river catchment.  The aim is to create an environmentally happy catchment with a sustainable and thriving economy.

  • Catchments, Game, Lower Secondary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

In Stream Habitat Poster

This poster is a fantastic resource to use during macroinvertebrate sampling sessions to demonstrate the five habitats that exist within a waterway;  on the surface (surface zone), in open water (deep zone), amongst vegetation (reed zone), on rocks/logs/gravel (substrate zone) and amid the sediment (benthic zone).  Use the links below to each quarter of the poster to print as A3, laminate and join for a class-size poster you can keep.

Top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right

Use the information on the reverse of the  Water Bug pictures to have students place them in their correct habitat on the poster.

  • All, Flora (plants), Poster, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

The Loddon River Seasonal Calendar

This beautiful poster can be used for inspiration to make a similar resource for a year in the life of your own waterway.  Use words and pictures to document seasonal changes in weather, fauna, flora, water, land, agriculture and community life.

  • All, General, Poster,
  • All Regions,

Murray Darling Basin video

This quirky 12 minute video provides an excellent explanation of how catchments work and the animals, plants, communities and livelihoods that depend on them being well managed.  It highlights the importance of balancing the needs of the environment and humans.  All waterways North Central, Wimmera and North East CMA regions are part of the southern most section of the Murray Darling Basin.

  • All, Catchments, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

How Wolves Change Rivers video

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable changes occurred.  Although this is an American example, this video is a powerful example of how everything in nature is inextricably linked and one change can cause a ripple effect, in this case called a ‘trophic cascade’.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Riparian Zone Poster

An excellent graphic to highlight the key features of a healthy riparian zone compared to a degraded riparian zone.  Great for conversations about water quality, habitat health, land practices and shared community responsibility for the health of our waterways.

  • All, Catchments, Flora (plants), Poster, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Water Quality Results Posters

Use these posters to record and display your monthly or yearly results at a glance.  Share them with others by printing in the school / community newsletter or displaying them in the classroom, school foyer or even a local shop or community meeting place.

  • All, Poster, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

pH Scale

This graphic is the perfect tool to introduce pH, explain acidity and alkalinity to students and compare your pH reading to everyday household items.

  • All, Poster, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Salinity Scale

Use this resource to check the salinity tolerances of humans, crops, livestock, compare your EC results  and understand how salinity can impact on all areas of life

 

  • All, Fact sheet, Poster, Salinity, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Traditional Owners Map

Victoria has a strong and proud Aboriginal history, and complex ownership and land stewardship systems stretching back many thousands of years.

This map allows you to find out who the formally recognised Traditional Owners are for an area.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Map, Website,
  • All Regions,

Exploring Surface Water Tension and Water Striders

This unit comprising of 6 lesson plans for upper primary will develop student’s scientific inquiry skills while learning about water tension and how a water strider utilises water tension to survive.

For more surface tension science experiments check out this video.

  • Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Mosquito Madness

The unit provides 5 lesson plans to allow students to understand the life cycle of mosquitoes, specifically their morphogenesis and the way the organism changes appearance throughout its lifetime. Other key topics include mosquito habitats, ecology and environmental impacts on the mosquito population.

  • Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbugs Higher Level Key

Closely observe the features of macroinvertebrates and use the questions on this key to work your way to an identification using the Agreed Level Taxonomy (ALT) method.

For more info on ALT method, go to: thewaterbug.net

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Wetlands Habitat Activity Booklet

The resource contains six engaging activities for primary students to develop awareness around wetlands, wetland habitats and the importance of wetlands in our world.

  • Estuaries, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug ID chart

Use this poster as a field guide to identify waterbugs in your sample, understand the in-stream habitats they prefer and use the sensitivity scores to rate the health of your waterway.

It can be laminated (or similar) and used with white board markers for longevity.

 

  • Activity Sheet, All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug colouring sheets

Use Melbourne Water’s beautiful colouring images of waterbugs for education / relaxation.

A mix of waterbugs             Diving Beetle                 Dragonfly Larvae

Sensitive waterbugs           Freshwater Snail

Mayfly life cycles                Wetland waterbugs

  • Activity Sheet, All, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Platypus colouring sheet

Use Melbourne Water’s beautiful image of the platypus as a mindful colouring activity.

  • Activity Sheet, All, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

Carp Fact Sheet

Find out about this introduced fish species and how carp impact on our waterways

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

How to enter data guide

This will help you to enter data into the website once you have been to site to collect it!

  • General, Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher,
  • All Regions,

Who is your local Landcare group?

Landcare represents thousands of people across Victoria, working together to increase biodiversity and promote the sustainable management of land.

Find out what your local group is doing and how your River Detectives program might be able to get involved.

To find your local group visit the Landcare Gateway and search for the group nearest you by name, postcode or map location.

 

  • All, General, Group/Organisation, Website,
  • All Regions,

Barapa Barapa Field survey plant guide

Find out more about plants in the Barapa Barapa region through pictures and descriptions of the plant, it’s habitat and it’s traditional uses.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet,
  • North Central CMA,

Salinity in our waterways poster

Use this poster to explore the issue of salinity and examine positive and negative land management practices that contribute to the issue.

  • All, Poster, Salinity, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

How to run a waterbug session video

In this video Priya from Melbourne Water takes you through the key steps of how to sample and study macroinvertebrates (waterbugs).

Don’t forget to contact your local Catchment Management Authority to arrange a loan of macroinvertebrate equipment to run a sampling activity with your students or set up your school’s own kit.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Wimmera River Catchment map

This is a map depicting the catchment area of the Wimmera River.

Part of the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority region, the area to the west of the Wimmera River, doesn’t actually flow into the Wimmera River.  The West Wimmera area is instead a series of wetland chains.

  • All, Catchments, Map, Waterways,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Water Bug Outlines

Use these bug outlines for colouring, collage, making posters/dioramas, classifying, making a food chain, as a starting point for research, etc.

  • Activity Sheet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Map your River

Follow the Teachers Guide to support students to draw a birds eye view of their water testing site with captions to highlight various features.  The Riparian Zone Poster could be used as an example.

 

  • Activity Sheet, All, Catchments, Guide/Activity booklet, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

How to make a bug dial

Make your own bug dial and learn more about the bugs you’ve identified.  Find out about the way they move, their sensitivity to pollutants, where they live and special features.

 

 

  • Activity Sheet, All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Junior Landcare

Find out:

– where your local Junior Landcare group is

– how to get Junior Landcare going in your school

– about activity ideas (linked to the Australian curriculum)

– what grants are available

– how to build worm farms, frog ponds, enhance habitats and more!

Since COVID-19 a fantastic new section has been launched;  Just For Kids filled with great activities for home and school to learn about caring for land and water.

  • Activity Sheet, All, General, Group/Organisation, Guide/Activity booklet, Website,
  • All Regions,

Run of the river board game

The famous Waterwatch game Run of the River can be taken into the classroom very easily:

Download the Board

Read the Teacher Instructions

And find out How to play

  • Catchments, Game, Lower Secondary, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Our platypus – information brochure (posters)

This brochure developed by Melbourne Water is useful for any region with great information presented in a very clear format that could be used as posters for the classroom.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Poster,
  • All Regions,

Creating a frog friendly habitat

Find out all about how to create a frog friendly habitat

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Controlling carp fact sheet

Find out all about the National Carp Control Plan – informative and interesting!

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

All about water bugs

Use these cards to;

  • print and assemble cards with picture and information back to back (laminated will increase their longevity) and use with the In Stream Habitat Poster to place bugs in their preferred habitat zone
  • print the pictures and information separately and match to each other.  Up the stakes and do this in a game of Concentration.
  • play celebrity head to ‘guess the bug’
  • sort the bugs into groups; herbivores/carnivores, legs/no legs, habitat zones, sensitive/tolerant.  How else could you classify them ?
  • print two sets (pictures only) and use for games of concentration, snap or fish to practise identification skills
  • Activity Sheet, All, Fact sheet, Game, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Salinity – fact sheet

Salinity refers to the movement and concentration of salt through the landscape. Find out more here!

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

What is a catchment?

This is useful fact sheet to define and explain catchments.  For more detail about how catchments and waterways are interrelated and how they can be protected see this fact sheet for older students.

 

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Algae fact sheet

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Stormwater fact sheet

What is stormwater? Where does it come from, where does it go and what can we do to help protect our waterways?

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Phosphorus – fact sheet

Your quick reference guide to all things phosphorus.

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Habitats near a waterway – fact sheet

Find out about the different habitats near and in a waterway and why they are important.

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

What is the riparian zone? – fact sheet

The riparian zone is any land that adjoins, directly influences, or is influenced by a body of water. Find out what the values, threats and management concerns are.

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Blackwater Fact sheet

Find out about why water sometimes turns black!

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Woody Habitat Fact Sheet

Find out what woody habitat is and why it is an important part of waterways.

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Foam fact sheet

Find out how and why foam occurs in waterways.

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Melbourne Water Catchments map

Explore the catchments of Melbourne!

  • All, Catchments, Map, Waterways,
  • Melbourne Water,

The Natural Water Cycle

Explore three interactive online games on South East Water’s website to learn about the natural water cycle, the urban water cycle and water sources.

To play, click ‘I’m a student’ – ‘play games and explore’ and then scroll down for all the links.

 

  • Game, Lower Secondary, Upper Primary, Urban Water, Water cycles, Website,
  • All Regions,

North Central CMA Catchment maps

The North Central CMA region is one of ten CMA regions of Victoria.  This region has four catchments; Campaspe, Loddon, Avoca and Avon Richardson.  These can be broken down further into eleven sub-catchments.  Click the links below to find out which catchment/sub-catchment your town/waterway is in. See it from above and understand the way water flows in your area.

Upper Loddon Map; Upper Campaspe Map; Upper Avoca River Map; Lower Loddon River Map; Lower Campaspe Map; Lower Avoca Map; Loddon West Map; Loddon East Map; Gunbower Map; Coliban Map; Avon Richardson Map

  • Catchments, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Map, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Run of the River Game

This free App by the Murray Darling Basin Authority is educational and fun!

You have the following challenge: Water is scarce and needs to be shared around. You must deliver the bubbles of water from the river to the wetlands, farms and communities, whilst keeping the river mouth connected to the ocean. Control dam releases to quench the thirst of all your water consumers through the challenges of flood, drought, evaporation, seasonal changes….

  • App, Catchments, Game, Lower Secondary, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water cycles, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Is your school a Resource Smart School?

If you are, by being a part of River Detectives you can tick off some extra areas in the Biodiversity module !

  • General, Group/Organisation, Teacher, Website,
  • All Regions,

Growling Grass Frog colouring sheet

Alternatively you could use Melbourne Water’s Growling Grass Frog activity sheet where the colouring is set amid some facts about the specie.

  • Activity Sheet, All, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

Frog Life Cycle colouring sheet

  • Activity Sheet, All, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

Frogs colouring sheet

  • Activity Sheet, All, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

Brain bending time fillers

Engaging activities to stimulate minds and consolidate learning in those idle moments in your classroom schedule

  • All, Game, General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Stormwater Education Manual

A comprehensive manual including teachers notes, lesson plans, activities, information and worksheets for upper primary and lower secondary students about urban stormwater sources, impacts and strategies.

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Urban Water,
  • All Regions,

Corangamite CMA Catchment maps

The Corangamite CMA region is one of ten CMA regions of Victoria.  This region has four catchments; Barwon River, Lake Corangamite, Moorabool River and Otway Coast.  These can be broken down further into fifteen sub-catchments.  Click the links below to find out which catchment/sub-catchment your town/waterway is in. See it from above and understand the way water flows in your area.

Moorabool, Hovells, Leigh, Murdeduke, Mid Barwon, Upper Barwon, Bellarine, Woady Yaloak, Lismore, Stony Rises, Curdies, Gellibrand, Aire, Otway Coast, Thompsons.

 

  • All, Catchments, Map, Waterways,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Fresh and Salty Booklet

This booklet complements the Fresh and Salty video with teacher notes and lesson plans

 

  • Catchments, Guide/Activity booklet, Salinity, Teacher, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

City of Geelong- Stormwater Manual

Activities all about stormwater in Geelong!

Get your local stormwater manual now to guide your lessons in  the classroom.

  • Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Urban Water,
  • Corangamite CMA,

North Central CMA Region 3D map

Enjoy a birds-eye view of the North Central region to understand our topography, catchments and land uses.

  • All, Catchments, Map, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Turbidity Fact Sheet

  • All, Fact sheet, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

pH Fact sheet

  • All, Fact sheet, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Exploring Estuaries Guide

This guide provides educators with a number of lesson plans linked to the Australian Curriculum. It supports estuary-related resources designed to enhance student understanding of this important water system..

  • All, Estuaries, Guide/Activity booklet,
  • Corangamite CMA, Melbourne Water,

Water Bug Flip Charts

An interactive resource about the most common macroinvertebrates.  Set on a 5 cent piece, images help students understand the size and scale of waterbugs and when your mouse hovers on an image it flips to reveal a fact file of the bug’s name, size, physical features and interesting adaptions.

 

  • All, Fact sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Nine days on Tang Tang Swamp

A beautiful and breathtaking secret insight into life on a drying waterhole at a public wetland located in north central Victoria

  • All, Fauna (animals), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Fresh and Salty video

Fresh and Salty is a highly engaging short animated film produced by the Wimmera CMA.  It is the perfect way to introduce the topic of salinity to your students

  • All, Catchments, Salinity, Video/Audio, Water Science,
  • All Regions,