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Brewongle Environmental Education Centre

Brewongle Environmental Education Centre

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Geography - Factors that shape places

Geography - Factors That Shape Places

As urban Sydney sprawls in all directions, the Northwest is dramatically changing. This Geographical Inquiry focuses on the connections between people and nature at Brewongle EEC and the surrounds of Sackville North and the Hawkesbury River. The program covers the Factors That Shape Places unit in its entirety, with pre- and post-visit lessons and assessments. This program can also be extended to a 3 day excursion.

Maximum 6 classes or 180 students.

Download program documents:  

Pre-excursion tasks

Please download the Student Booklet for this unit. This webpage will give you some extra hints and links to help you work through the pre- and post-excursion activities in your worksheet.

As urban Sydney sprawls in all directions, the North West is changing dramatically. By completing this unit, you will understand the connections between people and nature at Brewongle Environmental Education Centre and its surrounds at Sackville North on the Hawkesbury River. In doing this, you will be answering three Geographical Inquiry Questions:

  1. How does the natural environment influence people and places at Sackville North?
  2. How have people changed the natural environment at Sackville North and the local Hawkesbury River Catchment?
  3. How do bushfires shape the natural environment and impact where people live in Sackville North?

Pre-excursion activity one - The study site

Go to the SIX Maps website and follow the steps in page 2  of your worksheet.

  •  Hint: if your scale is 1:550 000, 1cm=5.5km

Pre-excursion activity two - geographical questions

Geographical questions are questions which help you identify the information you need to answer the inquiry questions.

Writing Geographical questions isn’t as complicated as it sounds. For example, in order to answer the first inquiry question 'How does the environment influence people and places at Sackville North?', we will need to know:

  • Why might people choose to live in Sackville North?
  • What are some measurable features of the environment at Sackville North?

To answer the second inquiry question 'How have people changed the natural environment at Sackville North and the local Hawkesbury River Catchment', we need to know:

  • What was the environment like before there were people living in Sackville North?
  • What is the environment like now that people live in Sackville North?
  • What has changed in this time?

On page 3 of your worksheet, come up with some geographical questions to answer the inquiry questions.

Pre-excursion activity three - planning your inquiry

Do a brainstorming session with your class and decide on 2-3 Geographical Questions for each Inquiry Question.  Allocate one Geographical Question per pair of students. Each pair must answer the following 3 questions for each Geographical Question:

  1. What information is needed to answer this geographical question and where can I find that information?
  2. What are the geographical tools I need to access the information?
  3. Develop a system for recording the information.

Excursion day

You will spend the day conducting fieldwork testing around Brewongle EEC. Collate the data in your worksheet so you don’t miss anything.

Post-excursion activity one -  population growth

Now that you’ve collected lots of primary data, you need to use some secondary data, data collected by someone other than you for another purpose. Use some legitimate websites to find information - data or statistics - about population growth in Northwest Sydney and the Greater Sydney Region. Evaluate and summarise the data and information into 5 key points in your worksheet.

You might find the following websites useful:

Post-excursion activity two - community survey

To understand more about the impact of population increase, write and conduct a survey. Follow the important steps on your worksheet on how to create a great survey.

  • Survey Monkey is an easy site to use for online surveys visit Survey Monkey
  • Google Forms is another option available with your Department of Education login details.

Processing your data

Collating, reviewing, evaluating and presenting your data correctly makes everything easier! You will be creating a documentary for your assessment task, so you need to have some cool ways to present and explain your data so your audience can understand it.

Use the list of tools in your worksheet – flowcharts, tables, photographs, T-charts, Venn Diagrams, maps.

Make sure the information you present answers the Inquiry Questions.

Assessment task - your documentary

Work in small groups to create a documentary to share your findings with the public. You might want to use the 3 Inquiry Questions as chapter headings in your documentary. It should include the points outlined on the last page of your worksheet.

Assessment rubric