Creating a beneficial garden: assessment
Category: Biodiversity
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA
Age Range: 7-13


Every time Suyin is outdoors, she is fascinated by the myriad of bugs she sees. She recently learnt from her grandfather that bugs are invertebrates. Invertebrates are all the living things that have no backbone. They are all around us, and come in all shapes and sizes. Spot the spider weaving its web: invertebrate. Spot the worm happily growing in the compost bin: invertebrate. Spot that fly buzzing in your ear! Also an invertebrate.

Over 90% of the planet’s animal species are invertebrates, meaning they are everywhere, just going about their business. Suyin’s grandfather also told her that while many humans see bugs to be irritating and bothersome, it is important to learn why they are significant to our ecosystem and how they help ensure we can all share a healthy planet.


Invertebrates perform many different roles in a garden’s ecosystem and occupy many different habitats. In this activity, you will be completing an assessment of these animals. The aim of this activity is for children to identify invertebrates, appreciate different invertebrate habitats and understand the roles that these animals play.

This learning activity is the first part of a sequence of 3 individual learning activities focused on creating a beneficial garden. The order of these activities are: assessment, investigation and planting.


For children to:

  • look closely for invertebrates outdoors and identify those which are present
  • understand the important role that invertebrates play in the environment
  • make connections on how invertebrates use their habitats
  • collect and display data from a field investigation
  • use visual clues to classify invertebrates, such as how many legs an animal has.

Invertebrates are likely to be more visible in temperatures above 20⁰ C. Some invertebrates will go into diapause, similar to hibernation, to avoid extreme cold or heat. So the best time of day to look for invertebrates is between 10am and 2pm.

If you live in a temperate region, it is best to run this activity from September to April as more invertebrates will be active during the warmer months.

Did you know?

Many of the invertebrates we find in the garden are classified as arthropods; arthropods have an exoskeleton, segmented bodies and pairs of jointed legs.

Did you know?

The common garden snail has been introduced to Australia; they hitched a ride on plants and on ships and have been in Australia for over 120 years.

Did you know?

Caterpillars increase their body mass 1000 times or more during this stage of their life cycle.

Did you know?

Caterpillars increase their body mass 1000 times or more during this stage of their life cycle.

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Your feedback will help Landcare Australia improve the activities in the Junior Landcare Learning Centre.

Why not try one of our other Junior Landcare learning activities?

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