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


To learn more about invertebrates, Suyin and her grandfather decided to challenge each other. Every Sunday night, they would decide on a group of invertebrate to investigate. In their own backyards, they would keep their eyes open, make observations and keep a daily tally of how many they spot. Extra points were awarded if they witness their invertebrate doing something special, such as a bee drinking nectar or a cicada emerging from its shell. At the end of the week, they would compare their numbers and their observations. Extra extra bonus points if they have photos to share.

Suyin was confident that was going to beat her grandfather in the first week, she was able to catch Aphids eating the sap on the tips of the garden rosebuds. She hoped that some Hover fly larvae would come along to eat the aphids soon, she had planted out some Alyssum plants to attract Hover flies with her grandfather earlier in the year.


Biodiversity has been perfected by nature over millions of years where invertebrates have played an important role in maintaining a balanced, biodiverse ecosystem. Invertebrates provide services to food crops including pollination and protection from pests.

Learners will draw on their study of invertebrates from the assessment activity to help develop a hypothesis on increasing biodiversity by planting different flowering plants that attract invertebrates, specifically beneficial insects.

This learning activity is the second 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:

  • understand the advantages of a biodiverse ecosystem
  • recognise that insects can play a beneficial role in the garden
  • collect and identify an insect
  • undertake research about a beneficial insect and the role(s) it plays
  • develop a hypothesis about how planting flowering plants affect the presence of insects.

In some climates, there will be a reduction in beneficial insects during the cooler months and this may affect the pollination and protection that beneficial insects provide. Keep this in mind when researching your beneficial insect, and use this information to help plan the type of food crop you are planning to grow in the planting activity of this sequence.

Did you know?

An Entomologist is a scientist who studies insects and their relationship to people, other animals and the environment.

Did you know?

Insects that drink nectar such as bees and butterflies, have a proboscis which is a special appendage that they use like a straw.

Did you know?

To pronounce the word proboscis, make the letter c silent; this word has Latin origins.

Did you know?

Insects undergo a metamorphosis during their lifecycle. Some animals such as a butterfly, have a complete metamorphosis because their larvae looks completely different to the adult.

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

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