Creating a wildlife habitat: vision

Time Allocation: 45 minutes*

Activity Level: Moderate


Having an understanding of the needs of native animals in your school or local area will help build a connection to place, and help to get support from your community to a create a wildlife habitat. This activity enables children to appreciate the diversity of local native animals in the community and understand how to protect them.

*Time allocation will be dependent on site selection and travel time. Additional time may be spent in consultation with your local Landcare group, council, or native plant nursery.


  • Completed research learning activity
  • Field Guide or App for Australian Fauna (animals) and other research materials, e.g. books, pamphlets, devices with internet access and those resources listed in the Reference List.
  • Printable ‘Vision’ Activity Sheet
  • Pencils
  • Clipboards (optional)
  • Instructions

    STEP 1

    Habitat requirements

    What are your goals and your creative ideas in creating your habitat garden? What wildlife would you like to attract and support?

    All animals need food, water and shelter to survive. A habitat provides a safe place to live, but not all animals need the same type of habitat. For example, Brushtail Possums live in tree hollows and like to feed on insects and flowers, whilst skinks like to bask in the sun and shelter in leaf litter.

    Thinking about the animals you would like to attract to your wildlife garden, choose three of the animals you discovered during the research activity. Discuss their habitat requirements. Where does the animal like to live? What does it feed on? Record these details in the activity sheet.

    Use the field guide book, online resources, or Wildlife App in the checklist to help your research.

    STEP 2

    Animal habitats

    Now that you have found out more about the food and shelter requirements for your animals, what else might they need?

    Your local environment may not always be able to provide some of the shelter needed for your animals. Using built features can also help to provide shelter, particularly when your new habitat is establishing.

    Are there any built features the animals in your local area might need?  These could include a lizard lounge, nest boxes, an insect hotel or water feature such as a frog pond.

    Draw one of these built features in the Activity Sheet and be creative in your design.

    STEP 3

    How plants create habitat

    Ideally, in an outdoor location surrounded by a range of native plant forms, discuss how plants create habitats for wildlife, focusing on the animals living needs.

    To ensure biodiversity when creating your wildlife habitat, it is important to use a variety of native plant forms (such as trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses). This creates a multi layered environment providing lots of safe places for small birds and other animals.

    There are lots of people in the community that can help you learn more about the plants that thrive in your local area. Contact your local Landcare group, Traditional Custorians, local council or native plant nursery to discuss plant choices and where to source them. They can often provide you with a local plant species list to use.

    STEP 4

    Choosing native plants

    Use a local plant species list or plant guide to help make a list of plants for your new habitat.

    Record plant suggestions in the table in the activity sheet along with their plant form (tree, shrub, grass). This will help you to think about the plants to be included in your design.

    After completing the activity sheet, reflect on your learnings. Children can discuss their ideas and vision with each other. How are we going to use this knowledge to create a suitable habitat for local wildlife species? In the discussion consider:

    • limitations and restrictions
    • who might be able to help?
    • what equipment might we need?
    • what budget is required?

    Extension Activity

    Invite students to join a Junior Landcare group and participate in an upcoming Landcare or environmental event. You could also invite your local Landcare group out to your school.

    Use the Conservation Management Zones of Australia to identify the management zone you live in. Download the PDF to discover any Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered species live near you. Write down their common name, species names and their conservation status in the table in the Activity Sheet. Discussion: Would your wildlife habitat help these species? How?