Bush Christmas

Bush Christmas is an incursion program that combines combines story, song and craft to introduce students to Australian animals and their habitats. Students will take a take part in an interactive Christmas story to learn about Australian animals, and create a Christmas present and wrapping paper by stenciling a leaf design onto a calico bag and stamping animal designs onto wrapping paper. They will also learn and sing an Australian Christmas song and meet some Australian animals up close. Each class will also receive a native plant to help improve their school environment.

Each incursion session is approximately 90 minutes long and multiple sessions can by delivered on the one day. Each sessions can accommodate up to 24 students, with assistance from the class teacher and preferably a teachers aid and/or parent helper.

This program is offered by a number of Environmental Education Centres. To help us reduce our ecological footprint, schools should choose the Centre that is closest to them. As a guide Observatory Hill EEC services the following council areas; Botany Bay, Canterbury, Leichhhardt, Marrickville, North Sydney, Rockdale, Sydney and Waverley, Woollahra.

Risk Assessment Proforma – Bush Christmas

Syllabus Outcomes

HSIE Science and Technology: Visual Arts
  • SNES1 Gathers information about natural and built environments and communicates some of the ways they interact with, and can care for these environments.
  • ENS1.6 Demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between environments and people.


  • ST1-11LW Describes ways that different places in the environment provide for the needs of living things
  • VAES1.1 Makes simple pictures and other kinds of artworks about things and experiences.
  • VAS1.1 Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.

Environmental Education Objectives:

  • K1 The nature and function of ecosystems and how they are interrelated
  • K2 The impact of people on environments
  • S2 Adopting behaviours and practices that protect the environment
  • V1 A respect for life on earth
  • V3 A commitment to act for the environment

Summary of Learning Sites, Activities and Student Outcomes

Learning Site and timing
Activity Student OutcomesStudents will be able to: Program in Action
In the classroom
Approx 20 mins

Snow’s Christmas 
Students will take part in an interactive story, Snowy’s Christmas, to learn about the habitats of Australian animals, what they eat, where they shelter, and ways they are adapted to their environments.


  • Identify ways in which living things are different and have different needs
  • Identify and describes ways in which living things grow and change.
  • Identifiy ways in which their own needs and the needs of others are met.
In the classroom
Approx 30 mins

Craft Activities

In three groups the students rotate through three main activity stations:

1. Printing calico bags – Students use a roller and stencil to print a gum leaf design onto a calico bag.

2. Making wrapping paper – The students use foam ‘brushes’ and Aussie animal stamps to make a piece of wrapping paper.

3. Making a gift tag from a gum leaf

If time permits, students colour a gift card or finish it later in class.

  • Make simple pictures and other kinds of artworks about things and experiences.
  • Make artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.
 Bush Xmas
In the classroom
Approx 15 mins

Australian Christmas Song

Students will learn an Australian Christmas song, sung to the tune of Jingle Bells and accompany it with bush instruments.


  • Participate in simple singing activities demonstrating an awareness of musical concepts
 xmas singing
 Follow up  

Follow up

Each class will be given a Christmas Bush or equivalent to plant as habitat in their school grounds.

  • Appreciate behaviours and practices that protect the environment

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