Creature Feature graphic

Creature Feature is a Stage 2 incursion program that focusses on student understandings about marine environments and ecosystems. The program encourages students to develop an appreciation and understanding about local marine environments and how they can help to protect them. The students create a diorama of an underwater scene including messages about protecting marine environments. The diorama is used to produce a digital story to present to the school community. The outcome is to raise awareness about helping to protect marine environments. 

 Program Aims: 

  • to investigate marine environments and to promote understanding about the importance of protecting marine /estuarine environments.
  • to enhance creativity and collaborate learning through engaging students with computer literacy.
  • to foster a caring attitude in students towards the marine environment and encourage a greater contribution by them to actions that reduce their impact on their school and home environment. 

Program outline:

The whole day incursion program takes place in your school and includes a 90 minute pre-incursion class briefing. The briefing introduces the class to the marine environment and the knowledge and understandings that will enable them to design their team diorama and create their digital stories.

A. Pre-incursion program:

  1. an introduction to the importance of marine environments
  2. identification of typical species in the waterways around Sydney 
  3. discussions around human impacts on marine environments including issues such as stormwater pollution, sea temperatures rises due to global warming, overfishing, industrial pollution etc 
  4. a demonstration of a stormwater model to observe the effects of stormwater pollution on marine environments
  5. presentation of a digital story called Meno helps his friends, to demonstrate visual communication using ICT
  6. an introduction to diorama building techniques, including the use of magi-clay, moulds and other creative techniques



Student Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Program in Action

1 Recap on marine environments

including typical marine creatures and human impacts that may affect marine habitats. 

Why are marine environments important?

Students list reasons for protecting marine environments. 

Ocean Millionaire

Students engage in a fun interactive quiz to test their knowledge of marine environments.

Describe places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explain their significance.

Describe people’s interactions with environments and identify responsible ways of interacting with environments.


2 Diorama preparation

Students create a list and describe sea creatures to be included in their diorama as well as marine issues and solutions.

3 Diorama building: 

a. Demonstration of techniques using magic clay and other craft material. 

b. Students draft a paper plan of dioramas. including any issues, ‘call outs’, signs of human impacts to be used with the creatures. 

c. Students begin making their team’s 6-7 marine creatures in clay. 

d. Diorama boxes are then set up to place/paste/hang creatures with their issues ‘call outs’ and sea floor features.

Develop, implement and evaluate ideas using drawings, models and prototypes at appropriate stages of the design process. 

Represent the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter. 

Use the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter.


4 Schoolyard Safari – Students investigate the playground for any locations that would contribute to storm water pollution and impact on the marine environment. Students will also photograph any good playground management strategies for inclusion in the digital story. 

Describe people’s interactions with environments and identify responsible ways of interacting with environments.


5 Storybook preparation – Students photograph close-ups of items and important messages in their diorama in preparation for inclusion in a digital story. 

6 Digital storyboarding

a. Some team members draft a storyboard for their digital story (for a particular audience) and make team decisions about font, styles, colours, themes etc. 

b. Other team members work on the solutions panel of the diorama.

Select and use a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources with developing skill to enhance investigation and design tasks. 

Create and evaluate information products demonstrating an understanding of the needs of particular audiences.


Click here to see a sample of a Digital Story

To find out more about the marine environment in your local area visit the underwater Sydney website at Underwater Sydney

To find out more about lessons and activities related to oceans, visit the Marine Educators Society of Australia

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