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Year 4 Library Lessons


Science & Book Study:




Phasmid: Saving the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect


Lesson 1

Term 2 will be a Science Inquiry unit with the book Phasmid : Saving the Lord Howe Stick Insect by

R. Cleave as the core text.

Our focus :-

* Living things have life cycles

* Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive 

* Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions

Lesson 1- 

Activities- Before we read the book.... lets do some thinking....

Activity 1

I want you to think about the words 'habitat' and 'endangered' and

answer the following questions.... Write your answers on the answer sheet supplied by teacher.

  • Do animals need their habitat to survive?

  • What does ‘habitat’ mean? - look it up in a dictionary/or click here to look up the meaning. Online Dictionary

  • What needs to be in an animal’s habitat so it can survive? 

  • In what ways can a habitat be harmed? 

  • How do animals become endangered?

  • What does ‘endangered’ mean? Use dictionary above if needed

  • What does ‘extinction’ mean? Use dictionary above if needed

  • What situations could endanger animals? 


2. To research the Phasmid stick insect we are going to look at 3 resources.

* The book Phasmid; Saving the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect

* An episode of BTN (Behind the News)

* A mini movie called Sticky


Activity 2

Watch this


Watch the trailer


Does it make you

want to read it?




Activity 3

Complete the first 2 columns of a KWL worksheet. Print one off here                or get worksheet from your teacher.      

1- K write down anything you already know about the Phasmid or the stick insect. 

2- W write down any questions you want to ask or things you would like to learn about this insect.

3- L Do not fill in the last column L- we will do this at a later stage. 




Lesson 2- 

Activities- Before we read the book.... lets do some exploring....

Activity 1 Where is Lord Howe?

Use Google Earth to locate Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid in relation to mainland Australia. Zoom in on Lord Howe Island and look at the vegetation and settlement.

Now look for Rutherford or Maitland on Google earth.

What similarities and differences are there between Lord Howe and our local area ?

Have you ever been to Lord Howe Island? 




Activity 2

Find out what Victoria Zoo is doing to help fight the extinction of the Phasmid Stick insect.

Click on this webpage Lord Howe Island Stick Insect (

Make sure you also click on the Fact Sheet on the bottom of their website!

Use the Victoria Zoo website to answer these questions on the Phasmid Victoria Zoo worksheet. Print one off here                    or get a copy from your teacher.      



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Lesson 3

Reading the text!

Watch the video below to listen to the reading of the book Phasmid.








Answer these questions. Type up your answers in full sentences on a Word document. Create a heading EXPLORING THE TEXT. Add a picture to go with it.

  • How was the Lord Howe Island Phasmid’s habitat changed after the shipwreck?

  •  How can the habitat be restored on Lord Howe Island so the phasmids can be returned?

  • Imagine being a Lord Howe Island Phasmid after the shipwreck. How could you escape from Lord Howe Island and make it to safety on Ball’s Pyramid?

Create a timeline of the story on a scrap piece of paper as a rough draft. As you read the text, create a timeline to plot key dates and sequence of events. Then turn your information into a published timeline using the the website app Tiki Toki Mrs Philpott will demonstrate how to set up a Tiki Toki Timeline.

Watch the video below on how to use Tiki Toki, if you need more help.

Lesson 4

Comparing resources

Watch the Behind the News episode about the Phasmid here 

Focus Questions

1. Explain the Phasmid find story to another student.

2. The phasmid found on Lord Howe Island is commonly known as the a. Rock lobster b. Land lobster c. Thylacine

3. Lord Howe Island is not part of Australia. True or false?

4. Describe the impact rats have had on Lord Howe Island.

5. Why do you think European settlement in Australia has caused the extinction of some species?

6. What happened at Balls Pyramid in 2001?

7. How did scientists go about regenerating the phasmid population?

8. How successful has the breeding program been?

9. What do scientists hope will eventually happen to the phasmids bred in captivity?

10. What does the breeding program mean for other animals facing extinction?


Use the internet to research phasmids in depth using the following points to guide your research.

                                * Scientific and common name

                                * Appearance/anatomy Shape, size, colour, body parts

                                * Habitat Where does it live in the world? Why?

                                * Life cycle What are the differences between male and female phasmids?

                                *  Predators What enemies does it have? What defence mechanisms does it have?

Research Links

ABC 730 – Missing bug returns to give hope Australian Museum – Leaf and Stick Insects

Phasmatodea/ Australian Government - Lord Howe Island Phasmid

Kidcyber – Phasmids – Stick or Leaf Insects

CSIRO - Phasmatodea: stick and leaf insects

Australian National Geograophic - Lord Howe Insect

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Lesson 5 Comparing resources

Watch the mini movie STICKY about the Phasmid here


Now you have read the book, watched BTN and Sticky the movie think about how each resource presented the topic. As a class discussion on the board compare and contrast how events are portrayed and discuss why different authors have treated the similar themes in different ways for different audiences. 

Had you heard of the phasmid before? How do you feel about the phasmid's fight for survival?  Have your feelings changed since engaging with the text? What do they think the author's purpose was?


END OF UNIT REFLECTION: Go back to your original KWL sheet and fill in the last column.


EXTENSION: Use the website Canva to generate a poster to promote saving the phasmid. 

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