Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre logo

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Invertebrate art program

Teacher checklist


Field of Mars Reserve, Pittwater Road, East Ryde.

Wallumedegal Country

Google maps - Apple maps

Bus access

Supply bus driver with Field of Mars Reserve bus information

No bus entry into Field of Mars Reserve.


DoE $27 per student - GST free

Non-gov school $37 per student - GST free, minimum charge $700

Term 1 - Catholic school Weeks 3 to 7 cost = DoE cost - GST free, minimum charge $700

Risk assessment

Risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan


View the YouTube track overview videos.

Buffalo Creek Track

Doyle and Warada loop track


Participants will be bushwalking during the day in rugged terrain.

Limited wheelchair accessibility.

This excursion may not be suitable for people who have recently been unwell.


Backpack, medication, low-waste food, water bottle, sunblock, raincoat, hat, sturdy shoes.

Students wear reusable name tag and sports uniform. 

Please bring paint smocks.


Preparing for an excursion

Supporting resources

Invertebrate Explorer - available free from Apple Books.

Fact sheets

Bin access

All student waste to be taken home by students.

Parent/carer helpers

Optional one to two parents per class, no siblings. Closed shoes essential.

Medical or special needs

Notify EEC staff prior to excursion. 

Students, staff and visitors must not attend if unwell, even with mild symptoms. 

Extreme or wet weather

Days predicted to be above 35ºC, high winds, extreme bush fire danger and dust storms may result in the excursion being modified, postponed or cancelled. 


Cancellations with less than four school weeks' notice will incur a $500 administration fee. This does not apply to cancellations due to weather or fire danger.

Suggested timetable for up to two classes


Classes A, B

Classes C, D

9.45 - 10.15

Introduction, recess and toilets

Introduction, recess and toilets

10.15 - 10.30

Canvas preparation

Canvas preparation

10.30 - 11.45


Invertebrate hunt

11.45 - 12.00

Canvas preparation

Canvas preparation

12.00 - 12.30



12.30 - 1.15

Invertebrate hunt


1.15- 2.00

Painting and gallery walk

Painting and gallery walk

2.00 - 2.15

Pack up and depart

Pack up and depart

Learning activities

Students go on a bushwalk and conduct a hands-on investigation by collecting invertebrates in the Field of Mars gardens to observe their features and their environment. Inspired by invertebrates students make artworks using watercolour pencils, monochrome scratch art and observational drawings culminating in the creation of an eye-catching painted canvas of an invertebrate to take home.  

Inquiry questions:

  • What types of invertebrates are found in the Field of Mars Reserve and what are their structural features?
  • Why are some structural and behavioural features of living things considered adaptations?
  • How can we represent the details of living things in artworks?



The focus of the bushwalk is for students to observe the different places in the natural environment in which invertebrates can be found. The bushwalk will traverse a variety of environments from the moist vegetation found along the creeks to the dry woodland along the slopes of the reserve. 

Many invertebrate species will remain hidden during the walk so particular emphasis will be placed on looking for animal evidence such as tracks and sounds. 

The needs of invertebrates in their environment, their adaptations and the important role of invertebrates in bushland will be emphasised. Students will undertake a variety of sensory activities and create artworks inspired by the interconnections between invertebrates and their environment. 

Invertebrate hunt

The focus of this session is for students to work cooperatively to conduct an investigation, using simple equipment, to explore and answer the question: What invertebrates live in bushland? 

Students will work in small groups to search for and collect leaf litter invertebrates in the gardens around the education centre. Collected specimens will then be examined using magnifiers.

Invertebrate art

Students examine the features of one or two chosen invertebrates using a range of magnifying equipment, paying particular attention to detail including numbers of legs, sections of the body, colour, shape, structure, texture and patterns found on the invertebrate. 

After careful observation and study of an invertebrate students will create an artwork on canvas. This will involve the use of a variety of media including rollers, pencil, brushes and paint. Upon completion the canvases will be displayed for a short exhibition in the afternoon allowing students to appreciate and evaluate their work.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus (2006)


VAS3.1 Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.

A student:

  • closely observes details of things in the world and seeks to make artworks about these using various techniques such as proportion, perspective, composition, foreshortening 

Other syllabus links

Learning experiences will support but not explicitly teach the following outcomes and content.

Science and technology K-6 Syllabus (2017)


A student:

  • examines how the environment affects the growth, survival and adaptation of living things ST3-4LW-S



  • describe the structural and/or behavioural features of some Australian animals and plants and why they are considered to be adaptations

Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2006

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017