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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Movie bugs program

Teacher checklist


Your school


DoE $24 per student - GST free

Non-gov school $34 per student - GST free, minimum charge $700

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

Cost includes two school visits by Field of Mars teachers and program resources.

Risk assessment

Risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan

School preparation

It is recommended schools provide one learning space, with an IWB, for all participating classes for the duration of the day.

Students will need to complete the essential class lessons and create a script, storyboard and movie bug prop before the second visit.


Students wear hats, sports uniform and reusable name tag.

Supporting resources

Script and storyboard template

Invertebrate fact sheets

Invertebrate Explorer - available free from Apple Books

Fact sheets

Parent/carer helpers

Day 1 - optional one to two parents per class

Day 2 - recommended two to three parents per class

No siblings

Medical or special needs

Notify Field of Mars staff prior to incursion. 

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 incursion 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 up to six classes



Morning session

Group 1 – maximum 2 classes

Day 1 - Invertebrate investigations 

Day 2 - Stop motion animation

Middle session

Group 2 – maximum 2 classes

Day 1 - Invertebrate investigations 

Day 2 - Stop motion animation

Afternoon session

Group 3 – maximum 2 classes

Day 1 - Invertebrate investigations 

Day 2 - Stop motion animation

Learning activities

Movie bugs is a literacy focused incursion program that engages students in stop motion animation projects using an iPad.

The program includes:

  • a hands-on investigation of the invertebrates found in your school

  • scripting, storyboard and prop development support

  • creation of a stop motion animation focused on the amazing features, habitats and life stages of a local invertebrate.

The Movie bugs program includes two school visits with Field of Mars teachers and approximately 3 hours of classroom time with the classroom teacher.

Field of Mars incursion - Day 1 

Students are guided through a hands-on investigation to discover and describe the invertebrates found in the school  playground. Scientific equipment is used to safely find and collect invertebrates for closer examination under microscopes and through digital display on a classroom smartboard. Students will examine the features, habitats and life cycles of some of these animals. Students will then be introduced to the steps required to prepare for 'animation day', the second Field of Mars incursion.

In the classroom 

Students will spend time learning more about invertebrates, developing a script and storyboard and creating invertebate props in readiness for 'animation day'.


Students select an invertebrate to be their 'movie bug', the star of their animation. Students research the features, behaviours, habitat and how they grow and change. The Field of Mars fact sheets provide information to support research.

Scripts and storyboards

Students develop a script using the scaffold provided on their chosen invertebrate. The script should include observations made during the hands-on invertebrate investigation and research. 

The script includes details like: Name? What are its features? Where does it live? What does it eat? How does it grow and change?  

Download the Movie Bugs script and storyboard template here

Creating props

The main prop for the animation is an invertebrate made from materials such as clay or plasticine. Pipe cleaners or sticks can be used for legs and antennae.

Invertebrate props will be 'acting' outdoors. The props need to be no larger than the palm of a hand, moveable and robust enough to move through the environment. One main prop per student should be made with additional props such as eggs, webs and individual features made to support the script.

Field of Mars incursion - Day 2 - Animation day

Field of Mars teachers will provide animation equipment and support teams to record their stop motion animation. The completed digital product will be shared to school digitally.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus (2006)

VAS1.1 Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.

Science and Technology K-10 Syllabus (2017)


A student:

  • observes, questions and collects data to communicate and compare ideas ST1-1WS-S 

Working scientifically

  • explore and answer questions through participation in guided scientific investigations (ACSIS025, ACSIS038)

  • compare observations with those of others (ACSIS041, ACSIS213)

  • make safe choices when using materials and equipment



  • describe the external features of a variety of living things (ACSSU017)

  • identify that living things live in different places that suit their needs (ACSSU211)

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