This program has been developed using the 9 effective teaching strategies as identified in Classroom Instruction that Works, by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering and Jane Pollock.

This site has been designed for delivery to the 'flipped classroom'. Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the content as homework, and undertake the 'TASKs' and keep an Interactive Science Notebook in class time, but please feel free to adapt the material to your particular situation.

The science content is aligned with the Australian National Curriculum for year 8 (ACSSU153) and year 9 Space and Earth Sciences (ACSSU180), which was further developed as curriculum maps by a working group of science teachers from the Western Metropolitan Region and McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning) principal consultant, Anne Tweed, hosted by VSSEC in 2012.

If you intend to trial a flipped classroom introduce students to the concept before you begin.

  • Address issues of equity in access to technology and the internet. If necessary, have students review material during class time. Explain that if students do their 'homework', familiarising themselves with the content and taking notes, class time will be given over to activities and further investigations.

  • Check, and demonstrate if necessary, good note taking techniques. Note, important concepts have been bolded. Show students how to view a video, including how to pause and rewind.

  • Instruct and/or assist students to set up an Interactive Science Notebook, which provides formative and summative assessment opportunities, promotes good study techniques, and a portfolio of their work for the students. Foldables are 3-D graphic organisers, and provide a kinesthetic element to learning and promote retention of information. More suggestions for maths and science foldables here, and Dinah Zike originator of foldables.

  • Ideally the flipped classroom should work for mastery. Students work through the first topic 1. Mars and Earth Stats as a class, and then work at their own pace in small groups (ideally to encourage communication and collaboration), or individually in the differentiated classroom. This may be easier to implement in theory rather than practice. Encourage and assist students to be ready for activities as they are scheduled. Regularly check their progress and understanding in their Notebooks. Students who complete work may undertake further investigation or assist other students. 2. Earth vs Mars (year 9) 3. Earth (year 8).


Some activities have been left open for negotiation between teachers and students. Please feel free to extend or adapt the material. Suggested activities which include materials:

  • using a slinky to demonstrate the difference between P and S waves;

  • a convection current activity (please ensure students realise that the mantle is not liquid, but a 'plastic' solid);

  • make a simple homopolar motor using batteries, magnets and electrical and/or copper wire;

  • a toilet paper timeline;

  • make marshmallow and toothpick crystals;

  • investigate crystal growth

  • observing the creation of sediments by mixing soil samples with water (a range of soil samples may prompt further discussion)

  • examine sand samples under a microscope (these can be collected as a class activity if locations are available);

  • create your own cast and mould, trace and amber fossils using plaster and a hot glue gun;

  • and create a rock collection sample of each major rock type (most are available as building materials).

Students are also asked to produce creative tributes to Alfred Wegener and the Rock Cycle. Suggestions include comics, videos, posters, powerpoints, poems, etc. Here are a couple of suggestions for foldables that might be useful for these projects.

Here are some ideas for Interactive Notebooks.

Another approach to Cornell Notes.