Year 05 - Geography - City streets, city beach


Urban flooding — and other complex, environmental challenges — can be solved when communities work together to share their experiences and knowledge.

- Michael Drescher, The Conversation

image of students sitting under a tree on an excursionan image of Southbank Brisbane river an image of Southbank shops

Program overview

In this full day excursion, students will visit South Bank to investigate the effect of flood events on the natural and built environment; the effects that these have had on the people who use the area and consider what mitigation has been undertaken to minimise these effects in the future.

We begin the day at QPAC where students begin to consider what the effects of flood would have been on the South Brisbane area pre and post European settlement. We watch aerial footage from the time of 2011 flood and discuss the effects of this natural disaster on the constructed landmarks of South Bank at that time. Following this, we begin an initial observation of the area which examines the changing land use over time and illustrates some of the ways in which the area has been adapted to cope better with future flood events.

Students match the lines of a poem describing the changes on the South Bank of the river with paintings and photographs of the area from the time prior to the establishment of the Parklands. In this way, they begin to see how the characteristics of environments are influenced by humans in different times and places.

In a self-guided portion of the excursion, which is conducted under close supervision by centre teachers, students follow a set of navigational instructions provided via an iBook to find their way to each of three areas along South Bank. At each place, through guidance, questioning, interrogation of digital resources and drama, the students carefully consider the effects of flood on the place and the people and learn more of the innovative ways in which the city has learned to live with the natural hazard of the river.

In the final part of the excursion, students adopt the role of an expert on flood to produce a digital presentation about the potential impact of inundation on their chosen area and the people who use it before discussing what has been done to protect that area in the future. This presentation can be used as part of teacher assessment of the unit.

Curriculum intent

HAAS – Geography

Inquiry and skills


  • Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources (ACHASSI095)
  • Sequence information about people's lives, events, developments and phenomena using a variety of methods including timelines (ACHASSI097)


  • Examine different viewpoints on actions, events, issues and phenomena in the past and present (ACHASSI099)
  • Interpret data and information displayed in pictures and texts and on maps (ACHASSI040)

Evaluating and reflecting


  • Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions(ACHASSI105)

Knowledge and understanding

  • The impact of bushfires or floods on environments and communities, and how people can respond (ACHASSK114)

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Last reviewed 26 June 2019
Last updated 26 June 2019