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Questions for discussion frog Future

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Frog Future

  1. There is only fifty of the _________________frog left in the wild.

  2. How many species of frogs have become extinct in Australia?

  3. How many are threatened?

  4. What are the reasons for the number of frog species declining?

  5. How has human activity impacted on frog species’?

  6. Why is it important to protect frog species?

  7. What are zoo’s around the world doing to try to solve the problem?

  8. Describe the breeding program at St Francis Primary School.

  9. What is the program trying to achieve?

  10. Describe in your own words what the story was about.

FOLLOW-UP TASK: Research what is being done in your local area to preserve the frog population. Present your findings to your class.

Murray-Darling Basin

  1. What are the two rivers that flow into the Murray-Darling Basin?

  2. Why is the Murray-Darling Basin important for the environment?

  3. Why is it sick?

  4. Why has it been difficult to leave more water in the rivers?

  5. The State Government’s decide who gets the water. True or false?

  6. What is COAG?

  7. What was decided at the recent COAG meeting?

  8. Why is it seen as a good decision?

  9. The Federal Government is going to spend billions of dollars on saving water. What is it planning to do?

  10. What else do you think could be done to help the Murray-Darling Basin?

FOLLOW-UP TASK: Test your knowledge in the online quiz.

Kangaroo Cull

  1. What is culling?

  2. Where is the cull going to take place?

  3. Is culling kangaroos the same as culling elephants? Why or why not?

  4. How many kangaroos are they going to cull?

  5. Why are there too many kangaroos in the Defence Force base?

  6. What impact are the kangaroos having on the environment in the area?

  7. What are protesters and wildlife groups suggesting should happen to the kangaroos?

  8. Why is the RSPCA supporting the cull?

  9. What do some Japanese people think about culling kangaroos?

  10. Do you believe it is the same as killing whales? Why or why not?

FOLLOW-UP TASK: `Should kangaroos in Canberra be culled?’ Vote in the online poll

Price Fixing

  1. What was the main point of the story?

  2. What is price fixing?

  3. What other words are used to describe it?

  4. Describe in your own words what you think anti-competitive behaviour is.

  5. Why do authorities keep a close eye on petrol companies?

  6. What are the consequences for companies that price fix?

  7. Why do people believe that price fixing is unfair?

  8. How are consumers impacted?

  9. What does the ACCC do?

  10. Describe what happened to Qantas.

FOLLOW-UP TASK: Send a message or tell us what you think on the Behind the News Guestbook

Sniffer Dogs

  1. Where is Afghanistan?

  2. What is happening in Afghanistan?

  3. What are sniffer dogs being used for in Afghanistan?

  4. `It’s a four legged weapon that’s proving one of their greatest assets.’ What does this mean?

  5. What training do the dogs have?

  6. What breeds of dogs are most popular for this type of work?

  7. Where do they get the dogs from?

  8. What tests do they do to make sure the dogs are suitable?

  9. Describe the relationship the handlers have with the dogs.

  10. Summarise the story in a paragraph.

FOLLOW-UP TASK: Dogs around the world are put to work in many different ways. Research what some of these are.


Curriculum Outcome Links: Science, Society and Environment/HSIE DATE 1/04/08
Student learning outcomes
Students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the issues regarding declining frog populations

  • Understand the importance of frogs in ecosystems

  • Generate key questions for inquiry and produce an end product based on their inquiry.
Focus Discussion

  1. There is only fifty of the _________________frog left in the wild.

  2. How many species of frogs have become extinct in Australia?

  3. How many are threatened?

  4. What are the reasons for the number of frog species declining?

  5. How has human activity impacted on frog species?

  6. Why is it important to protect frog species?

  7. What are zoos around the world doing to try to solve the problem?

  8. Describe the breeding program at St Francis Primary School.

  9. What is the program trying to achieve?

  10. Describe in your own words what the story was about.

An inquiry based approach

Students will be developing some key questions to investigate why frogs are an integral part of ecosystems and bio-diversity.

In groups, ask students to come up with a range of possible questions around the topic of frogs.

Collect the questions from each group and display them. Discuss with students the criteria for selecting questions for inquiry. Questions that may be precluded include those which most students already know the answers to or that may require unavailable resources.

Students should be encouraged to generate their own questions however some possibilities include:

What are the likely causes of decline in the frog population?

Why are frogs important to the ecosystem?

What are bio-indicators?

Ask students to complete the following chart as they go through the inquiry process. This can be done individually, as a group or a whole class.

What do I know?

What do I want to know?

How will I find out?

What I have learnt?

Once students have investigated their key questions, they need to think about how they are going to transform the information into an end product.
Discuss with students what the choices are for presenting the information they have found. Encourage students to choose a format they may be unfamiliar with. For example, if they would normally choose to write a written report, then encourage them to produce an animation. Some possible end products include:

  • Mind map

  • Animation

  • Model

  • Oral presentation

  • Desktop publish

  • Webquest

Follow-up Suggestions

Create a frog friendly garden or a frog pond at your school. To find out more go to:

Research what is being done in your local area to preserve the frog population. Present your findings to your class.


Use the online puzzle maker to create a word search or crossword about frogs.


Develop an advertisement that promotes the importance of frogs in ecosystems.


Develop a board game or multimedia game about frogs.

Related Research Links

Breeding program to save Corroboree frog
Life cycle of Corroboree frog
Information about frogs
Creating frog habitat
Information about the Corroboree frog

Learn about frogs
Zoo saving Corroboree frog
Life cycle and reproduction of Corroboree frog
Facts and games about frogs


Curriculum Outcome Links Society and Environment/HSIE DATE 1/04/08
Student learning outcomes
Students will:
  • Identify and define price fixing
  • Understand a price fixing case and the impact it had on consumers.

Focus Discussion

  1. What was the main point of the story?

  2. What is price fixing?

  3. What other words are used to describe it?

  4. Describe in your own words what you think anti-competitive behaviour is.

  5. Why do authorities keep a close eye on petrol companies?

  6. What are the consequences for companies that price fix?

  7. Why do people believe that price fixing is unfair?

  8. How are consumers impacted?

  9. What does the ACCC do?

  10. Describe what happened to Qantas?

Is the price fixed?
Students will be looking at price fixing in greater depth by researching a case study. Two possible case studies are the Visy cardboard manufacturing case and the Qantas case. Alternatively, students may choose to research how petrol prices are determined and the issues involved.
Before students begin their research, brainstorm what they know about price fixing and what they would like to find out. Encourage students to explore how consumers were impacted. Once students have determined which case they are going to find out more about, discuss where they could locate the information (there are some web links at the end of this activity sheet). Encourage them to look at a range of sources including making contact with some key organisations (for example, the ACCC).
Students will then need to decide what information is useful and how they are going to organise and present the information. Possible ways to present include:

  • Powerpoint

  • Inspiration software

  • Oral presentation

  • Written report

  • Poster

Negotiate with students early in the research process how they would like to present their research.
Students can assess their own learning by asking themselves:

What did I do well?

What could I have done better?

Remind students to think about the process as well as the finished product

Follow-up Suggestions


What do you now know about price fixing that you didn’t know before?


Develop a concept map about price fixing.


Develop a puzzle or board game about price fixing.


How might businesses defend the need to price fix?


Use the following website to help you create a rap about price fixing.

Related Research Links

ACCC warns petrol companies
ACCC rules out petrol price fixing
Government warns petrol companies
ACCC price fixing explanation
Qantas price fixing
Visy price fixing

Episode 7
On this week's Behind the News - should kangaroos be culled?
The dogs sniffing out danger for Aussie soldiers.
And the kids helping to save frogs for the future.
Hi I'm Nathan Bazley. Welcome to BtN. Also on the show today - why it was "lights out" even for adults on Saturday night. But before we look at those lets look at our top story.


Sarah Larsen, Reporter

INTRO:It might have started raining in some places but the 'big dry' is still a big issue. People are stressed there isn't enough water in the country's largest river system - the Murray Darling. In fact the lakes at the bottom of it are drying up because there's hardly any water flowing down. Now the pollies reckon they've come up with a solution that will see lots of money poured into the rivers to make them healthy again. Here's Sarah with the details.
Adults are always telling kids not to fight but for ages they've been acting like kids themselves.
KIDS: It's mine! No, it's mine. Give it back. I deserve the most.
They've been squabbling over water in the Murray Darling basin. We've told you about that before. Its a big chunk of South Eastern Australia that goes into South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT. When it rains in this area it all flows into two rivers, the Murray and the Darling and that water is like liquid gold. It goes to the homes of more than 3 million people. And almost half the food produced in Australia comes from the Murray Darling basin. Farmers pump water from the river for a huge range of crops.
The basin is also really important for the environment, providing wetlands for birds and fish. But as you might already know, the Murray Darling is sick. Environmentalists say one of the reasons is we've been taking out too much water that's been making wetlands dry up and land is becoming too dry and salty to grow plants.
REPORTER: It's a huge problem and to solve it lots of people have been pushing for years to leave more water in the rivers. But's that has been really difficult.
And that's where our squabbling politicians come in. It's the state governments who are responsible for divvying up Murray Darling water but they have all been blaming each other for taking too much. But they're not just being childish. Thousands of people in each state rely on that water. The pollies don't want their people to miss out. So who decides who gets the water?
That's always been the responsibility of state governments. The trouble is they've all blamed each other for taking too much and they've really struggled to agree on what to do. But all that changed last week. A meeting called COAG was held - that's the council of Australian governments - it's where the Prime Minister and the Premiers all get together to talk about problems. After hours of talks they decided that take control of the Murray Darling water away from the states and give it to a completely new organisation. Victoria was originally against the plan but it was given an extra billion dollars to come onboard.
Now the government says decisions will be independent and made for the good of the river system. It also means the Federal Government will now start spending billions of dollars on saving water. Some of that will be used to convert these irrigation channels into pipes. A channel like this can run a hundred ks taking water to crops but a lot of it just leaks away or is lost through evaporation. The government reckons work like that will keep more than 100 billion litres of extra water in the river.
There are some critics though. They say it could be years before the plan has any effects and people are suffering now. So will this new plan save the Murray Darling? Well we'll just have to wait and see.
We'll keep you up to date on that one...Now here's Catherine with some other headlines.

Around six-million Aussies flicked off their switches on Saturday night to take part in earth hour.

Lights went out in every capital city, towns and in the bush between eight and nine o'clock - to help the problem of global warming.

The energy saved was about the same as a temporary shut down of two large power stations.
More than 20-million people from overseas also took part.

Many Aussies woke up to a very confusing and messy morning on Sunday.

You see daylight saving normally finishes that weekend every year. So lots of computers, clocks and mobile phones automatically switched back.

Trouble is daylight saving was actually extended in a lot of states this year!

Stephanie, mobile phone user: I got up at what I thought was 5.30 and walked out to the kitchen, and realised it was actually 6.30 and that was when I was meant to be at work.
Daylight saving actually ends this weekend. Although WA has already finished.

And lasers might be banned in Australia because of a dangerous incident over the weekend.

A number of the beams were aimed at planes - which distracted pilots as they tried to land.

Flights had to be diverted - authorities haven't yet worked out who was responsible.


Nathan Bazley, Reporter

INTRO: A few weeks ago we brought you the story of elephants being culled again in South Africa. And many of you were outraged. But now we're facing a similar issue at home, after it was announced 400 kangaroos would be culled on defence force land. While the cull here hasn't gone ahead yet, it's raised a lot of questions. Is it really necessary? And is this any different to the elephants in South Africa?
Elephants and kangaroos.
Two animals that look very different and move around in very very different ways.
But despite these differences, these two animals have something in common.
NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTER: When we did a story a few weeks back on Elephant Culling in South Africa, a lot of you wrote in to our guest book saying you were against it.
"I think Elephant culling is a bad idea and they should find a better way to deal with it."
"I think the whole of South Africa has gone mad if they think that killing an animal is the way to go. It's a sick idea but whose going to stop the South Africans?"
NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTER: Well now a very similar issue has come up right here in Australia, but this time it's kangaroos facing a cull.
The debate is all centred around a defence force base in Canberra, where the government says there are far too many kangaroos.
The base is a high security area - meaning it's surrounded by massive fences - so the kangaroos that live here can't just come in and out whenever they like.
Unfortunately the kangaroos that do live in there are breeding pretty quickly - now there are heaps in a pretty small area.
The government says they will soon run out of food, but they're also worried they'll destroy some rare grasses, and insects that live in the area.
Protesters and wildlife groups have spent a lot of time at the defence base trying to stop the cull from going ahead.
They say there's no need to kill the roos, they should be moved to another place instead, which is called relocation.
They had some high profile support too. Celebrity musician Paul McCartney says he thinks Kangaroos should be protected.
But the RSPCA is backing the cull - saying that relocation would be more distressing for the animals.
So the government has issued a license for 400 to be killed.
The protesters have been joined by reporters from Japan who are keeping a close eye on the story.
JAPANESE JOURNALIST: Kangaroos are a very famous icon for Australia for Japanese people, so I think Japanese people feel a little bit sad about culling.
They believe it is exactly the same situation as killing whales.
If Japan shouldn't be allowed to kill whales, then Australia shouldn't be able to either.
People also got very upset a while ago when there were plans to cull koalas on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. They were also breeding too much and running out of food.
After a lot of publicity the state government there backed down on the idea because it was worried it would scare off tourists. It now relocates the koalas and stops them having babies.
So whether it's elephants in South Africa, kangaroos in Canberra or koalas in Kangaroo Island, culls are very controversial!
Now we'll make that our online poll this week
The question is should the kangaroos in Canberra be culled?
If you want to vote go to our website at
And we got a strong result to last week's poll question.
We asked "should countries ban the Olympic torch as a protest over Tibet?"
More than 70 per cent of you said no!

Sarah Larsen, Reporter

INTRO: OK let’s talk petrol. You often hear mum and dad complaining about how the price of it goes up and down all the time. Well this week someone called a Petrol Commissioner started work and his job will be to make sure we don't get ripped off when we fill up our cars. Why do we need someone to do that? Well it's because people are worried that something called "price fixing" might be happening. Here's Sarah.
KID 1: Get your cupcakes, they're really cheap.

KID 2: Cupcakes, cupcakes, get your cupcakes.

SARAH, REPORTER: Business; It's a cut-throat world.
Business owners are always trying to out-do each other by having the best product or the cheapest. But what if things were different?
KID 1: Why don't we work together on this?

KID 2: Yeah, then we'll both make more money.

KID 1: This was an awesome idea.
KID 2: Yeah, now we're both raking it in.
REPORTER: Hang on! What about me? Now everything's more expensive!
What these guys just did is called Price Fixing. You might also hear it described as collusion or a cartel. It's when different companies with very similar products get together and decide to charge the same price so they can make more money. Price fixing often gets mentioned in the news.
REPORTER: You might have heard your parents complaining that petrol gets more expensive over the weekend, especially when it's a holiday.
A lot of people get very angry about it but petrol companies say they don't price fix. Still, the government keeps a close eye on them. This year it warned them not to price fix over Easter, otherwise they could face big fines because price fixing is against the law.
KID 2: Why?
Business is all about competition. Companies all try to offer the best product at the best price. That keeps it fair for us, the consumers, and other businesses. Price fixing takes the competition out of business. So we could start paying more or manufacturers could stop trying to make their products the best and the quality could suffer.
Now, that doesn't mean things won't sometimes cost the same. For example, it's not price fixing if shops sell something that's the same brand for the same price. That's why you pay about the same for an iPod or a newspaper no matter where you go. And when things cost a similar amount to make - if the ingredients are the same - then companies might coincidentally charge a similar price. It gets dodgy when companies set a price on purpose, like these guys did, so they can rip people off.
Australia has a group called the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or ACCC for short, that watches out for price fixing and other dodgy business dealings. Last year it took some petrol companies to court over price fixing but the judge said they hadn't done anything wrong and the ACCC lost the case. But other companies have been caught out in the past. Last year Australia's two biggest cardboard box makers were caught price fixing. One of them, called Visy, copped huge fines.

ACCC SPOKESMAN: Anyone who has in the past bought a chocolate bar or a piece of fruit originally packed in a box made by Visy or Amcor has probably been ripped off.

And it also happened in the airline business. Qantas had to pay a $70 million dollar fine when it was caught fixing the price of its air cargo. The business watchdogs are always on the lookout. So dodgy cupcake makers had better beware!
Cheers Sarah - alright I think we might do a quiz now.
What type of creature is a frog?
* Reptile

* Amphibian

* Insect
Answer: Amphibian


Nathan Bazley, Reporter

INTRO: At my old place we used to have heaps of frogs (or amphibians!) crowding on our windowsills at nights. But that could soon be a thing of the past. Environmentalists are saying that frog species are dying out quickly and that's not a good sign for our planet's health. So zoos from around the world have got together to make sure the humble frog doesn't croak.
It may seem dramatic, but this is all we could be left with in our backyards, swamps and ponds if things don't improve.
This little guy is called a Corroborree frog and at last count, there's only fifty like him left in the wild.
But he's not the only one facing an uncertain future.
Eight species of frog have died out in Australia alone and forty-seven more are threatened.
MICHAEL MCFADDEN, Taronga Zoo frog man: At the moment we are losing frogs at a rate that we haven’t seen since the extinction of dinosaurs.
So what's causing all the trouble? Habitat loss and pollution are serious problems but lately a new frog fungus has been taking its toll.
It's a disease which attacks the skin of frogs and can kill whole populations.
NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTER: And what would a world be like without frogs!? Okay sure, it'd be a little less slimy, but where's the fun in that!?
Frogs are not only amazing creatures, but they are also vitally important to our ecosystem.
Zoos around the world have realised this, and have started a massive breeding program.
One thousand two hundred have signed up for the task but they aren't the only ones getting into it.
This is St Francis Primary School and they've set up an eco-room and wetlands in their schoolyard to help breed frogs.
JOSH: Our native frogs here are the banjo the brown tree frog and the spotted grass frog.
Frogs lay their eggs after rain in amongst the reeds here.
NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTER: So Anthony, once you collect the eggs where do you bring them?
ANTHONY: We bring them into these tanks here where they grow into tadpoles they grow their back legs and get rid of their tail and then they turn into a frog which are behind us.
NATHAN: Something like this one?
The kids here get to adopt a tadpole as it grows into a frog and they love looking after them and playing with them too.
STUDENT: It shoots poison into its predator’s mouth so when it's in danger it has time to escape!
After they're fully grown they're released back into the wetlands so the whole cycle can start again!
JESSICA: St Francis breeds frogs and tadpoles so that all the frogs don't get extinct around our area.
And they also can show us the health of waterways they're found in.
LAUREN: If there's like lots of frogs it means it's really healthy. If there's not many it could mean that the water's not the best for frogs to be in.
And do you enjoy it?
Back with our Corroborree frog, scientists are determined to make sure they last the distance.
So a bit like the kids at St. Francis, they've set up their own special breeding program. So far, they're having a lot of success.
So with the help of breeding programs like these and all the others around the world, hopefully the only place we'll see frogs in danger is here.
Those kids had some pretty cool frogs.
Now lets stay in the water for another quiz. But we'll move from the pond to the pool.
What is the fastest competition swimming style?
* Butterfly

* Freestyle

* Breaststroke
Answer: Freestyle
Why a swimming quiz? Cause it's time for some sports news of course. Here's Catherine.

Aussie swimmers continued their success at the Olympic trials over the weekend with Libby Trickett becoming the fastest woman in the world in the 50 metres freestyle.

Commentator: “And it's Trickett and it's a world record!”
But Australia's image as the world beating team may have been damaged.
Just after being picked in the squad on Saturday, Nick Darcy, was involved in a incident with another swimmer and has been charged with assault.
It's claimed he broke the nose of Commonwealth Games medallist, Simon Cowley and he faces being kicked out.

And several daredevil motocross riders from across the country took to the skies over the weekend for a freestyle championships event.

It was a fundraiser event, held in a South Aussie town badly affected by the drought.
About two thousand people turned out to see the aerial tricks.
22-year-old, Joel Brown from New South Wales took out the trophy and ten-thousand dollar cash prize.

Catherine Ellis, Reporter

INTRO: Do you have a pet dog? Most of us think ours are the best, cutest and most clever pups out there, but there are some very brave Aussie pooches doing some very serious work around the world. They're helping the Australian army sniff out danger in war zones. They're also very cute, so Catherine just couldn't resist.
CATHERINE ELLIS, REPORTER: This is Afghanistan, one of the most dangerous places in the world.
It's a country in Southern Asia and hundreds of Aussie soldiers are fighting there.
But while they're using millions of dollars worth of military hardware - like tanks and guns, it's a four legged weapon that's proving one of their greatest assets.
These are bomb detection dogs and they have an extremely important job to do.
You see every day Aussie troops risk their lives dodging bombs that have been hidden on the side of roads by the enemy.
The explosives are so powerful they can rip through an army vehicle and kill the people inside.
But these canines can sniff out the danger.
CORPORAL JOHN CANNON, DOG UNIT SUPERVISOR: They sniff out explosives, ammunition, weapons, that type of thing.
SAPPER DARREN SMITH, DOG HANDLER: They're military working dogs but they get looked after a lot better than a lot of house dogs I've seen.
Dog Handler, Brett Turley is still in Australia waiting to be sent to Afghanistan with Gus.
He's spent the last 12 months training him in Darwin.
They start their day at about seven o'clock with either a run, an obstacle course, or what's called agility training.
SAPPER BRETT TURLEY, DOG HANDLER: The rest of the day we have a pre-planned search organised where we go out to a venue and conduct a search together. Then after that it's pretty much just feed him, walk him and then put him back in his kennel for the day.
Three other dogs are also being trained here - Buster, Storm and Ivy.
They can all smell explosives no matter how well they're hidden.
And it seems Storm is also pretty keen on our Camera mike!
CATHERINE ELLIS, REPORTER: The most popular breeds for this type of work include Border Collies like this one, or other working breeds like Kelpies, Blue Heelers and Labradors.
They get the dogs from the pound or sometimes people ring them up if they think a dog would be suitable.
To work out if the dog will be any good they do a couple of tests.
They let off some caps to make sure it's not gun shy and they also bounce a tennis ball and if the dog goes nuts, it means it probably has the drive to be trained up!
But the training takes a lot of time and money.
JOHN CANNON: Once the harness goes on it's like a switch. It's all about work then.
While the training is very important, the bond between the handler and his dog is just as vital.
JOHN CANNON: You need to be able to tell when your dog has found something that is potentially dangerous and to be able to call him away from it before he gets injured or you get injured.
It can be deadly work - last year two of the dogs were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is very hard and upsetting for the Aussie's who work very closely with them - the dogs are part of the team.
JOHN CANNON: We have a memorial built down in Sydney now with a plaque on there for those dogs that have fallen during duty. And those dogs did definitely save lives.
Not only do the dogs protect the soldiers in combat zones, they also provide them with a special friendship.
JOHN CANNON: He's your best friend, he's your best mate and you treat him as such. When you've got down time you know you hang out with your dog, you know you sit around reading a book, he just hangs out with you. Sometimes it's good when you're away from home to just give a dog a pat and it brings everything back into perspective.
Hope they keep safe. Before we go lets quickly meet another clever k-nine that's helping to sniff-out danger - only this one is a robot!
This robotic dog has sensors in its nose which can detect radioactive materials.
Not only can it work out where radiation exists it can also tell how dangerous it is.
It means that people don't have to put themselves in danger to check out radioactive spills and accidents.
I wonder if it can still fetch tennis balls?! Now this is our last show for two weeks because of the holidays - but every Monday to Friday at 5 to 6 we'll be here with BtN daily for a news update. See ya then.

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