Koalas: Nature’s Teddy Bears

Although we sometimes call them koala bears, koalas aren’t actually bears; they are marsupials. Marsupials are animals that give birth to live but underdeveloped babies and then carry them in a special pouch. Koalas are exclusively found in Australia and survive on a diet of mostly eucalyptus leaves. 

There are two videos to choose from to learn about koalas.

The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!

You’ll see a number of other videos that are a deeper dive into things you might be interested in. Feel free to watch as many of those as you like. Then choose some activities or a project.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to test your understanding by taking the quiz!

High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects located at the end of this learning block!

Take A Deeper Dive!

Surprising Facts About Koalas

Longer Documentaries to Watch

Additional Video Resources:

PBS – Baby Koalas Eat Their Mother’s Poop!

PBS – Cracking the Koala Code

Activities

Draw a Koala

Follow along in these two videos to learn how to draw a koala and then colour it.

You will need

  • A piece of paper (If you plan to paint your koala, you may want to use thicker paper.)
  • A pencil or marker
  • Watercolour pencils (If you don’t have watercolour pencils, you can use regular coloured pencils, markers, or paints to colour your koala!)

Save your artwork to your portfolio.

Make a Koala Finger Puppet

Print out the template for this koala finger puppet.

Watch this video to learn what koalas sound like.

Now you can include your koala in your next puppet show!

Remember to include a photo of your koala finger puppet in your portfolio. 

Project

Illustrate Koala Physical Adaptations

Koalas have many interesting adaptations that help them to survive in their environment. Beneficial adaptations can help an animal evade predators, find food, stay cool or warm depending on the climate of their habitat, and raise their babies. 

For example, koalas have sharp claws and rough feet that help them grip tree branches while climbing. This is important because they spend most of their lives in trees! 

Which ones have you learned about so far in the videos you have watched? 

Draw a picture of a koala (or print one out) and label as many adaptations as you can. 

Think about the following:

  • What do they eat?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are their bodies like (fur, body shape, feet, mouths)?
  • Who are their predators?

Save your project to your portfolio.

Advanced Project

Create a Report on Koala Habitat Loss

Australia experienced devastating wildfires in the summer of 2019-2020. Wildlife groups estimate that 45 million acres of bush were lost, home to many Australian animals, including koalas.

You can read this summary article on the impact of the wildfires on koala numbers and habitat.

To learn more about why koalas were particularly vulnerable to the wildfires, you can read this article. In it, you can view a map of the Australian bush fires superimposed on the koala habitat.

Bush fires are not the only threat to koala numbers. View these infographics to understand the other major threats.

Put together a report using Google Slides (or similar program) on the impact of the loss of habitat on koala populations. Include images and videos and any charts or graphs you find interesting.

Save this project to your portfolio.

Books

Click on a book to buy it from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library.

Read Aloud Book

NOw Let’s Have some fun!