Activity Introduction

water-dripping-tap-heroQuick summary: In this activity students learn about the concept of environmental footprints. They will learn how to measure their impact and take steps to reduce their personal footprint. Students make comparisons between the environmental footprint of a traditional indigenous lifestyle and a modern lifestyle.

Character-holding-icon_CoreThis lesson supports schools working towards their ResourceSmart Schools accreditation. By completing this lesson students will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between our daily activities and the health of our environment. In this way, this lesson will help provide students with a broader context for the audits required when completing the ResourceSmart Schools accreditation.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Cross curriculum priorities

Sustainability

  • OI.3 – Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems.
  • OI.6 – The sustainability of ecological, social and economic systems is achieved through informed individual and community action that values local and global equity and fairness across generations into the future.
  • OI.9 – Sustainable futures result from actions designed to preserve and/or restore the quality and uniqueness of environments.
 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

  • OI.2 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities maintain a special connection to and responsibility for Country/Place throughout all of Australia.
  • OI.5 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ ways of life are uniquely expressed through ways of being, knowing, thinking and doing.

General capabilities

Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking

Explicit content description

Science Year 1

  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)
 

Science Year 2

  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035)
 

Geography Year 2

  • The ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples maintain special connections to particular Country/Place (ACHASSK049)
 

Science Year 3

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)
 

Science Year 4

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE062)
 

Geography Year 4

  • The custodial responsibility Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have for Country/Place, and how this influences views about sustainability (ACHASSK089)
  • The use and management of natural resources and waste, and the different views on how to do this sustainably (ACHASSK090)
  • Reflect on learning to propose actions in response to an issue or challenge and consider possible effects of proposed actions (ACHASSI081)
 

Geography Year 5

  • The influence of people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places (ACHASSK112)
  • The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them (ACHASSK113)
 

Science Year 5

  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE081)
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217)
  • Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks (ACSIS088)

 

Science Year 6

  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE098)
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)
  • Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks (ACSIS105)

Syllabus OutcomesGE1-1, GE2-2, GE2-3, GE3-3, GE3-2ST1-11LW, ST1-9ES, ST2-11LW, ST3-4WS, ST3-6PW, ST3-4WS.  

Connecting lessons: All ResourceSmart Schools audits.

Time required: approximately 3 hours

Resources required: Magazines and newspapers, Student Worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Get your students to complete a digital footprint: www.myfootprint.org

Keywords: Food, resources, energy, waste, water, footprint, environment, Indigenous, waste, litter.

 

Need some more support? Click on these leading organisations

CERES Logo Greening Australia    
       
       
       

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

ecological-footprint-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: 

  • Students understand their impact on the Earth.
  • Students take responsibility for their personal actions.
  • Students compare the impact on our environment between the past resource use by Aboriginals and our current resource use.

Teacher content information: With a world population of 7 billion people and rising, we need to be concerned about the Earth’s ability to provide us all with the things we need to live, and to absorb all the waste we produce. Your environmental footprint is a measure of your personal impact on the environment. It can be defined as the amount of the earth’s surface it takes to provide everything each person uses – food, water, energy, clothes, roads, buildings etc.

The larger the footprint, the more resources needed to support that lifestyle. The ecological footprints of most developed countries require more land than is available. People in Australia have a very large footprint. Based on one estimate, the a

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Does everyone in the world have access to the same things you do?

Part 1: What is our Environmental Footprint?

1. Write a definition of the term environmental footprint:

2. Draw an outline of your footprint below. You then need to cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers or draw what things you think make up your footprint.

Part 2: Measure Your Impact

Instructions

1. You need to write down eight activities and record what resources are used. Activities may cover catching a bus, brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating lunch, and playing sport to name a few.

2. You also need to record what resources were used to undertake the activity. The resources include water, energy or waste produced.

3. You then need to estimate how much of the resource you used and write down the number 1, 2 or 3 in the usage boxes. Use the following guide:

Length of Activity

Usage

Score

Less than 10 minutes

Low

1

11 minutes – 1 hour

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