Activity Introduction

water-dripping-tap-heroQuick summary: In this activity students learn about the concept of environmental or ecological 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. The are encouraged to complete a digital footprint for homework.

Character-holding-icon_CoreThis lesson supports schools working towards their ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic 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 AuSSI Vic 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, Intercultural understanding, Ethical understanding.

Explicit content description

Geography Year 7

  • Reflect on their learning to propose individual and collective action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge, taking account of environmental, economic and social considerations, and predict the expected outcomes of their proposal (ACHGS054)
 

Civics and Citizenship Year 7

  • Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australia’s democracy (ACHCS060)
 

Science Year 7

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
 

Geography Year 8

  • Reflect on their learning to propose individual and collective action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge, taking account of environmental, economic and social considerations, and predict the expected outcomes of their proposal (ACHGS062)
 

Science Year 8

  • Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)
 

Geography Year 9

  • The effects of the production and consumption of goods on places and environments throughout the world and including a country from North-East Asia (ACHGK068)
  • The effects of people’s travel, recreational, cultural or leisure choices on places, and the implications for the future of these places (ACHGK069)
 

Geography Year 10

  • The environmental worldviews of people and their implications for environmental management (ACHGK071)
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ approaches to custodial responsibility and environmental management in different regions of Australia (ACHGK072)
  • Reflect on and evaluate the findings of the inquiry to propose individual and collective action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge, taking account of environmental, economic and social considerations; and explain the predicted outcomes and consequences of their proposal (ACHGS080)

Syllabus outcomesGE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-4, GE4-5, GE4-8, GE5-4, GE5-5, GE5-8, SC4-11PW, SC4-12ES

 

Connecting lessons: All ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic audits.

Resources required: Magazines and newspapers, Student Worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Get your students to complete a digital footprint: WWF-Australia Footprint Calculator

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. a. Write a definition of the term environmental footprint:

 b. What do you think are the lifestyle factors that contribute the most to a 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

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