Activity Introduction

TCE-Mary-Christianou-photoframeQuick summary: This Changes Everything includes a book by Naomi Klein and film by Avi Lewis. The texts join the dots between climate change, economic systems and the power of community action. In this lesson students will look at the impact of citizens who have taken action to address various problems in society. Through watching a clip from This Changes Everything, students engage in a class discussion to analyse strategies used by citizens in a case study to come together, communicate their concerns, and work towards their goals. Finally students will write an opinion piece that evaluates the power of government, corporations, and citizens in shaping how society looks and runs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students identify the roles citizens can play in making decisions about and for their community.
  • Students understand the meaning of the terms ‘activist’ and ‘transformative’ and understand what is meant by ‘transformative movement’.
  • Students recognise the roles that governments, corporations and communities can play in society.

21st century skills:

climate v capitalism skills

Advice for teachers: This unit is designed to help year 9 and 10 students to look critically at the idea of how our economic system’s push for continual growth impacts both the environment and quality of life for all people. Excerpts from the This Changes Everything book and documentary film are used as starting points throughout the lessons to spark discussion, and to put a human face on complex issues through case studies and in-depth analysis. Parts of this unit is suitable for the following learning areas: Geography, Economics and Business, Civics and Citizenship, English and Environmental Science. These lessons can be used to integrate the Cross-curricular priority of Sustainability into your learning area. Each lesson is designed to stand on its own; you can easily pick and choose what learning activities best meet your curricular goals.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Civics and Citizenship

  • How and why individuals and groups, including religious groups, participate in and contribute to civic life (ACHCK079)

Year 9 English

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)

Year 10 Civics and Citizenship

  • Present evidence-based civics and citizenship arguments using subject-specific language (ACHCS101)
  • Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australian, regional and global contexts (ACHCS102)

Year 10 English

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-4B, EN5-1A.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.6, OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Civics and Citizenship achievement standards: Students reflect on how groups participate and contribute to civic life.

Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. In creating texts, students demonstrate how manipulating language features and images can create innovative texts.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Civics and Citizenship achievement standards: Students develop and present evidenced-based arguments incorporating different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. They evaluate ways they can be active and informed citizens in different contexts.

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. They develop their own style by experimenting with language features, stylistic devices, text structures and images.

Topic: Climate Change, Sustainability, This Changes Everything.

Unit of work: This Changes Everything.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and guide discussions.

Resources required: ‘AGREE’, ‘DISAGREE’, ‘NOT SURE’ signs, masking tape or string (Preparation). Access to Beautiful Trouble: a Toolbox for Revolution, index cards/sticky notes, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States (Take it Further/Extension). Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.  Persuasion Mapping ToolPersuasive Podcast and Video Assessment Rubric. Phones or tablets for recording podcast. Film clip: Saying No in Greece. 

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Transformative, activist, community, corporation, government, action, This Changes Everything.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

TCE-halkidiki-courthouse-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand the meaning of the terms 'activist' and 'transformative' and understand what is meant by 'transformative movement'. They will recognise the roles citizens can play in making decisions about and for their community, and will be able to identify some of the roles that governments, corporations and communities can play in society.

Teacher content information: This Changes Everything explores the complex relationship between humans and our environment, and in particular how our economic system’s push for continual growth impacts both the environment and quality of life for all people. Both the book and the film present powerful portraits of communities on the front line of both fossil fuel extraction and the climate crisis it is driving, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

This Change Everything is a vehicle to discuss the climate crisis as an o

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is the difference between activism and advocacy?

Part A.

Read the following excerpt from the book This Changes Everything, then respond to the questions below:

naomi klein quote 2

1. What does 'transformative' mean?

2. According to the text, what is the key to success for any transformative movement?

3. What is an 'activist'?

4. Choose an example of a transformative movement (i.e. abolition, suffrage, labor rights, civil rights, etc.). What would have happened if citizens had not chosen to speak up about issues of importance to them or to work to make things better in the community?

Part B.

Who do you think are the most powerful forces in society? Government? Corporations? Citizens? Who decides how society looks and runs?

Your task is to think about your response to these questions and to record an opinion piece on this topic that supports your position with specific evidence from your studies.

You should use the Persuasion Mapping Tool to organise your ideas. You can

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