Activity Introduction

TCE-Vanessa-Braided-Hair-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 examine a case study in which an entrepreneur creates a decentralised renewable energy company to provide both economic and environmental benefits to the community. They analyse strategies for reinventing the economy based on impact, benefits, fairness and potential barriers, and work in groups to create a two-minute video that could be used to educate the public about these strategies to reinvent the economy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students understand that there are alternative economic models that consider both human and environmental needs.
  • Students understand how these alternatives can be applied to their local community.
  • Students recognise that non-economic factors can influence economic decision making.

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 Geography

  • 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)

Year 9 Economics and Business

  • Why and how people manage financial risks and rewards in the current Australian and global financial landscape (ACHEK040)

Year 9 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)

Year 10 Geography

  • Human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)

Year 10 Economics and Business

  • The ways businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity through organisational management and workforce management (ACHEK054)

Year 10 English

  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, confidently, flexibly and imaginatively to create, edit and publish texts, considering the identified purpose and the characteristics of the user (ACELY1776)

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-4, GE4-5, GE5-2, GE5-3, C5.2, C5.3, C5.4EN5-1A, EN5-2A.

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 Geography achievement standards: Students predict changes in the characteristics of places over time and identify the possible implications of change for the future.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students explain the importance of managing financial risks and rewards and analyse the different strategies that may be used.

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 Geography achievement standards: Students predict changes in the characteristics of places and environments over time, across space and at different scales and explain the predicted consequences of change.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students explain how businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity.

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. They experiment 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: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Film clip: Red Cloud Renewable EnergyMaking a Short Film TipsStoryboard Template. Phones, cameras or tablets for filming. Access to the This Changes Everything website and infographic software such as Piktochart (Take it Further/Extension). 

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Capitalism, economic growth, just transition, non-economic factors, economic model, renewable energy, 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-Henry-Red-Cloud-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will recognise that non-economic factors can influence economic decision making. They will understand that there are alternative economic models that consider both human and environmental needs, and they recognise ways that these alternatives might be applied to their local community.

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 opportunity; an opportunity for a new economic model tha

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Is there any part of your life that is NOT linked to the economy?

Part A.

In the book, This Changes Everything, author Naomi Klein proposes a number of strategies that she believes would fundamentally change our economy in ways that reflect humanitarian values, create good jobs, and protect the air, land and water.

Use the table below to analyse these ideas.

Proposed strategy

Brief explanation

Short-term result

Long-term result

Who benefits? Who doesn't?

Reduce the gap between rich and poor (e.g. basic income for all, higher taxes for the affluent).

Regulate corporations to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. tax each unit of pollution, enforce emissions limits on power plants and industrial facilities).

Reject extractive projects like deep-water drilling, fracking and tar sands mining.

Invest heavily in infrastructure like public transit, health, and education.

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.