Activity Introduction

chalk-lightbulbsQuick summary: In this activity students investigate sustainability, looking at how they think about sustainability and how others describe sustainability. Students begin by completing a visible thinking tool, and then work in groups to find, compare and analyse different definitions of sustainability. Finally students will create their own definitions of sustainability.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that there are many different definitions of sustainability, and recognise common themes in these different definitions.
  • Students identify how they think about and define sustainability.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.4, Sustainability OI.5

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 5 English

  • Show how ideas and points of view in texts are conveyed through the use of vocabulary, including idiomatic expressions, objective and subjective language, and that these can change according to context (ACELY1698)
  • Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students’ own experiences and present and justify a point of view (ACELY1699)
  • Navigate and read texts for specific purposes applying appropriate text processing strategies, for example predicting and confirming, monitoring meaning, skimming and scanning (ACELY1702)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)

Year 6 English

  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)
  • Select, navigate and read texts for a range of purposes, applying appropriate text processing strategies and interpreting structural features, for example table of contents, glossary, chapters, headings and subheadings (ACELY1712)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (ACELY1713)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)

Syllabus OutcomesEN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-3A EN3-6B.

Topic: Sustainability

Time required: 45 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee discussion and facilitate activity

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, printed copy of Thinking tool for each student, Definitions of sustainability (optional).

Digital technology opportunities: Internet searching, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Sustainability, definitions.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

people-heroTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will understand that there are many different definitions of sustainability, and they will recognise common themes in these different definitions. Students also identify how they think about sustainability and what their personal definition of sustainability is.

Teacher content information:

Cool Australia Presents Sustainability from Cool Australia on Vimeo.

Hot tips: For more information about sustainability check out the Sustainability factsheet - primary.

Student and classroom organisation:

Step 1. Begin the activity by engaging students in a brief discussion around sustainability. Consider the following questions:

  • What is it?
  • How could you recognise it?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Who is responsible for it?
  • How would you describe it?
  • Does anyone have a definition for sustainability to share?

Write student responses on the board. Do students have similar ideas about sustainabil

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Why should we care about sustainability?

Comparing definitions of sustainability

Each group needs to find three definitions for sustainability. As a group you should record the definitions and their sources below.

Definition 1: 

Who created this definition and what is the source (web address):

 

Definition 2:

Who created this definition and what is the source (web address):

 

Definition 3:

Who created this definition and what is the source (web address):

 

Group analysis

Once you have collected your definitions, work as a group to identify how these definitions are similar or different and complete the questions below:

What are some words that appear across all the definitions (stick with nouns, verbs and adjectives)?

What words do some definitions use and not others?

Are some definitions more focused on nature or on economy or on people? How can you tell and why do you think this is?

 

Individual reflection

Which definition is closest to how

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