Activity Introduction

climate-changeQuick summary: This lesson encourages students to evaluate the claims made in the ‘Do The Maths’ presentation. They will learn some key ideas around the concept of climate change and use a visible thinking routine to substantiate the claims made in the presentation.

The Powerpoint can be used straight from the Cool Australia website or downloaded by clicking on the Powerpoint and using the SlideShare website. 

Learning goals:

  • Students understand the relationship between maths and climate change.
  • Students understand that there are a range of renewable energy technologies already available.
  • Students recognise the environmental benefits of renewable energy.
  • Students recognise personal actions that can be taken to fight climate change.

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 Science

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

Year 7 English

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements to promote a point of view or enable a new way of seeing (ACELY1720)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)

Year 8 Science

  • Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems (ACSSU155)
  • Scientific knowledge changes as new evidence becomes available, and some scientific discoveries have significantly changed people’s understanding of the world (ACSHE134)

Year 8 English

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content, including multimodal elements, to reflect a diversity of viewpoints (ACELY1731)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-15LW, SC4-12ES, SC4-10PWEN4-2A, EN4-4B

Topic: Climate change

Time required: 60 mins

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

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, stopwatch.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Climate change, renewable energy, solar panels, wind turbines, hydropower, geothermal, electric cars, biomass.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Sunset Wind Fan-hero©WWFTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: In this activity students will understand the relationship between our energy use and climate change by substantiating claims. In particular they will focus on some important numbers from the presentation Do the Maths. Students will investigate the range of renewable energy technologies already available and recognise the environmental benefits of renewable energy.

Student and classroom organisation

Step 1. Begin this lesson by sharing the Do the Math PowerPoint with students. This PowerPoint will be the basis of their inquiry into the maths surrounding climate change. 

Students will work in small groups to complete the visible thinking routine: Claim / Support / Question.

This routine helps students to investigate science and develop thoughtful interpretations by reasoning with evidence. Students learn to identify truth claims and explore strategies for uncovering truth.

Begin by modeling the routine as a whole class. Give an exampl

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Have can we distinguish between fact and fiction?

What are the claims relating to the three numbers identified in the PowerPoint?




Write the three CLAIMS in the first column below. In your group discuss the SUPPORT you have found for this claim and write some dot points in the second column. Then in the last column ask some QUESTIONS about the claim, for example what's left hanging? What isn't explained? What else would you want to know?


Select one of the claims from the table. Use the internet to answer the questions you identified.

Can you substantiate the claim? Explain your answer below.


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