Activity Introduction

GST20-heroQuick summary: In this pair of lessons, teachers can guide students in preparing and launching their Garage Sale. The activities presented here provide practical steps students can take to get involved in this year’s Garage Sale Trail event. Both the planning and operating stages of the project are covered in this resource. By following this sequential scaffold, students can plan and host their event with confidence.


This resource assumes that students will team up with others living in their locality to host Garage Sales in groups, at private premises. Teachers may elect to organise students into groups based on where they live. One class may host a number of separate Garage Sales across multiple locations. Group work should involve equitable sharing of the workload wherever possible.

Following this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in the Garage Sale Trail. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change. Don’t forget to register! 

This lesson is the third in a series that are designed to:

  1. inform students about the environmental problems of wastage and over-consumption
  2. inspire and equip students to host their own Garage Sale
  3. communicate the results of their efforts to various audiences and evaluate the impact of the initiative locally and nationally

Learning goals:

  • Students follow generic written guidelines, modifying them into specific procedures to suit their individual circumstances.
  • Students estimate the value and usefulness of some of their personal possessions.
  • Students view reselling items in a Garage Sale as a proactive response to wasteful consumerism.
  • Students engage with a social and environmental issue through active participation.


Duration of activity:  This is the first of two 50-60 minute lessons which focus on the second learning objective.  Additional time outside of school hours will be needed for students to implement their planning and complete the Garage Sale project.

Resources required:  Student Resource Sheet: Planning Ahead,  Student Worksheet: Sample List of Items

Extension activity: Teachers should use their discretion to extend capable students by allocating to them more complex tasks or greater responsibility in a certain area. 

Provisions for learning support: Teachers might consider assigning extra time for the completion of some tasks in this lesson sequence.

Key words: Garage Sale Trail, consumption, economics, community engagement, life cycle analyses.

Australian Curriculum Content Descriptions

Year 7 Economics and Business Skills:

  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar and new situations (ACHES025

Year 7 Mathematics

  • Investigate and calculate ‘best buys’, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA174)

Year 8 Economics and Business Skills:

  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar and new situations (ACHES036)

 Year 8 Mathematics

  • Solve problems involving profit and loss, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA189)

Australian Curriculum General Capabilities: Critical and creative thinkingPersonal and social capabilityEthical understanding, Numeracy

Syllabus Outcomes: C4.1.

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


Teacher Worksheet

GST5-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goals: This lesson is designed to walk students through a step-by-step procedure that will culminate in the hosting a team-based Garage Sale event or their own individual event.

Note: Teachers will need to obtain permission from school authorities to proceed with the planned Garage Sale, wherever it is held. Families should be advised of preparations and permission for each student’s involvement must be documented. Schools should encourage parental helpers to become involved in the event.

Teacher content information:

The Garage Sale Trail  is a national day of simultaneous garage sales that’s about making sustainability fun and creative! By organising communities around Australia to hold garage sales on the same day, the event aims to enable new neighbourly connections, provide a platform for fundraising, inspire creativity,  stimulating local economies, promote the reuse of materials and keep stuff out of landfill.  

The  Garage Sale Tra

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Student Worksheet

GST25-heroPlanning Document 2 - Taking Action

 Work through each planning point by reading and discussing them within your group. Make notes for your own reference.

  • Collect display tables and equipment

Find tables that can be moved to the sale location and work out how much space you will need to display all of your items so they can easily be seen and handled by customers. Keep table displays around waist height for easy access. When you run out of table space, the floor can be used in a pinch. Old carpet pieces, floor rugs, blankets, tarps or tablecloths can be laid out to display soft furnishings, stuffed toys, clothing and delicate items.


  • Create your display

Ask an adult to help you make space in your garage or the space you have chosen to use to host your sale. Bring out the tables or other furniture items you intend to use. Lay out floor coverings or other fabrics in a configuration that enables customers to walk among the displays without treading on things. Systematically

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