Activity Introduction

GST17-heroQuick summary: In this sequence of lessons, teachers can guide students in preparing and launching their own 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, the class can plan and host their event with confidence.



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 scaffold assumes that teachers will lead students to host one Garage Sale event as a team at a private premises. Alternatively, teachers may elect to run a number of sales by organising students and parent helpers into groups based on where they live. Group work should involve equitable sharing of the workload wherever possible.

 This lesson is the second in a series of four 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 written guidelines to complete group-based and individual tasks.
  • 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 inspiring and equipping students to host their own Garage Sale.  Additional time outside of school hours will be needed for students to implement their planning and complete the Garage Sale project.

Resources required: Student Worksheet Running a Garage Sale Planning Document 1

Extension activity: Students can use an internet search engine to research the Garage Sale Trail’s history and achievements. This information will inspire them to get involved in the project this year.  Teachers should also use their discretion to extend capable students by allocating to them more complex tasks or greater responsibilities in certain areas of the planning process.

Provisions for learning support: Students needing extra support can be paired with a friend to smooth the process of working through the activities. Assign additional time for the completion of written tasks or accept oral responses in the place of written answers for selected activities.

Key words: Garage Sale Trail, consumption, waste, recycling, economics, community engagement, life cycle analysis.

Australian Curriculum Content Descriptions

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)

Year 6 English:

  • Compare texts including media texts that represent ideas and events in different ways, explaining the effects of the different approaches (ACELY1708)

Year 5 Mathematics:

  • Pose questions and collect categorical or numerical data by observation or survey (ACMSP118)
  • Describe and interpret different data sets in context (ACMSP120)

Year 6 Mathematics:

  • Investigate and calculate percentage discounts of 10%, 25% and 50% on sale items, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA132)

Year 5 Economics and Business:

  • Apply economics and business knowledge and skills in familiar situations (ACHES007)

Year 6 Economics and Business:

  • Apply economics and business knowledge and skills in familiar situations (ACHES015)

Years 5 & 6 Design & Technology:

  • Negotiate criteria for success that include consideration of sustainability to evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions (ACTDEP027)

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

Syllabus Outcomes: EN3-3A, EN3-6B, MA3-18SP, MA3‑1WM, MA3‑2WM, MA3‑3WM, MA3‑7NA, ST3-5WT.

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


Teacher Worksheet

1Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goals: This pair of lessons helps teachers to walk students through a step-by-step procedure that will culminate in the hosting of a team-based Garage Sale 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. Teachers should decide on a suitable venue before the classroom planning begins in earnest. Teachers might choose to encourage students to donate profits from the sale to a school or community project of importance to them.

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

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Student Worksheet

2Running a Garage Sale:  
Planning Document 1 - Working in groups to set prices

The first step in the planning process is to ask your parents or care-givers for their permission to run a garage sale. You should only sell items that are yours, obviously! But to make the garage sale a greater success, you could also ask neighbours, friends and relatives if they have anything they want you to add to the stock for sale. Make sure you ask permission to sort through rooms, sheds and stored things if they are not yours. Ask a friend or relative to help you sort through your sale items and work through the other tasks as you prepare for the big day. Organising a garage sale should be fun!

The second step is to find out who you will be working with in planning, organising and running your sale. It can be so exciting working with a group because you can share your ideas and help each other. Your teacher will guide you through the process of setting up groups.  

In the next lesson, you will orga

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