Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students build an understanding of how our demand for products can lead to environmental, social and economical issues. They investigate the life cycle of some common products and discover that they can make better selections when purchasing new items.

Learning goals for this activity include: 

  • Students develop an understanding of the concept of sustainability. 
  • They recognise that they make choices that influence sustainability.
  • Students discover that in order to work out if a produce is sustainable they need to investigate its entire life cycle (from extraction to disposal).

General capabilities: Ethical understanding, Critical and creative thinking

Australian Curriculum Link:

Year 3 Science:

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)

Year 4 Science: 

  • Living things have life cycles (ACSSU072)
  • Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties; These properties can influence their use (ACSSU074)

Year Level: 3 & 4

Syllabus OutcomesST2-11LW, ST2-10LW, ST2-13MW

Topic: Sustainability 

Time needed: 80 minutes

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium

Resources needed: Cool Australia Student Worksheet, bring in everyday items for the students to research.

Extension opportunities: Students can further explore why products are hard to trace back to their origins.

Key words: Energy, sustainability, consumption, life cycle, extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal.

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

 

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students build an understanding of how our demand for products can lead to environmental, social and economical issues. They investigate the life cycle of some common products and discover that they can make better selections when purchasing new items.

Teacher content information

Sustainability means living within the limits of what our environment can provide and understanding the many interconnections between economy, society and our environment. In order to live in a sustainable way we need to understand that our planet has finite resources and in order for future generations to have a good quality of life we need to consider how we are using these resources.

 

A life cycle analysis involves making detailed measurements during the manufacturing of the product: from the mining of the raw materials used in its production and distribution, its use, possible re-use or recycling, and its eventual disposal. Life cycle analysis enables

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is the 'true cost' of buying a cheap product? 

Our item is: 

dr-seuss-the-lorax-231

1. What does 'life cycle' mean? 

 

2. As a group research the life cycle of your item. Find the resources used during each stage of production (extraction, production, distribution, consumption/use, and disposal). Also find out the environmental impacts of each stage.

Stage of production

Resources used (water,
natural resources, energy)

Environmental impact (deforestation, water and air pollution, loss of biodiversity, carbon emissions)

Extraction
Production
Distribution
Consumption/use
Disposal
Is my item sustainable?
Is there a better product that you could recommend purchasing?

3. Next design a way to communicate what you have learnt and convince people to make an informed decision when they purchase the item. You could create an advertisement, label for the product, PowerPoint presenta

...
 
- 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.