Activity Introduction

Mirvac-building-5-heroQuick summary: This lesson is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to enter the Nudge by Mirvac – Sustainability Film Competition. Students investigate four resources (water, energy, waste and materials) essential to house design, exploring the arguments for and against incorporating each resource into sustainable buildings and creating a podcast to share their thoughts. In the second part of the activity, students imagine that they are living in a future where all buildings and communities incorporate green technologies and practices. They will need to re-imagine the four resources they investigated earlier and are asked to write a short story based on a character living in this future time amongst these re-imagined resources.

Activity developed in partnership with  Nudge_bymirvac

This lesson is part of the Nudge by Mirvac – Sustainability Film Competition unit. The Competition encourages young people (up to 18 years) to make a short film aimed at giving our community a ‘nudge’ on sustainability: ‘Nudge a neighbour, change a behaviour’. This year’s competition is focused on the theme “Re-imagining Resources”.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand principles of sustainability and sustainable house design.
  • Students recognise how we use resources in our houses.
  • Students understand that there are more ways to use resources than we currently do.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 9 English

  • Create literary texts, including hybrid texts, that innovate on aspects of other texts, for example by using parody, allusion and appropriation (ACELT1773).
  • Experiment with the ways that language features, image and sound can be adapted in literary texts, for example the effects of stereotypical characters and settings, the playfulness of humour and pun and the use of hyperlink (ACELT1638).
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746).
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, flexibly and imaginatively to publish texts (ACELY1748).

Year 10 English

  • Create literary texts that reflect an emerging sense of personal style and evaluate the effectiveness of these texts (ACELT1814).
  • Create literary texts with a sustained ‘voice’, selecting and adapting appropriate text structures, literary devices, language, auditory and visual structures and features for a specific purpose and intended audience (ACELT1815).
  • Create imaginative texts that make relevant thematic and intertextual connections with other texts (ACELT1644).
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, confidently, flexibly and imaginatively to create, edit and publish texts, considering the identified purpose and the characteristics of the user (ACELY1776).

Topic: Nudge by Mirvac – Sustainability Film Competition, Sustainability.

Time required: 2 x 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity and facilitate discussion.

Resources required: Internet access, Sustainable buildings factsheet, Tips for writing a short story, Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, podcast creation e.g. Audacity (How to make a successful podcast), Persuasive podcast assessment rubric.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Mirvac, resources, waste, water, energy, materials, sustainable building.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Mirvac-compost-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will understand principles of sustainability and sustainable house design. They will recognise how we use resources in our houses and understand that there are more ways to use resources than we currently do.

Teacher content information: Buildings in Australia account for about 20% of our national greenhouse gas emissions. Waste associated with buildings (including demolition) accounts for about 40% of our materials going to landfill. Then there’s the water used daily in buildings and the materials required to build our buildings. It can all add up to a pretty massive impact on our environment.

However, there is an increasing emphasis on sustainable building design and construction. These green buildings are both environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout their life-cycles, from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition.

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is a renewable resource?

1. What is sustainable building design?

Write your own definition of sustainable building design here:

2. Investigating resources

Working in your groups you are to investigate the resource category you have been assigned in relation to sustainable building design: what technologies or practices are available to ensure a more sustainable use of this resource in buildings?

For example, for water there are water tanks and water harvesting. For energy it might be renewable energy generation. For waste it might be providing occupants with compost bins. And for materials it might ensuring that all wooden parts have FSC certification.

PRO groups: You are to consider the benefits and opportunities of your resource category in relation to sustainable buildings. You will need to use your persuasive language skills to record a podcast arguing for incorporating more green technologies or practices into your school buildings.

AGAINST groups:

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