Activity Introduction

computer2Quick summary: In this activity students explore the concept of ‘sustainability’. They think about their personal understanding of sustainability and how others may interpret it differently. Students begin by working in pairs to find, compare and analyse different definitions of sustainability. Finally students will create their own definitions of sustainability and reflect upon their own learning.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that there are many different definitions of sustainability, and recognise common themes in these different definitions.
  • Students identify how they think about and define sustainability.
  • Students reflect upon their own learning about sustainability.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 English

  • Analyse and explain the ways text structures and language features shape meaning and vary according to audience and purpose (ACELY1721)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)
  • Compare the text structures and language features of multimodal texts, explaining how they combine to influence audiences (ACELY1724)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, to confidently create, edit and publish written and multimodal texts (ACELY1728)

Year 8 English

  • Analyse and evaluate the ways that text structures and language features vary according to the purpose of the text and the ways that referenced sources add authority to a text (ACELY1732)
  • Apply increasing knowledge of vocabulary, text structures and language features to understand the content of texts (ACELY1733)
  • 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)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, to create, edit and publish texts imaginatively (ACELY1738)

Syllabus outcomesEN4-1A, EN4-2A, EN4-2A, EN4-2A, EN4-2A, EN4-3B, EN4-3B, EN4-4B, EN4-4B, EN4-6C.

Topic: Sustainability

Time required: 60 mins

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

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, Definitions of sustainability (optional).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Sustainability, definitions.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

handTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will understand that there are many different definitions of sustainability, and recognise common themes in these different definitions. Students will identify how they think about and define sustainability and will reflect upon their own learning about sustainability.

Teacher content information:

Cool Australia Presents Sustainability from Cool Australia on Vimeo.

Hot tips: For more information about sustainability and what it means, check out the Sustainability factsheet - secondary.

Student and classroom organisation:

Step 1. Begin the activity by engaging students in a brief discussion around sustainability. Consider the following questions:

  • What is it?
  • What isn't it?
  • How could you recognise it?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Who is responsible for it?
  • How would you describe it?
  • Does anyone have a definition for sustainability to share?

Write students responses on the board. Do

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What does 'unsustainable' mean?

Identifying definitions of sustainability

Each group needs to find five definitions for sustainability (either online or from this list of Definitions of sustainability - check with your teacher). As a group you should record the definitions and their sources below.

Definition 1:

Who created this definition and what is the source (including web address):

 

Definition 2:

Who created this definition and what is the source (including web address):

 

Definition 3:

Who created this definition and what is the source (including web address):

 

Definition 4:

Who created this definition and what is the source (including web address):

 

Definition 5:

Who created this definition and what is the source (including web address):

 

Analysis

What are common themes or words found in the definitions of sustainability?

How are the definitions similar and how do they differ?

It is said that sustainability hinged on several e

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