Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Small groups of students identify the consequences of no water for different aspects of Australia’s economy, way of life and the environment. They bring their information together and discuss the big picture.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand different parts of the Australian economy depend on water in different ways and there are serious consequences when water is not available.
  • Students learn that the lack of water has a serious impact on waterways and its ecology.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 Science

  • People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE160)

Year 9 English

  • Listen to spoken texts constructed for different purposes, for example to entertain and to persuade, and analyse how language features of these texts position listeners to respond in particular ways (ACELY1740)

Year 10 Science

  • People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE194)

Year 10 English

  • Identify and explore the purposes and effects of different text structures and language features of spoken texts, and use this knowledge to create purposeful texts that inform, persuade and engage (ACELY1750)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-13ESEN5-1A

Topic: Water

Year levels: 9 and 10

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Time required: 45 mins. Please note this activity can be extended over several lessons if time permits.

Learning areas addressed: Science, Geography.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Assist students with research and engage students in a discussion around their results.

Resources required: Internet, writing materials and a hard copy of the Consequences Wheel Template Student Worksheet.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: water, group, consequence, wheel, industry, thinking tool.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation


Having stable and constant supplies of water in most of our homes and work places means we probably take water for granted. Civilisations have been established and destroyed by their ability to control water.

Activity outline

Part 1: Ask students the consequences of the water supply being cut off for an entire day from their school. After a number of suggestions have been fielded, the answer is very simple. If schools can’t provide toilet facilities they would need to send students home.

Part 2: Students work in pairs to pick an area in our society or an industry and map the consequences of water not being available by completing a 'consequences wheel'.  

A consequences wheel is a thinking tool that helps students think reflectively about the consequences that may arise from various issues. In this activity students will use the consequence wheel from the Student Worksheet to identify the ripple effect that a lack of access to water for a period o

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Student Worksheet


Your task is to complete the consequences wheel below by filling in the wedges with issues that may arise if water supplies were lost for two weeks.

In pairs, you need to identify an area of society or an industry that utilises water.

The centre circle contains the main issue. You can write the area of society or industry that you are focusing on in the next outward radiating section of the circle.

In the next outward radiating section of the circle you will need to write a direct consequence/s that a lack of water for two weeks may have on your chosen industry.

A new consequence/s is then considered for each of the statements from the inner radiating section of the wheel and then written in the outermost ring.

Once you have completed your wedge of the wheel you will need to present your findings to the rest of the class. You may fill in the remaining wedges of your wheel as each subsequent pair presents their findings. Once all pairs have presented you should have 8

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