Activity Introduction

Quick summary: 2040 is an innovative feature documentary that looks to the future, but is vitally important NOW! Director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream.

In this lesson, students will explore the relationship between empowering women and girls and addressing climate change. First, students will view a video on the topic to build understanding and generate areas for further investigation. Then students will participate in a scaffolded role-play, acting as community members to generate targeted solutions to gender inequality. Students will use real-world analytical tools to evaluate their ideas.

2040 is only available in cinemas until later in 2019. You can make a group booking for your class at your local cinema during the film’s theatrical release commencing from May 23. These lessons have been designed with a media library to support teachers. Find out how to see the film in cinemas here. The Schools Version of the 2040 DVD is now also available for pre-order! School-based screenings can commence from September 1st – pre-order now to get your copy before the end of August. The Schools Version includes an educational license, allowing you to play it in class as a learning tool or even host on-site screenings for your school community.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the relationship between empowering girls and women, and climate change
  • Students understand how to use thinking tools to evaluate claims or ideas

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 English

  • Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635)

Year 10 English

  • Evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts (ACELT1812)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-7D

General capabilities: Literacy, Information and Communication Technology Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: They evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, comparing and evaluating responses to ideas and issues.

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: They explain different viewpoints, attitudes and perspectives through the development of cohesive and logical arguments. They develop and justify their own interpretations of texts. They evaluate other interpretations, analysing the evidence used to support them.

Topic: Learning Through Film. Climate Change. Social Issues. Sustainability.

Unit of work: 2040 – English – Years 7 to 10

Time required: 85 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate role play and discussion

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Devices for students to complete research. 

Keywords: 2040, documentary, film, research, climate change, gender equality, role play, community, women, girls, empowerment.

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

Cool Australia, GoodThing Productions and Regen Pictures would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of Good Pitch Australia, Shark Island Institute, Documentary Australia Foundation, The Caledonia Foundation and our philanthropic partners in the development of these teaching resources.


Teacher Worksheet

water pump girlsTeacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... understand the relationship between empowering girls and women and climate change
  • ... understand the role different community groups can play in creating solutions

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... explore multiple aspects of the relationship between empowering women and girls and addressing climate change
  • ... synthesise sources to present their own viewpoint on the topic
  • ... work effectively individually, and in teams, to solve a problem

Teacher content information: A 2018 study by The University of Melbourne on the thoughts and concerns of young people from Generations X and Y found the number one concern across both groups was lack of action around climate change. In particular, "Generation X worries what climate change will mean for their own children, while Generation Y is concerned about the impact on future generations" (The Educator). The report indicates that young people have a serious mist

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What could you do to meet the challenge of climate change?

Climate Change Solutions

What do you think are the TOP FIVE most effective solutions to address climate change? Record them below:







Women, Girls And Climate Change

You will be now watching a clip from the film 2040 that explains more about this topic that explores the topic of women, girls and climate change. Once complete, you will be reflecting on the clip using a SEE THINK WONDER routine. As you watch, pay attention to how you might complete this routine once the clip is complete. 

Empowering Women and Girls Password: 2040_EDU (

SEE - What did you SEE in this clip? THINK - What does this clip make you THINK about? WONDER - What does this clip make you WONDER? What questions does it leave you with?

The Role of Community

1. Many different community members and groups have a role to play in addressing climate change. You will be

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