Activity Introduction


In this lesson, students will be immersed in and connect with the documentary film 2040, focusing on the topic of transport. Students begin by interviewing their peers about why we use transport and then work collaboratively to suggest the different types of transport we use. They then look at what types of transport might be available in the future and work in groups to generate ideas for future sustainable transport options.

Students select one idea to develop and create an annotated sketch of this idea to share with the class through a gallery walk.

To expand on and further embed student learning in this activity, consider following up with Taking Action For Your 2040.


Learning Intentions

  • Students understand some of the ways we need and use transport.
  • Students understand that we should be trying to seek out more sustainable transport options, both now and in the future.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

  • Topic: Sustainability, Energy, Consumption.
  • Unit of work: 2040 – Integrated Unit – Years 5 & 6.
  • Time required: 60+ mins.
  • Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activities and facilitate class discussions.
  • Keywords: 2040 documentary, transport, energy, sustainability, future, fuel, fossil fuels.

To view our Australian Curriculum alignment click here.

To view our NZ Curriculum alignment click here.

Resources Required

Accessing the Film

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 Australia: Order the Schools Version of the 2040 DVD. The Schools Version includes an educational license and is for Australian primary and secondary schools that wish to utilise the film as a learning tool or host free on-site screenings for the school community.

In New Zealand: Find out how to see the film here. 2040 is currently only available in NZ cinemas and you can make a group booking for your class at your local cinema. The Schools Version of the DVD and BluRay will be released in New Zealand on 7th November 2019. This version includes an educational licence that covers classroom use and on-site screenings for the school community. To pre-order a copy for your school, please email: [email protected].


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 AustraliaShark Island InstituteDocumentary Australia FoundationThe Caledonia Foundation and our philanthropic partners in the development of these teaching resources.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ...understand some of the ways we need and use transport
  • ...understand that we should be trying to seek out more sustainable transport options, both now and in the future

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ...conduct short interviews
  • ...assess the sustainability of some transport options
  • ...generate design ideas using criteria
  • independently and collaboratively
  • ...participate in class and group discussion

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 mistrust in the Government's ability

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What could transport look like in the future?

Three Short Interviews

Interview 1 - 

• What is transport?

• What do you need transport for?


Interview 2 -

• What is transport?

• What do you need transport for?

Interview 3 - 

• What is transport?

• What do you need transport for?

Types of Transport

Table 1 - Work independently to add the types of transport you have used in Column A of the table below. You should then add the frequency that you use these types of transport in Column B using the following codes:

  • D = Daily
  • W = Weekly
  • O = Occasionally


Column A - Transport Type Column B - Frequency of Use (Me) Column C - Frequency of Use (Family)
e.g. Rollerskates D O

Once complete, you can think about someone else in your family and the transport types they use and how often they use them. Add this informa

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