Activity Introduction

Quick summary: The idea of switching to multiple methods of generating energy through renewables is introduced to students through the colourful and engaging book Amy’s Balancing Act by Bjorn Sturmberg and Laura Stitzel.

Amy’s Balancing Act is a story about the clean energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables and energy storage. The story captures how this transition requires an openness to change and a shift in mindset: from fixating on rigid control to working flexibly with diverse technologies.

Subjects: English. 

Year Level: 3 & 4.

Topics: Climate Change, Sustainability, Energy.

Teaching Time: 60 minutes

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Climate Change Solutions.

21st-century skills: 

Critical ThinkingTeam Work  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 3 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning and begin to evaluate texts by drawing on a growing knowledge of context, text structures and language features (ACELY1680)

Year 4 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (ACELY1692)

Syllabus outcomes: EN2-4A.

Relevant parts of Year 3 English achievement standards: Students identify literal and implied meaning connecting ideas in different parts of a text. 

Relevant parts of Year 4 English achievement standards: Students describe literal and implied meaning connecting ideas in different texts.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability. 

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Teachers will be required to guide students through the learning and support during independent work. 

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Everything you need to know about energy factsheet – one copy per four students
  • Student workbooks
  • Text – Amy’s Balancing Act. You can find a physical copy of the book here. You can also access the book for educational purposes here, using the password SchoolAccess.

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

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... identify implied meaning in a text.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... define a moral
  • ... investigate renewable energy
  • ... explain the moral of Amy's Balancing Act by linking the animals with renewable energy sources.

Teacher content information:

The story of Amy and her animal friends is a story about the energy transition, from coal to clean energy technologies. It shows how this is essentially a challenge of letting go of the old and learning to work with a diverse team with individual strengths and weaknesses.

The book is unique in inspiring discussions of diversity, team work, the emotions of change, as well as the science of different energy technologies.

Dr Bjorn Sturmberg is a Research Leader in the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at The Australian National University where he works on research, development, demonstration, and commercialisation of low carbon electricity and trans

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