Activity Introduction

Aspire-Emily-girl3-photoframeQuick summary: This lesson will explore the question: “What is work?” Using a visual representation, students explain their understanding of work. Students are then introduced via a short clip to Orange Sky Laundry, a charity organisation that provides free laundry and showering services for people experiencing homelessness. In small groups, students consider the content of the clip then respond to prompting questions that challenge their understanding of work.

Latrobe Logo 150This lesson supports La Trobe University’s Aspire Generation initiative, which empowers students to drive change through community engagement, volunteerism and leadership opportunities.


Essential questions:

  • What is work?
  • What are some different ways to understand work?
  • How can personal passion drive the type of work people do?

21st century skills: 

aspire tuning in skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 Work Studies

  • Plan and implement strategies and processes to improve their learning and enhance the potential to realise their aspirations and personal wellbeing (ACWSCL005

Year 10 Work Studies

  • Focus their learning strategies on personal and work-related aspirations (ACWSCL024)  

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students investigate the skills and personal qualities associated with a range of occupations and explain the importance of teamwork and collaboration.

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students explain the relationship between changing circumstances, learning and 21st century work opportunities and identify the skills needed to manage changes.

Topic: Enterprise Learning

Unit of work: Aspire Generation – Work Studies

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of an online image search (one per student or enough for one between two), Butcher’s paper, blu-tack, ‘Chalk Talk’ visible thinking routine prompts (print enough copies so that there are enough for one per group of 3-4 students), device capable of presenting a video to the class.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, web research.

Keywords: Work, employment, pathways, Aspire Generation, flexibility, charity.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Aspire-Ethan-scouts-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand that work is extremely varied. They will consider volunteering and community service as a form of work. Students will watch an example of two people who created their own employment through addressing a cause that is important to them.

Teacher content information: This Work Studies unit has been developed in partnership with La Trobe University Aspire Generation. The Aspire Generation connects a community of young people who aspire to make a difference through community service and leadership. They are the givers, the dreamers, the doers and the leaders who passionately pursue opportunities to address the big issues of their time. They think boldly and act responsibly and strive to leave a lasting impact on the world.

Through classroom-based experiences students will learn about the world of work, as well as to trust themselves and feel confident enough to independently seek their own answers around their future

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: You're blessed if you have the strength to work.


Find a new image that represents your understanding of what work is. In the space below, describe how your understanding of work changed (or didn’t change) throughout the lesson. Then, describe the picture you chose at the start of the lesson and compare it with a description of the picture you chose at the end.


Create a visual representation of the variety of different types of work that you are aware of in the local community. You could use an online collage maker like this one to complete the activity.

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