Activity Introduction

blue_whales-ocean_untitled_1-676-1_photoframeQuick Summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. In this Tuning In lesson, students use a series of visible thinking routines to explore their connection to the ocean and the impact of plastic on ocean ecosystems. They will begin to learn about how images communicate meaning. Students will consider ways the ocean is changing as a result of human activities and critically reflect on their own responses to this information. Students will develop their linguistic and non-linguistic communication skills by representing the issue of ocean health in an abstract or creative way.

blue-white-logo-120pxBlue is a feature documentary film charting the drastic decline in the health of our oceans. With more than half of all marine life lost and the expansion of the industrialization of the seas, the film sets out the challenges we are facing and the opportunities for positive change. Blue changes the way we think about our liquid world and inspires the audience to action. Find out how to screen or download the film here. Along with the film is an ambitious global campaign to create advocacy and behaviour change through the #oceanguardian movement. To become an ocean guardian, see the website.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand some of the ways that scientists can help our environment.
  • Students recognise some of the roles that scientists perform, and some of the skills and knowledge they require.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 English

  • Understand how language is used to evaluate texts and how evaluations about a text can be substantiated by reference to the text and other sources (ACELA1782)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-2A.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.7, OI.9.

Relevant parts of Year 7 English achievement standards: Students demonstrate understanding of how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary affects meaning. They select specific details from texts to develop their own response, recognising that texts reflect different viewpoints. Students create texts showing how language features and images from other texts can be combined for effect.They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using language features to engage the audience.

Topic: Blue The Film, Ocean Conservation, Water, Sustainability.

Unit of work: Blue The Film – English – Year 7 & 8.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – lead students in discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one per student. Device capable of presenting a clip to the class. Lesson PresentationOcean Images Handout (optional), Our Oceans Factsheet (optional). Ocean Change Factsheet (optional).

Keywords: Blue The film, ocean conservation, marine ecosystems, wildlife.

Cool Australia and Northern Pictures would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of GoodPitch² AustraliaShark Island InstituteDocumentary Australia FoundationThe Caledonia Foundation and Screen Australia in the development of these teaching resources.

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

© 2017 Northern Pictures and Cool Australia


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will learn how images can communicate significant meaning about the role of the ocean. Students will understand the role of the ocean and some of the ways the ocean is changing.

Success criteria:

  • Students can explain how some images make them think and feel certain things and can identify elements of the images that evoke these thoughts and feelings.
  • Students can explain elements of the role the ocean plays in the world.
  • Students can communicate their thoughts or feelings about oceans or ocean change.


Teacher content information: From space, our planet appears as a tiny blue dot in the vastness of the universe. No matter where you live on our blue planet – you’re connected to the sea.

But the seas are under threat. The industrialisation that has occurred in the oceans over the last century mirrors the events that triggered mass extinctions on land. Industrial scale fishing, habitat destruction, species loss and pollution

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Can a picture really say a thousand words?

Part A. See-Think-Wonder

Your teacher will guide you through the 'See-Think-Wonder' visible thinking routine below. A See-Think-Wonder routine is a visible thinking strategy that encourages you to make careful and thoughtful observations and interpretations about what you see and can help you establish goals for further learning. Use the image from the lesson presentation that captures your attention and complete the thinking routine in the space provided below.

What do you SEE? What do you THINK about that? What does it make you WONDER?

Your teacher might ask you to share your responses or discuss them with the class. The following questions might help prompt you:

  • What was something in the image that made you think that way?
  • Did anybody think of feel something different about this image?
  • What might that be able to tell you about the ocean?

Part B. Think-Pair-Share - What is the Role of t...

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