Activity Introduction

blue_coral-reef_lotr_0080_photoframeQuick Summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. Students explore how the creation of marine parks can protect our oceans and enhance the liveability of our planet. Through the lens of the various needs of different groups of people, students will consider the multi-use demands upon the marine parks for research, species protection, leisure, tourist income and commercial fishing, and how park management can conserve this delicate ecosystem for the generations that follow.

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 intention:

  • Students understand the competing pressures in ways people live with the ocean and the importance of managing resources and caring for the environment.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Geography Unit 2 Places and Liveability:

  • The influence of environmental quality on the liveability of places (ACHGK045)
  • Strategies used to enhance the liveability of places, especially for young people, including examples from Australia and Europe (ACHGK047)

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-3, GE4.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical UnderstandingPersonal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.4, OI.5.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Geography achievement standards: Students explain interconnections between people and places and environments and describe how these interconnections change places and environments. Students describe alternative strategies to a geographical challenge referring to environmental, economic and social factors.

Topic: Blue The Film, Ocean Conservation, Water.

Unit of work: Blue The Film – Geography – Year 7.

Time required: 140 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in discussion and class activities, oversee group work.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Marine Sanctuaries Factsheet (one per student). Zones For Marine Parks Factsheet (one per group). Ocean Activity Images (one copy for the class).

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, commercial fishing, liveability, unsustainable, place, time, factory boats, global fishing demand, livelihood, catch sizes, economic migration, pole fishing, netting, consumer choice.

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

blue_fish-swimming_untitled_1-583-1_photoframeTeacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will understand the competing pressures in ways people live with the ocean and the importance of managing resources and caring for the environment.

Success criteria: Students will...

  • Understand how marine parks support ocean conservation.
  • Recognise the challenge of multi-use demands on the ocean.
  • Consider opinions on marine park zoning.


Teacher content information: From space, our planet appears as a tiny blue dot in the vastness of space. 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 have placed the ocean in peril. The very nature of the sea is being irretrievably altered.

By international standards, Australia is a marine conservation leader. It has the

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "We need to realise people look at the way that they use the ocean very differently" - Lucas Handley

1. What the video on Marine Sanctuaries and complete the thinking routine below.

Marine sanctuaries (


2. Read the information about marine parks in Australia.

 What is the current marine reserve system in Australia like?
 Around the world, marine protected areas cover less than 5% of the ocean, while fully protected marine reserves cover less than 1%. However, in Australia a network of Marine Protected Areas is proposed, that will cover about one  third of Australian waters. This would be the world’s largest network of Marine Protected Areas.


What does it tell you about the commitment Australia has made to protect our Oceans?

3. After reading

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