Activity Introduction

blue_coral-bleaching_untitled_1-627_photoframe-1Quick Summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. In this finding out lesson, students will use visible thinking routines to respond to a clip from Blue The Film exploring the importance of the ocean and the changes occurring to ocean ecosystems. They will build their understanding of creative writing and meaning communicated using sensory language. Using visual images and information about the state of the ocean as stimulus, students will develop their creative writing and editing skills through an activity wherein they use sensory language to create meaning about the significance of the ocean.

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 learn and understand how sensory language can be used powerfully and appeal to human emotions and feelings.
  • Students learn about the role of the ocean and how sensory language can be used to communicate and engage about various elements of this role in the global environment.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)
  • Edit for meaning by removing repetition, refining ideas, reordering sentences and adding or substituting words for impact (ACELY1726)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-2A, EN4-4B

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 English achievement standards: Students demonstrate understanding of how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary affects meaning. They understand how the selection of a variety of language features can influence an audience. Students create structured and coherent texts for a range of purposes and audiences. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, use a variety of more specialised vocabulary and accurate spelling and punctuation.

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

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

Time required: 90 mins.

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

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one per student. Device capable of presenting a website, clip and digital worksheet to the class. Ocean Stimulus Images, Sensory Writing ExampleSensory and Descriptive Writing FactsheetEditing ChecklistOcean Change Factsheet,.

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, marine ecosystems, ocean change, pollution, sensory language.

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_coral-bleaching-lucas_untitled_1-629-2_photoframeTeacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students learn and understand how sensory language can be used powerfully and appeal to human emotions and feelings. Students learn about the role of the ocean and how sensory language can be used to communicate and engage about various elements of this role in the global environment.

Success criteria:

  • Students can articulate facts about the role of the ocean and the issues contributing to ocean change.
  • Students can demonstrate the use of sensory language in short descriptive passages about the ocean, its beauty and the threats it faces.
  • Students demonstrate editing skills in identifying grammatical errors and providing constructive feedback to their peers.


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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What role does the ocean play beyond its beauty?

Part A: How the Ocean is Changing

1. Watch the following clip about ocean change.

How the ocean is changing (

2. Complete a 'Question Starts' thinking routine. This is a visible thinking routine that provides you with the opportunity to practise developing questions that provoke thinking and inquiry into the topic while fostering a deeper understanding of its complexity. Follow the steps below and use the space provided to brainstorm and complete the routine in response to the topic of OCEAN CHANGES.

3. Brainstorm a list of at least 12 questions about the topic. Use these question-starts to help you think of interesting questions:

  • Why...?
  • How would it be different if...?
  • What are the reasons...?
  • Suppose that...?
  • What if...?
  • What if we knew...?
  • What is the purpose of...?
  • What would change if...?

4. Review the brainstormed list and highlight or put a star next to

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