Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. In this lesson students learn about sustainable fishing by exploring the reasons we should wait for fish to grow to certain sizes before we catch them. They learn about how science is involved in helping people to fish responsibly. Students take part in an activity that allows them to experience sorting and sizing fish, to work out if it is a good catch or a great catch. They then decide whether to keep the catch or return it to the sea. Finally the students discuss how they can help the fish of the oceans when they go next go fishing. 

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 learn about why and how we should fish in a way that doesn’t harm marine ecosystems.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Foundation Mathematics

  • Use direct and indirect comparisons to decide which is longer, heavier or holds more, and explain reasoning in everyday language (ACMMG006)

Year 1 Mathematics

  • Measure and compare the lengths and capacities of pairs of objects using uniform informal units (ACMMG019)

Year 2 Mathematics

  • Compare and order several shapes and objects based on length, area, volume and capacity using appropriate uniform informal units (ACMMG037)

Syllabus outcomes: MAe‑1WM, MAe‑3WM, MAe-9MG, MAe-11MG, MAe-12MG, MA1‑1WM, MA1‑3WM, MA1‑2WM, MA1-9MG, MA1-10MG, MA1-11MG.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.7.

Relevant parts of Foundation Mathematics achievement standards: Students compare objects using mass, length and capacity.

Relevant parts of Year 1 Mathematics achievement standards: Students order objects based on lengths and capacities using informal units. 

Relevant parts of Year 2 Mathematics achievement standards: Students order shapes and objects using informal units. 

Topic: Blue The Film, Ocean Conservation, Water.

Unit of work: Blue The Film: Inquiry – Foundation, Blue The Film: Inquiry – Years 1 & 2.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee activities and lead students in discussions.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per per group. Fishing Worksheet. Paper Fish – these can be printed at any size so long as you have several sizes of each fish. Rulers for measuring. A bucket. Pens/pencils. Art materials.

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, fishing, sustainability, measurement, sizing, oceans.

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 intention: Students will learn about fish in our ocean and how people can fish responsibly.

Success criteria: Students will...

  • Know what a fish is and where it lives.
  • Know the difference between a juvenile and a mature fish.
  • Be able to conduct measurements using a ruler.
  • Be able to communicate ideas with others.
  • Be able to suggest ways we can all help fish.


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 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.

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