Activity Introduction

blue_jennifer_bird_1q4a2135_photoframeQuick summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. During this lesson, students discover the biological life of shearwaters. Students begin by exploring the basic needs required for life, and learn what shearwaters eat, where they live, how they raise chicks, and their migration journeys. They then take part in an interactive shearwater sculpting activity, and the artworks they create can be used to help others learn about shearwaters. Finally, the students consider how humans impact the oceans and its living creatures, and they take action by investigating how litter in the school yard might affect the health of the oceans and the creatures that live there.

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 the life of shearwaters, finding out what they eat, where they live, why they need our help and how we can help them.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Foundation Science

  • Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)

Year 1 Science

  • Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211)

Year 2 Science

  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030)

Syllabus outcomes: STe-8NE, ST1-10LW, ST1-11LW.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2, O.I9.

Relevant parts of Foundation Science achievement standards: Students suggest how the environment affects them and other living things.

Relevant parts of Year 1 Science achievement standards: Students describe how different places meet the needs of living things.

Relevant parts of Year 2 Science achievement standards: Students describe changes to living things.

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, lead discussions and to lead play dough sculpt activity.

Resources required: Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Play dough (enough for a medium sized ball for each student), sparkles (e.g. glitter or small pieces of colour paper to represent plastic pieces), large recycled plastic bag. Shearwaters of the Sea Script. Flesh-footed Shearwater Picture.

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, shearwaters, oceans, life cycle, migration, plastic, waste.

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_bird-nest-burrow-ground-night_untitled_1-328-2_photoframeTeacher Preparation

Learning intention: Students will learn about the life of shearwaters, finding out what they eat, where they live and why they are in need of our help.

Success criteria: Students will...

  • Know what a shearwater is.
  • Know how to help the shearwaters by collecting rubbish in the school yard or when visiting the beach.
  • Know how shearwaters grow.
  • Be able to describe one to three things that a shearwater needs to live.
  • Be able to make a model of a shearwater burrow.
  • Be able to talk about how plastics are harming the shearwaters.


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 pla

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