Activity Introduction

blue_ocean_cliff_1q4a1895_photoframeQuick summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. Students explore the water cycle and in particular, the role of the ocean in the water cycle. They begin by exploring what the water cycle is and then work in groups to conduct experiments that explain how the water cycle – or parts of the water cycle – work. Groups will then share their experiments with the class. Finally, students will watch a clip about the importance of the ocean and will work in groups to prepare a piece (e.g. poster, video, podcast or infographic) in response to the idea that ‘the oceans are the lungs of our planet’.

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 what the water cycle is and how oceans are part of the water cycle.
  • Students understand the importance of the ocean in human and environmental health.
  • Students understand how to conduct and demonstrate an experiment.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Science

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, including water that cycles through the environment, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125)
  • Measure and control variables, select equipment appropriate to the task and collect data with accuracy (ACSIS126)
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence (ACSIS130)

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-12ES, SC4-5WS, SC4-6WS, SC4-7WS.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how the sustainable use of resources depends on the way they are formed and cycled through Earth systems.

Topic: Blue The Film, Ocean Conservation, Water.

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

Time required: 110 mins +

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in discussions and oversee experiment.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Water Cycle Experiment 1, Water Cycle Experiment 2, Water Cycle Experiment 3, Water Cycle Experiment 4, Water Cycle Experiments – What Happened?, Communication Piece Assessment Rubric. Water Cycle Diagram – Blank (optional).

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, water cycle, oceans, experiments.

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_ocean_untitled_1-676-1_photoframeTeacher preparation

Learning intention: Students will understand the role of the ocean in the water cycle and why the ocean is called the lungs of the Earth.

Success criteria: Students will...

  • Be able to conduct an experiment
  • Know what the water cycle is and how it works
  • Know the role of the oceans in the water cycle and in human and environmental health.


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. It has the world’s largest coral r

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Where does the water cycle start?

Activating prior knowledge

Working independently to begin with, think about what you know about the water cycle and answer the following questions:

1. What is the relationship between the ocean and the air we breathe?

2. What activities do you do that are NOT dependent on water in some way?

3. True or false: You are drinking the same water the dinosaurs drank. Explain your answer.

4. What is the water cycle and what do all these questions have to do with the water cycle?

Once complete, pair up with a classmate and share your ideas. Following your discussion you can make any changes to what you have written down if you wish.

You will then be asked to discuss the ideas with the class.

What is the Water Cycle?

Step 1. You will now watch the following clip about the water cycle. As you watch you should record the key steps in the water cycle and make notes in reference to each (i.e. what they are or examples of how they work)

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