Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. Students explore some of the ways humans have impacted on our ocean. They begin by sharing what they already know about the impacts of humans on marine ecosystems and species. Students then explore in more depth how humans impact oceans through waste and pollution, coastal development, overfishing and ocean change. Finally, students will work in groups to create their own guided discussion around additional clips from Blue, taking it in turns to then share their clips and guided discussions with the class.  

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 that the health of our oceans is under threat from human behaviour.
  • Students recognise a range of ways that humans have impacted the ocean.
  • Students understand how to create a guided discussion around a clip in order to lead their audience to a particular understanding or issue raised in the clip.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Science

  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-11PW.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2, OI.9.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students predict the effect of human and environmental changes on interactions between organisms.

Topic: Blue The Film, Ocean Conservation, Sustainability.

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

Time required: 120 mins +

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in guided discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. String, masking tape or chalk. Guided Discussion Rubric.

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, human impacts, waste, pollution, coastal development, overfishing, ocean change.

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_untitled_1-627_photoframe-1Teacher preparation

Learning intention: Students will understand how humans affect the health of the ocean and some of the organisms that live there.

Success criteria: Students will...

  • Be able to participate in a guided discussion around a clip.
  • Be able to create and conduct a guided discussion around a clip.
  • Know how people impact the ocean.
  • Know that the ocean is under threat from human behaviour.


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 conservat

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What are some of the ways you need the ocean?

How do we need the ocean?

After you have watched the clip 'We Owe The Ocean', work independently to reflect on the clip and what you thought about it using the following questions:

We owe the ocean (


1. How did this clip make you feel and why? 

2. What was most interesting or inspiring about this clip? 

3. What were the main messages of the clip and how relevant are they to you? 

4. What are some other ways (not mentioned in the clip) that you need or experience the ocean? 

5. What questions do you still have about this clip? 

How do we impact the ocean?

Working in groups, you will now create your own guided discussion to share with the class around one of the following clips (your teacher will assign your group with a clip).

  1. How the ocean is changing (
  2. Coral bleaching (
  3. Unsustainable fishing (
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