Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson forms part of a Design Thinking Unit in which students identify issues relating to recycling, build an understanding of the impact that not recycling can have in their own community, work to find and prototype a solution, then take action in their community that addresses the issues they have identified. In this lesson, students will share findings relating to the community’s experiences with waste and recycling. They will present data and information as graphs and tables, as well as summarising it into a visual organiser to represent what members of the community see, do, think and feel. They then consider this information to generate ideas about how recycling practices could be improved.

This activity has been developed in partnership with Visy. For over 70 years Visy has been committed to finding sustainable solutions for Australia’s recyclables and helping to reduce local landfills. Visy collects, receives and sorts paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, steel and aluminium from households, businesses and schools with the purpose of reusing these products in the re-manufacture of new packaging products.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will be able to identify and define issues relating to waste and recycling based on data collected
  • Students will be able to develop solutions to problems identified within their community
  • Students will understand how to plan and take action in their community.

21st century skills:

Community EngagementCritical ThinkingEmpathyEntrepreneurshipEthical UnderstandingGlobal CitizenshipLeadershipSocial SkillsProblem FindingProblem SolvingTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 English

  • Understand that patterns of language interaction vary across social contexts and types of texts and that they help to signal social roles and relationships (ACELA1501).
  • Understand how to move beyond making bare assertions and take account of differing perspectives and points of view (ACELA1502).
  • Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students’ own experiences and present and justify a point of view (ACELY1699).
  • Use interaction skills, for example paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal cues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes (ACELY1796).
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700).

Year 6 English

  • Understand that strategies for interaction become more complex and demanding as levels of formality and social distance increase (ACELA1516).
  • Understand the uses of objective and subjective language and bias (ACELA1517).
  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709).
  • Use interaction skills, varying conventions of spoken interactions such as voice volume, tone, pitch and pace, according to group size, formality of interaction and needs and expertise of the audience (ACELY1816).
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis (ACELY1710).

Year 5 Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Develop appropriate questions to guide an inquiry about people, events, developments, places, systems and challenges (ACHASSI094).
  • Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources (ACHASSI095).
  • Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions (ACHASSI096).
  • How people with shared beliefs and values work together to achieve a civic goal (ACHASSK118).
  • Evaluate evidence to draw conclusions (ACHASSI101).
  • Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI102).

Year 6 Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Develop appropriate questions to guide an inquiry about people, events, developments, places, systems and challenges (ACHASSI122).
  • Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources (ACHASSI123).
  • Evaluate evidence to draw conclusions (ACHASSI129).
  • Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI130).
  • Reflect on learning to propose personal and/or collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict the probable effects (ACHASSI132).
  • The obligations citizens may consider they have beyond their own national borders as active and informed global citizens (ACHASSK148).

Year 5 Mathematics

  • Pose questions and collect categorical or numerical data by observation or survey (ACMSP118).
  • Construct displays, including column graphs, dot plots and tables, appropriate for data type, with and without the use of digital technologies (ACMSP119).
  • Describe and interpret different data sets in context (ACMSP120).

Year 6 Mathematics

  • Interpret and compare a range of data displays, including side-by-side column graphs for two categorical variables (ACMSP147).

Year 5 & 6 Design & Technologies

  • Critique needs or opportunities for designing, and investigate materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to achieve intended designed solutions (ACTDEP024).
  • Generate, develop and communicate design ideas and processes for audiences using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP025).

General capabilities: Literacy, Numeracy, Personal and Social Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English Achievement Standards: Students create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences. They make presentations which include multimodal elements for defined purposes. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English Achievement Standards: Students understand how language features and language patterns can be used for emphasis. They show how specific details can be used to support a point of view. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using a variety of strategies for effect.

Relevant parts of Year 5 HASS Achievement Standards: Students describe the significance of people and events/developments in bringing about change. They identify and describe the interconnections between people and the human and environmental characteristics of places, and between components of environments. Students develop questions for an investigation. They locate and collect data and information from a range of sources to answer inquiry questions. They interpret data to identify and describe distributions, simple patterns and trends, and to infer relationships, and suggest conclusions based on evidence. They work with others to generate alternative responses to an issue or challenge and reflect on their learning to independently propose action, describing the possible effects of their proposed action. They present their ideas, findings and conclusions in a range of communication forms using discipline-specific terms and appropriate conventions.

Relevant parts of Year 6 HASS Achievement Standards: Students develop appropriate questions to frame an investigation. They locate and collect useful data and information from primary and secondary sources. They collaboratively generate alternative responses to an issue, use criteria to make decisions and identify the advantages and disadvantages of preferring one decision over others. They reflect on their learning to propose action in response to an issue or challenge and describe the probable effects of their proposal. They present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of communication forms that incorporate source materials, mapping, graphing, communication conventions and discipline-specific terms.

Relevant parts of Year 5 Mathematics Achievement Standards: Students interpret different data sets. Students pose questions to gather data, and construct data displays appropriate for the data.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Mathematics Achievement Standards: Students interpret and compare a variety of data displays including those displays for two categorical variables. They interpret secondary data displayed in the media.

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 Design and Technologies Achievement Standards: Students generate and record design ideas for specified audiences using appropriate technical terms, and graphical and non-graphical representation techniques including algorithms. They plan, design, test, modify and create digital solutions that meet intended purposes including user interfaces and a visual program. Students plan and document processes and resources and safely produce designed solutions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts. They negotiate criteria for success, including sustainability considerations, and use these to judge the suitability of their ideas, solutions and processes. Students use ethical, social and technical protocols when collaborating, and creating and communicating ideas, information and solutions face-to-face and online.

Topic: Recycling, Sustainability.

Unit of work: Visy Education – Using Design Thinking to Solve Problems – Year 5 & 6.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – tasks within the Design Thinking Unit are designed to encourage students to work independently and in groups to develop their own ideas and actions. The teacher will need to observe and monitor groups, conferencing when suitable and providing support to interpret and present data and plan and implement actions.

Resources required:

  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Design Thinking Workbook (one per student, retained from previous lessons)
  • Sticky notes
  • Basic craft materials, including white and coloured paper, pencils, markers, sticky tape, glue and scissors
  • Blu-Tac to display completed posters, or pins if placing posters on display boards
  • Class Action Planner
  • Gripes posters, retained from the Discovering the Waste Problem lesson.

Related professional development: Introduce Primary Students to Design Thinking.

Keywords: data, graphs, surveys, sustainability, recycling, change, ideas, action, project.

The information and statistics included in this document are approximate and have been simplified for educational/illustrative purposes. They should not be relied upon for any other purpose.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • … be able to identify and define issues relating to waste and recycling based on data collected
  • … be able to develop solutions to problems identified within their community
  • … understand how to plan and take action in their community.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • … share and explain data and information they have collected
  • … identify problems/concerns based on data and information
  • … suggest ideas for solutions to problems identified
  • … negotiate and develop ideas through discussions with peers
  • … work in a group to plan and take action in the community.

Teacher content information: What do you do with the things you no longer want or need, such as the packaging from the food you buy or bottles you drink from? Many of us have grown up thinking of this as 'waste', as something we need to just get rid of. But what if we think of these materials as a resource for creating new and useful products? What

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