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 be introduced to the environmental impact of materials that aren’t recycled, and will explore how recycling can reduce these impacts. They will gather further information about attitudes and habits in this local context by planning and conducting surveys, interviews, observations and audits in their community. This planning will lead into subsequent lessons where they will gather and synthesise their findings to inform how they will take action to address the issue.

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 understand more about issues relating to the ways we produce and manage materials to be recycled
  • Students will recognise some of the habits and practices that people have that create problems in relation to waste and recycling.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCritical ThinkingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingGlobal CitizenshipSocial SkillsProblem FindingTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 English

  • Understand how to move beyond making bare assertions and take account of differing perspectives and points of view (ACELA1502).
  • Identify aspects of literary texts that convey details or information about particular social, cultural and historical contexts (ACELT1608).
  • Present a point of view about particular literary texts using appropriate metalanguage, and reflecting on the viewpoints of others (ACELT1609).
  • 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).
  • 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 comprehension strategies to analyse information, integrating and linking ideas from a variety of print and digital sources (ACELY1703).

Year 6 English

  • Make connections between students’ own experiences and those of characters and events represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1613).
  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709).
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (ACELY1713).

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).

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.2, OI.3, OI.4, OI.5.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students use language features to show how ideas can be extended. They develop and explain a point of view about a text, selecting information, ideas and images from a range of resources.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students compare and analyse information in different and complex texts, explaining literal and implied meaning. They select and use evidence from a text to explain their response to it. They listen to discussions, clarifying content and challenging others’ ideas.

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.

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 this Design Thinking Unit will enable students to work independently and in groups to develop their own ideas and actions. The teacher will need to observe and monitor groups, conduct conferencing sessions when suitable and provide support when interpreting data, presenting data and planning and implementing actions.

Resources required:

  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Design Thinking Workbook (one per student)
  • Devices to access internet, view online videos and to use for word processing (at least one per three students)
  • Sticky notes
  • At least six sheets of butcher’s paper
  • ‘How Might We’ Table (printed A3 size).

Related professional development: Introduce Primary Students to Design Thinking.

Keywords: Sustainability, resources, recycling, landfill, pollution, environmental impact.

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...

  • … understand more about issues relating to waste production and management.
  • … recognise some of the habits and practices that people have that create problems in relation to waste and recycling.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • … identify a range of issues that relate to waste production and recycling
  • … identify three habits and practices of people that create problems in relation to recycling
  • … suggest two ways to find out more about people’s views on recycling 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 if we can re-imagine how we think about and use these materials?

Thinking of wast

...
 
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