Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will learn about the circular economy. They will explore how individuals and households can move towards a more sustainable society by closing the recycling loop. They will use this new understanding to write a persuasive piece to motivate people to develop more sustainable consumption habits.

This lesson is designed to provide valuable practice for NAPLAN, the national literacy and numeracy test held in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9*. 

This lesson has been developed in partnership with Visy. For over 60 years Visy has been striving for sustainability, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by collecting recyclable materials and recycling them into new paper and packaging products. Click here to find out more about Visy and their innovative work in recovering and transforming recyclable materials into new products to preserve our earth’s precious resources.


Learning intentions:

  • Students will employ a range of persuasive techniques to convince others of their point of view.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 English:

  • Identify and explain characteristic text structures and language features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text (ACELY1701).
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704).
  • Re-read and edit student’s own and others’ work using agreed criteria for text structures and language features (ACELY1705).

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-2A, EN3-5B, EN3-6B.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 5 achievement standards: Students create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences. When writing, they demonstrate understanding of grammar using a variety of sentence types. They select specific vocabulary and use accurate spelling and punctuation. They edit their work for cohesive structure and meaning.

Topic: Sustainability, Waste.

Unit of work: Bright Sparks – Literacy Skills.

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – model literacy strategies for students.

Resources required:

Keywords: Sustainable, environment, narrative, persuasive devices, persuasive techniques, simile, repetition, tripling, emotive, modality, rhetorical questions.

*This lesson plan is not an officially endorsed publication of NAPLAN’s creators and administrators – the ACARA body – but is designed to provide practice for the compulsory assessment.

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.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students will employ a range of persuasive techniques to convince others of their point of view.

Success criteria:

  • Students will remember at least three persuasive techniques and include them in their writing.
  • Students will choose persuasive techniques that suit their arguments and audience.

Teacher content information:

Information about waste: In the 2014–2015 financial year, Australians disposed of around 18 million tonnes of waste. That is around 754 kilograms per person¹. These figures saw Australia listed as the country with the 5th highest amount of municipal waste per capita by the OECD in 2015².

Globally, there are huge concerns relating to waste management. Analysts have predicted that we are yet to see a peak in our waste production, suggesting that it will continue to grow into the future³.

If we don’t curb the habits of millions of people globally, there will be frightening consequences for the environment. La

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Student Worksheet


A circular economy is…



A circular economy can be helpful because…



The persuasive techniques I used in my writing were…



I think they will convince my audience because…

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