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

21st century skills:

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCritical ThinkingEmpathyEthical Understanding

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 OI.8.

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: Recycling, Sustainability.

Unit of work: Visy Education – 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 can...

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

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 waste items as the resources required for creating new products is a great way to shift our thinking about what we should do with these materials. Recycling is key to this thinking as it means we can keep returning r

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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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