Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson focuses on developing the ability to draw conclusions from a text. Students explore different sources of information about waste reduction and recycling and synthesise to develop a set of statements about the topic that encourage others to recycle.

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 be able to synthesise meaning when reading non-fiction texts.

21st century skills:

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingEntrepreneurshipEthical UnderstandingGlobal Citizenship

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 English

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723).
  • Understand how language is used to evaluate texts and how evaluations about a text can be substantiated by reference to the text and other sources (ACELA1782).
  • Identify and explore ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1619).

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-2A, EN4-8D.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards: Students explain issues and ideas from a variety of sources, analysing supporting evidence and implied meaning. They select specific details from texts to develop their own response, recognising that texts reflect different viewpoints. They listen for and explain different perspectives in texts.

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: Sustainability, landfill, plastic, recycle, single-use, synthesise.

*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 be able to synthesise meaning when reading non-fiction texts.

Success criteria:

  • Students can recall prior knowledge on the topic of a text
  • Students can note new information found in a text
  • Students can combine prior knowledge and new information found in a text to form an insight about a topic
  • Students can propose ideas, actions, solutions or changes that should be made based on their synthesis.

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 th

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Student Worksheet


What I knew about recycling at the beginning of the lesson…

What I know about recycling now…

What I am going to do/change because of my new learning…

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