Quick summary: In this lesson, students will participate in a Social Action Project to improve recycling practices within their school. They will learn about the positive impact recycling can have, research recycling procedures and habits within their school, develop ideas for improvement and change and then take action. Participation in this lesson will support students to develop a broad range of skills relating to planning, organisation, collaboration and communication skills as well as positively contributing to individual wellbeing. It supports students to develop skills they will need to be successful contributors to society in the 21st century.
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.
- Students will understand why recycling has a positive impact on our environment
- Students will understand their own and their community’s choices and practices
- Students will be able to enact positive change within their community.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 7 Geography
- Causes, impacts and responses to an atmospheric or hydrological hazard (ACHGK042).
Year 8 Geography
- Human causes and effects of landscape degradation (ACHGK051).
Year 9 Geography
- Challenges to food production, including land and water degradation, shortage of fresh water, competing land uses, and climate change, for Australia and other areas of the world (ACHGK063).
- The capacity of the world’s environments to sustainably feed the projected future global population (ACHGK064).
- The effects of the production and consumption of goods on places and environments throughout the world and including a country from North-East Asia (ACHGK068).
Year 10 Geography
- Human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070).
Year 7 Science
- Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, including water that cycles through the environment, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116).
- Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120).
- People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE121).
Year 8 Science
- Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available (ACSHE134).
- Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135).
- People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE136).
Year 9 Science
- Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228).
Year 10 Science
- Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189).
- People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE194).
- Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE230).
General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.2, OI.3, OI.4, OI.5, OI.6, OI.8, OI.9.
Relevant parts of Year 7-10 Geography Achievement Standards:
- Year 7 & 8: Students explain interconnections between people and places and environments and describe how these interconnections change places and environments. They describe alternative strategies to a geographical challenge referring to environmental, economic and social factors.
- Year 9: Students analyse interconnections between people, places and environments and explain how these interconnections influence people, and change places and environments. They predict changes in the characteristics of places over time and identify the possible implications of change for the future. Students analyse alternative strategies to a geographical challenge using environmental, social and economic criteria.
- Year 10: Students explain how interactions between geographical processes at different scales change the characteristics of places. Students identify, analyse and explain significant interconnections between people, places and environments and explain changes that result from these interconnections and their consequences. They predict changes in the characteristics of places and environments over time, across space and at different scales and explain the predicted consequences of change. They evaluate alternative views on a geographical challenge and alternative strategies to address this challenge using environmental, economic, political and social criteria and draw a reasoned conclusion.
Relevant parts of Year 7–10 Science Achievement Standards:
- Year 7: Students analyse how the sustainable use of resources depends on the way they are formed and cycle through Earth systems.
- Year 8: Students explain how evidence has led to an improved understanding of a scientific idea and describe situations in which scientists collaborated to generate solutions to contemporary problems. They reflect on implications of these solutions for different groups in society.
- Year 9: Students analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.
- Year 10: Students explain how chemical reactions are used to produce particular products and how different factors influence the rate of reactions. Students describe and analyse interactions and cycles within and between Earth’s spheres.
Topic: Recycling, Sustainability.
Time required: 4-5 sessions.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – the teacher will lead students in discussion and class activities and oversee group work.
- Device capable of presenting a video to the class
- Social Action Student Workbook (one copy per student)
- Tongs to sort rubbish with
- Large piece of poster paper.
Keywords: Recycling, sustainability, environment, resources, materials.
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.