Quick summary: This Changes Everything includes a book by Naomi Klein and film by Avi Lewis. The texts join the dots between climate change, economic systems and the power of community action. In this lesson students consider the question “Can a crisis also be an opportunity?” Students examine an American case study depicting the recovery effort of the town of Greensburg, Kansas following its destruction by a super tornado in 2007. Working in groups, students create specific plans for how they would re-imagine and rebuild a model ‘green school’ if a crisis like a natural disaster destroyed their school.
- Students recognise that a crisis can affect the political, social and economic aspects of a community.
- Students understand how a crisis can be a moment of change.
- Students recognise that our response to crisis can lead to something better or worse.
- Students understand that there are a range of strategies that could be implemented to make their school a ‘green school’.
21st century skills:
Advice for teachers: This unit is designed to help year 9 and 10 students to look critically at the idea of how our economic system’s push for continual growth impacts both the environment and quality of life for all people. Excerpts from the This Changes Everything book and documentary film are used as starting points throughout the lessons to spark discussion, and to put a human face on complex issues through case studies and in-depth analysis. Parts of this unit is suitable for the following learning areas: Geography, Economics and Business, Civics and Citizenship, English and Environmental Science. These lessons can be used to integrate the Cross-curricular priority of Sustainability into your learning area. Each lesson is designed to stand on its own; you can easily pick and choose what learning activities best meet your curricular goals.
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
Year 9 Civics and Citizenship
- How and why individuals and groups, including religious groups, participate in and contribute to civic life (ACHCK079)
Year 9 English
- Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)
Year 10 Civics and Citizenship
- Present evidence-based civics and citizenship arguments using subject-specific language (ACHCS101)
- Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australian, regional and global contexts (ACHCS102)
Year 10 English
- Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)
Syllabus outcomes: EN5-1A.
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.6, OI.8.
Relevant parts of Year 9 Civics and Citizenship achievement standards: Students reflect on how groups participate and contribute to civic life.
Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts.
Relevant parts of Year 10 Civics and Citizenship achievement standards: Students evaluate a range of factors that sustain democratic societies and present evidenced-based arguments incorporating different points of view on civics and citizenship issues.
Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas.
Topic: Climate Change, Sustainability, This Changes Everything.
Unit of work: This Changes Everything.
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and guide discussions.
Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Access to Piktochart or Prezi. Film clips: Climate Crisis in China and Transportation in New Delhi (Taking it Further/Extension).
Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.
Keywords: This Changes Everything, community, change, crisis, opportunity, school.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.