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. This lesson focuses on an American case study of the life-cycle of a T-shirt. Students identify the fossil fuels needed to power the production of a T-shirt from seed to shirt, including transportation to factories overseas. They will then discuss what incentives direct people and businesses in their economic decisions in a free market, and examine the global economy’s current dependence on fossil fuels and the threats this poses for people and the environment. Finally, through watching a clip from This Changes Everything, students will explore how people in Germany worked to bring about their country’s rapid transition to renewable sources of electricity.
- Students explore the global economy and its dependence on fossil fuels.
- Student identify some of the environmental and human costs associated with fossil fuel dependence.
- Students recognise that there are different and often opposing views about the causes of and solutions to global warming.
- Students explore personal ideas about globalisation, climate change, and how our world will be in the future.
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 Geography
- 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 9 Economics and Business
- Why and how participants in the global economy are dependent on each other (ACHEK039)
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 Geography
- Human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
Year 10 Economics and Business
- The ways businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity through organisational management and workforce management (ACHEK054)
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)
Year 10 Science
- Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
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 Geography achievement standards: Students predict changes in the characteristics of places over time and identify the possible implications of change for the future.
Relevant parts of Year 9 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students analyse the interdependence of participants in the global economy.
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 Geography achievement standards: Students predict changes in the characteristics of places and environments over time, across space and at different scales and explain the predicted consequences of change.
Relevant parts of Year 10 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students explain how businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity.
Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas.
Relevant parts of Year 10 Science achievement standards: Students describe and analyse interactions and cycles within and between Earth’s spheres.
Topic: Climate Change, Sustainability, This Changes Everything.
Unit of work: This Changes Everything.
Time required: 60 mins, plus some out of-class preparation.
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. World map large enough to display to class. Greenhouse Effect and A First in Human History graphics. Rejection and Change and Climate Change film clips.
Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.
Keywords: Capitalism, climate change, globalization, greenhouse gases, incentives, renewable energies, global economy, life-cycle, This Changes Everything.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.