Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will create a short film in which they consider concepts of personal responsibility and active citizenship as they relate to the litterbug. They will investigate the environmental and social impacts of littering.


Following this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in Schools Clean Up Day or a Clean Up on any day of the year. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change.


Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the social and environmental implications of littering
  • Students begin to take responsibility for unwanted food packaging
  • Students will rethink the concept of why people litter.

21st century skills:

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCritical ThinkingProblem Solving

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content description:

Year 7 English

  • Use interaction skills when discussing and presenting ideas and information, selecting body language, voice qualities and other elements, (for example music and sound) to add interest and meaning (ACELY1804)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements to promote a point of view or enable a new way of seeing (ACELY1720)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)

Year 8 English

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content, including multimodal elements, to reflect a diversity of viewpoints (ACELY1731)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-3B

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.3, OI.8.

Topic: Waste, Clean Up.

Time required: 60+ mins.

Resources required:

  • Device with movie editing software
  • Recording device
  • Various props as required, computer with movie editing software.

Keywords: Food, packaging, waste, litter.

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...

  • ... understand the social and environmental implications of littering
  • ... begin to take responsibility for unwanted food packaging
  • ... will rethink the concept of why people litter.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • ... think critically about how other people might think about and perceive litter
  • ... be persuasive when communicating messages about not littering.

Teacher content information: To litter is to illegally dispose of waste, whether intentionally or by accident. In the past, it was legal to throw waste into the street.

This became a problem when people began living in close proximity as cities developed during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. Unsanitary disposal of waste encouraged the breeding of insects and rats that carried disease rapidly through the urban population. The government took action to remove rubbish from city streets to prevent the spread of disease.

Today, there are laws

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Student Worksheet

Part A: Litterbug on the Move

A family moves out of their house down the street. Because they are going to buy new furniture and appliances for their new house, they leave their old belongings in the street. They think that someone might want their items, and in any case, do not want to have to hire a truck and pay to take the furniture to the tip.

The next day it rains: the couch gets soaked and the electrical appliances are ruined. A local cat scratches the varnish off the legs of the dining table. Someone collects the pot plants and the box of magazines.

A week after the family have moved, the local council comes and takes the remaining items to the tip.


1. Is this an example of littering?

2. What are some of the possible impacts of this behaviour on the environment and on human safety and amenity?

3. What alternative actions could the family have taken?

4. How often do they see this happening in their own neighbourhoods?

5. What are some possible

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