Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson is designed for a flipped classroom, where students learn new content by watching a video in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work.


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 explore a range of waste issues
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

21st century skills:

Critical ThinkingProblem Solving

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content description: This lesson can be aligned with a variety of learning areas and year levels.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

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

Topic: Clean Up, Waste.

Time needed: 20 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – allow students to explore the topic independently.

Resources required: 

  • Devices with internet access
  • One copy of the Student Worksheet for each student.

Key words: Waste, Clean Up Australia Day, 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...

  • ... explore a range of waste issues
  • ... build their thinking and questioning skills.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • ... work independently to think critically and respond to a series of questions.

Teacher content information: Recycling and reusing rubbish is the best way in which we can reduce landfill waste and conserve resources. It provides a way to manage solid waste while reducing pollution, conserving energy, creating jobs and building more competitive manufacturing industries.

Natural resources simply will not last forever. In Australia, there are 20 billion fewer trees than when Europeans first settled here in 1788. Paper accounts for a large part of the rubbish found in Australia. Paper rubbish is not only unsightly in the environment it can also be very harmful to animals and marine life, as can other forms of rubbish such as plastic and glass.

So, why is recycling important?

  • Waste that is r
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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Where does waste go?

When we talk about waste, rubbish, trash or whatever you want to call it, we’re talking about something that is in excess of our needs. Something we have created or bought that we no longer want.

The food and drinks we consume, the transport we use, the stuff we buy – everything has waste as a part of its production. Too often waste is not counted in the final cost – so products that create waste in their production are much cheaper than they should be when they get to us. 

Watch the video while filling in the table below (


1. Before watching the video...

When you throw your waste away where does it go?


2. While watching the video

What is waste?



Why do humans produce so much waste?



How can we look at rubbish differently? 



What is a litter trap? 

3. After watching the video

How can you reduce the waste at your school?


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