Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students explore how organ and tissue donation is a community issue. They begin by watching a clip from the documentary Dying To Live and reading and reflecting on articles about organ donation. They then design, plan and implement a project based on the guiding question: How might we get more people in our community talking about organ and tissue donation? Following project completion, students will reflect on the success of their project and their participation in the project.

Dying To Live is a documentary feature film that examines organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Australia through seven different stories that highlight the social, physical and emotional effects of being on the organ donor waiting list. The film also aims to dispel myths about organ and tissue donation while encouraging family conversations so that family members are aware of their loved ones’ donation intentions. Find out how to screen or view the film here.


Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how organ and tissue donation is both an individual and community issue.
  • Students understand why conversations in the community are critical to reducing the donation waiting list.
  • Students will be able to drive the processes required for planning and executing a social action project.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education

  • Plan, implement and critique strategies to enhance health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS096)
  • Critique behaviours and contextual factors that influence health and wellbeing of diverse communities (ACPPS098)
  • Critically analyse and apply health information from a range of sources to health decisions and situations (ACPPS095)

Syllabus outcomes: PDHPE5.6, PDHPE5.7, PDHPE5.8, PDHPE5.13.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures OI.8.

Relevant parts of Years 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education achievement standards: Students critically analyse contextual factors that influence identities, relationships, decisions and behaviours. They analyse the impact attitudes and beliefs about diversity have on community connection and wellbeing. Students access, synthesise and apply health information from credible sources to propose and justify responses to health situations. 

Topic: Social Issues, Learning Through Film 

Unit of work: Dying To Live – H&PE – Years 7–10

Time required: 250+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in class discussion, guide students in project planning and implementation.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Article 1. Article 2. Chalk-Talk Prompts. S.M.A.R.T. Criteria Factsheet. Sticky notes, butcher’s paper, markers. Project-specific resources, as identified by students in their planning (such as stationary, access to computers, etc.). Project Planning Tool. Project Checklist.

Related Professional Development: Inspiring Students to Take Action

Keywords: Dying To Live, organ and tissue donation, community, conversations, social action project.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Cool Australia, Aquarius Productions and Intrinsic Story would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of GoodPitch² Australia, Shark Island Institute, and Documentary Australia Foundation in the development of these teaching resources.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • ...understand how organ and tissue donation is both an individual and community issue.
  • ...understand why conversations in the community are critical to reducing the donation waiting list.
  • able to drive the processes required for planning and executing a social action project.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ...analyse texts, including written texts and video texts.
  • ...use their skills and interests to respectfully engage their community in conversations and actions for change.
  • ...collaborate and communicate in groups.
  • ...follow the processes and steps required for planning and executing a social action project.

Teacher content information: Organ and tissue donation are not always easy topics for discussion. However, with an average of 1,500 Australians on the transplant waiting list, increasing rates of donation is vitally important: a donation can both save and improve lives.

Although the majorit

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: The majority of Australians (69%) are generally willing to become organ and tissue donors.

Taking action for organ and tissue donation

In this part of the lesson, you will be working in groups to plan and implement an action, based around the following guiding question:

After working on some ideas for action, use the S.M.A.R.T criteria to help you choose one.

Record how you and your group will address the guiding question in the space below:

Project Planning

Use the Project Planning Tool to plan your social action.

Execute The Project

Use the Project Checklist to help keep track of what you need to do to deliver your project.


Work independently to answer the following questions:

Project reflection:

Give a short overview of the action your group took:

Describe the intended and actual change your project made (small or large)?

What parts of the project were the most successful and why?

What parts of the project were the least success

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