Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will consider the statistics and chance associated with investigating a real world problem. They will view a short clip from Dying to Live that features the story of Woody, the recipient of his third kidney transplant. As students investigate the issues concerning kidney transplants, they will use statistics to develop an infographic poster. They will also consider issues concerning deceased organ donation and the impacts these will have on the odds involved with receiving a transplant.

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 will be able to develop a mathematical model based on real world information.
  • Students will be able to collect and manipulate statistical information to determine probabilities.
  • Students understand the general process of organ transplantation.
  • Students will be able to investigate and understand issues concerning organ donation.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 Mathematics

  • List all outcomes for two-step chance experiments, both with and without replacement using tree diagrams or arrays. Assign probabilities to outcomes and determine probabilities for events (ACMSP225). Note: Tree diagrams have not been included in this lesson.
  • Calculate relative frequencies from given or collected data to estimate probabilities of events involving ‘and’ or ‘or’ (ACMSP226)
  • Identify everyday questions and issues involving at least one numerical and at least one categorical variable, and collect data directly and from secondary sources (ACMSP228)

Syllabus outcomes: MA5.1-13SP,MA5.1-12SPMA5.1-2WM, MA5.2-2WM

General capabilities: Literacy, Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students calculate relative frequencies to estimate probabilities, list outcomes for two-step experiments and assign probabilities for those outcomes.

Topic: Social Issues, Learning Through Film

Unit of work: Dying To Live – Mathematics – Year 9 & 10

Time required: 90+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – guide students through the development of an infographic poster and provide mathematical modelling support.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Device capable of accessing internet and creating infographics – one per student or pair.  Kidney Transplant Factsheet – one per student. Infographics Planning Tool – one per group.

Related Professional Development: Exploring General Capabilities: Ethical Understanding

Keywords: organ transplants, organ donation, infographics, mathematical model, probability, chance, statistics, problem solving, Dying to Live

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...

  • ... be able to develop a mathematical model based on real world information.
  • ... be able to collect and manipulate statistical information to determine probabilities.
  • ... understand the general process of organ transplantation.
  • ... be able to investigate and understand issues concerning organ donation.

Success criteria:

Students can…

  • ...calculate the relative frequency of events and use this to develop probabilities.
  • ...develop an appropriate mathematical model given real world information.
  • ...research effectively to find useful statistical information.
  • ...recall the process of organ transplants and understand associated issues.

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.


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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: A person is approved to move onto the transplant waiting list if they have an 80% chance of living 5 years after the transplant.

What Are Your Chances?

1. Write down your ID number in the space below. This number will be used to represent the statistics of life-threatening illnesses and organ transplants in Australia.

2. Was your ID number selected? If so, what for?

3. What surprised you most about the statistics?

Living Past 12 Months?

4. Read the following quote from Woody and imagine what it would be like to be in his situation.

5. Using Woody’s quote and his story, fill out the THINK PUZZLE EXPLORE table below.

What do you think you know about this topic?
What questions do you have?
How can you explore this topic?









Answer the following questions to reflect on what you have learnt in this lesson. 

a) What have I learnt about organ and tissue donation?

b) How effect

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