Quick summary: Students will investigate the urinary system and learn about kidney function as they follow the story of Kate from the documentary film Dying to Live, who is suffering from kidney failure. Teachers will lead students through a range of visual and written resources, videos and role play to explicitly teach the anatomy and physiology of the kidneys and urinary system. Students will also apply their understandings to model impaired kidney function and dialysis, and investigate real-world issues related to kidney transplants.
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.
Tip: This lesson could be run to coincide with a kidney dissection. You may find this lesson useful as a way to introduce kidney function before the dissection, or to debrief and consolidate learning after the dissection has taken place.
- Students know and understand the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system, and how it interacts with other body systems.
- Students understand how gas exchange occurs at a cellular level.
- Students use practical activities to model healthy and impaired lung function.
- Students are aware of organ and tissue donation and understand the role they play in the process.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 8 Science
- Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs carrying out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce (ACSSU150)
Year 9 Science
- Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (ACSSU175)
- Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)
Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards: Students analyse the relationship between structure and function at cell, organ and body system levels.
Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.
Topic: Social Issues, Learning Through Film
Unit of work: Dying to Live – Science – Year 9
Time required: 80 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students through explicit teaching, discussion and a role play activity.
Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student (or device to access electronic copy). Teacher device to project images and present videos. Lesson Presentation: Kidneys (optional), Label Your Kidney Worksheet – one per student. Stages of Kidney and Nephron Functions Factsheet. Venn Diagram Factsheet.
Optional: Kidney Function Role Play Instructions. Role play props – Tokens (3–4 decks of cards or paddle pop sticks), Hula hoops or masking tape, 2 boxes or bags (printer box lids would be perfect).
Related Professional Development: Exploring General Capabilities: Ethical Understanding
Keywords: Organ and tissue donation, body systems, excretory system, urinary system, kidney, kidney disease, kidney transplant, organ transplant, dialysis, nephron, 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.