Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students are introduced to the topic of organ and tissue donation. They begin by participating in a barometer activity to assess their prior knowledge on organ and tissue donation before working in groups to come up with definitions for key terms used in discussions around the topic. Students then participate in a jigsaw activity, working in groups to watch and analyse clips from the documentary Dying To Live and sharing their thoughts with the rest of the class. Finally, students engage in a class discussion around key ideas and feelings raised in the lesson.

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 what organ and tissue donation are.
  • Students investigate key issues relating to organ and tissue donation in Australia.
  • Students understand how organ and tissue donation is both an individual issue and a community issue.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 7 & 8 Health and Physical Education

  • Plan and use health practices, behaviours and resources to enhance health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS077)

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)

Syllabus outcomes: PDHPE4.6, PDHPE4.7, PDHPE4.8, PDHPE5.6, PDHPE5.7, PDHPE5.8, PDHPE5.13

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

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 Health and Physical Education achievement standards: Students investigate strategies and practices that enhance their own, others’ and community health, safety and wellbeing. 

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education achievement standards: Students access, synthesise and apply health information from credible sources.

Topic: Social Issues, Learning Through Film

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

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee activities and facilitate discussions.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Five devices capable of presenting a video to groups of students. Access to to desktop publishing program (optional). 

Related Professional Development: Exploring General Capabilities: Ethical Understanding

Keywords: Dying To Live, organ, tissue, donation, register, wellbeing, community

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 what organ donation is.
  • …understand what tissue donation is.
  • …understand some of the key issues relating to organ and tissue donation in Australia.
  • …understand how organ and tissue donation is both an individual issue and a community issue.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • …participate in class and group discussions.
  • …work collaboratively.

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 majority of Australians (69%) are generally willing to become organ and/or tissue donors, only 1 in 3 have registered to become donors. And because families have the final say about whether someone donates their organs or tissues, conversations about the intentions of loved ones

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: One donor can transform the lives of up to 10 people.

Part A: Where do I stand on organ and tissue donation?

Step 1. Definitions – Below are a list of terms that are common to discussion around organ and tissue donation. Work in your groups to research a definition in your own words for each of the following terms. Add your definitions next to the terms below:

1. Donation

2. Donor

3. Organ

4. Tissue 

5. Transplant

6. Donation register

7. Living donation

Part B: True Stories – Jigsaw

Step 1. You will now work in groups to watch and analyse a clip from the documentary Dying To Live. Watch the clip together and then work as a group to discuss your answers to the following questions. You can then record your answers next to each question.

NOTE: Although you can discuss your questions in your groups, each student is responsible for recording their own answers in their own words.

1. Title of clip:

2. What is this clip about? Summarise this cli

- or - to view worksheets

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