Activity Introduction

Flooded Road-hero©WWFQuick summary: This tuning in lesson is designed for students to explore the topic of climate change from an ethical perspective. Students build an understanding of the environmental, cultural and economical impacts of climate change on the Pacific Islands. They discuss the ethical considerations of climate change impacts by using a range of thinking tools.

Learning goals:

  • Students explore climate change;
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills;
  • Students understand a holistic sense of sustainability. 

General capabilities: Ethical understanding, Intercultural understanding 

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.4. Sustainability OI.5

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 10 English

  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)

 Year 10 Science

  • Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS208)

Year 10 Geography

  • The human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
  • The application of human-environment systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental change being investigated(ACHGK073)
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose, using relevant geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS079)

Syllabus outcomes: GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-8SC5-9WS, SC5-12ESEN5-1A

Time needed: 60 minutes.

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

Resources required: Internet, laptops and earphones, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Climate change, culture, ethics, Pacific Islands, impacts, future.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Flooded Road-hero©WWFTeacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students explore the topic of climate change from an ethical perspective. Students understand the environmental, cultural and economical impacts of climate change on the Pacific Islands. 

Teacher content Information:

Communities in the Pacific Islands are already feeling the impacts of sea level rise, extreme weather events, and other evidence of climate change. Part of the issue is that half the population lives just above sea level, less than 1.5 kilometers from the coast. As air and ocean temperatures increase, sea level is rising. As a result, flooding is likely to affect freshwater resources, the food supply, and public health.

Tidal surges and rising sea levels are destroying people’s homes, gardens and fresh water supplies. Fish stocks are diminishing around bleached coral reefs. Some Pacific Islanders have even relocated inland in an effort to escape the impacts of extreme weather. Some say this is leading to an erosion of cult

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Who will be most impacted by climate change?

1. “We are not drowning. We are fighting”.

350 Pacific- We are not drowning -- we are fighting! from Cool Australia on Vimeo.


Before watching:


1. What are the impacts of climate change?


2. Who is impacted by climate change?


During the video:


1. What are some of the impacts of climate change on the Pacific Islands?


2. What are most of the songs about?


3. What does “We are not drowning. We are fighting” refer to?


After the video:


1. Make a list of some environmental impacts of climate change on the Pacific Islands.

2. Make a list of some cultural impacts of climate change on the Pacific Islands.

3. Make a list of some economic impacts of climate change on the Pacific Islands.


2. An issue of ethics? 

Some people suggest that the poorest communities in the world are suffering becaus

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