Activity Introduction

rainforest1-biodiversity-heroQuick summary: This lesson is designed for a flipped classroom, where students learn new content by watching a video in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that people have had significant negative impacts on rainforest landscapes.
  • Students recognise that rainforest degradation has a broad-reaching effect.
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

General capabilitiesCritical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability.

Cross-curriculum prioritySustainability OI.1., OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 8 Geography

  • Human causes and effects of landscape degradation (ACHGK051)
  • Causes and consequences of urbanisation, drawing on a study from Indonesia, or another country of the Asia region (ACHGK054)

Syllabus Outcomes: GE4-2, GE4-3, GE5-2, GE5-3.

Time needed: 30 minutes.

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

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

Key words: Rainforest, humans, urbanisation.

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


Teacher Worksheet

garden-spider-biodiversity-heroTeacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students take responsibility for their own learning by watching a video on the relationship between humans and the soil health and completing a thinking routine.

The Flipped Lesson

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore/build their current knowledge, attitudes and values about how humans impact the soil and how these impacts will ultimately affect humans. While working independently, students are to view the following video and complete tables on the student worksheet. Teachers will also gain insight from students’ responses which can be used to plan other activities.

The visible thinking tools included on the Student Worksheet can be useful in examining and reflecting on how and why student thinking has changed based on learning specific content information. It also helps to develop their reasoning abilities and to recognise cause and effect relationships.

Nature is Speaking: Kevin Spacey is the Rainforest | C

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What does air do for you?

Before watching this clip, answer the following question:

1. How do you think the rainforest can be affected by human activity? 

2. How do you think the existence of rainforest can affect humans?

Once complete, watch the following video and answer the questions below:

Nature is Speaking: Kevin Spacey is the Rainforest | Conservation International (

After watching the clip, answer the following questions:

1. Summarise this clip in 25 words or less:



How are the ideas in the clip CONNECTED to what you already knew?


What new ideas did you get that EXTENDED or pushed your thinking in new directions?


What is still CHALLENGING or confusing for you to get your mind around? What questions, wonderings or puzzles do you now have?

3. Finally, do you think this clip could be useful in gaining support for action on rainforest protection? Why o

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