Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will explore the fact that as individuals we all have different strengths, and that working with others with different skills can allow us to be more successful. They will begin by considering the image associated with the familiar phrase “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid,” discussing whether asking seven different animals to complete the same ‘test’ is fair. They will then consider how giving the animals tasks suited to their strengths would allow them to shine, and apply this same thinking to take on roles within a group to create a dance video. The lesson concludes with a discussion about the importance of expressing our own needs and advocating for ourselves, and an exploration of an example video in which making assumptions about the needs of an individual had a detrimental impact on their learning.

Learning intentions: 

  • Students understand that they all have different strengths and demonstrate their capabilities in different contexts..

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingDigital LiteracyEmpathyEthical UnderstandingSocial SkillsTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 5 & 6 Health and Physical Education:

  • Explore how participation in outdoor activities supports personal and community health and wellbeing and creates connections to natural and built environments (ACPPS059)
  • Identify how valuing diversity positively influences the wellbeing of the community (ACPPS060)
  • Practise specialised movement skills and apply them in a variety of movement sequences and situations (ACPMP061)
  • Participate positively in groups and teams by encouraging others and negotiating roles and responsibilities (ACPMP067)

Syllabus outcomes: ALS3.6, COS3.1, INS3.3, IRS3.11, GSS3.8, GYS3.10, MOS3.4

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

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 Health and Physical Education achievement standards: By the end of Year 6, students investigate developmental changes and transitions. They explain the influence of people and places on identities. They recognise the influence of emotions on behaviours and discuss factors that influence how people interact. They describe their own and others’ contributions to health, physical activity, safety and wellbeing. They examine how physical activity, celebrating diversity and connecting to the environment support community wellbeing and cultural understanding. Students demonstrate fair play and skills to work collaboratively. They perform specialised movement skills and sequences and propose and combine movement concepts and strategies to achieve movement outcomes and solve movement challenges. They apply the elements of movement when composing and performing movement sequences.

Topic: Social Issues. 

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Including Everyone.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – students are to work independently, making their own decisions about organisational aspects of the independent task.

Resources required:

  • Device capable of displaying an image to the class (or a printed copy of the picture prompt)
  • devices for students to record videos on.

Keywords: Down Syndrome Australia, difference, diversity, self-advocacy, inclusion, strengths, success.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students understand...

  • ... that they all have different strengths and will demonstrate their capabilities in different contexts.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … explain their own strengths
  • … express their feelings and apprehensions to others
  • … work cooperatively with a group to complete a task.

Teacher content information:

As defined by Diversity Council Australia:

“Inclusion occurs when a diversity of people (e.g. of different ages, cultural backgrounds, genders) feel valued and respected, have access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute their perspectives and talents to improve their organisation.”


Ensuring inclusive practises is not just about being helpful and supporting to others, it is a human right. Every member of the community has a responsibility, a role to play in ensuring that others receive this right.

This fact sheet from the

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What challenges do you enjoy?

View the following image and consider the questions below:

  • Will everyone be able to demonstrate their strengths?
  • Is this a fair test? Why/why not?
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