Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Pre-assessment task: discover how much your students already understand about climate change and carbon emissions.

Summative assessment task: Ask students to construct a vision of a utopian climate change future, incorporating everything they have learned over the course of this unit about climate change and carbon emissions.

Subjects: Science.

Year Levels: Year 6 and Year 7.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work IPCC Climate Change Solutions.

Teaching Time: 60 minutes.


Cool would like to thank the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation for generously supporting the development of these lessons.



21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingGlobal Citizenship  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 6

Content descriptions: Year 6 Science:

  • Electrical energy can be transferred and transformed in electrical circuits and can be generated from a range of sources (ACSSU097)

Relevant parts of the Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students analyse requirements for the transfer of electricity and describe how energy can be transformed from one form to another when generating electricity.

Year 7

Content descriptions: Year 7 Science:

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)

Relevant parts of the Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how the sustainable use of resources depends on the way they are formed and cycle through Earth systems.

Syllabus outcomes: ST3-6PW, SC4-12ES, SC4-11PW. 

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Topic: Climate change. You can find more lessons on this topic here.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – Discuss the IPCC report with students, support them in independent work.

Resources required:

Related Professional Development: If you’re interested in learning more about how to approach challenging topics around climate change and sustainability in your classroom through a Hope and Optimism lens, consider our PD course.

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 will...

  • ... demonstrate ways in which net-zero carbon emissions can be reached by 2050.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... write descriptively, using scientific terms, about a climate change future, incorporating everything they understand about climate change and carbon emissions.

Teaching Sequence

Work through this resource material in the following sequence:

10 minutes – Part A: The context - Briefly introduce students to the IPCC's Sixth Report on climate change science, and the hope lens we will use for approaching potential solutions to the challenges the report presents.
10 minutes – Part B: The challenge - Encourage students to use a hope and optimism lens to approach the IPCC's possible climate future scenarios. 
35 minutes – Part C: The solution - Independently, students think creatively and write descriptively about their vision for our best climate-change future.
5 minutes – Part D: Reflection - Studen

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What could our best possible climate change future look like in terms of methods of energy generation?

Part 1 of the Sixth IPCC Assessment Report indicates that global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered. Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades (B1).

But just imagine what our climate-change future could look like if we started working on our carbon emissions, using current or emerging technologies.

What does our best possible green power grid look like? How are we generating energy?

Put down some thought in dot points in the space below:

Transportation - Do we all still drive fossil fuel cars? Do we ride bikes? How else could we get around? How do we travel internationally?

Put down some thought in dot points in the space below:

Food - What do we eat? How do

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