Activity Introduction

house-waste-heroQuick summary: In groups of 6 – 8 (making only 3 or 4 groups in total), students will respond to a song with a sustainability message by choreographing and performing a dance or mime.

This lesson has been developed as part of the Schools Recycle Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities so they can be counted towards the national achievement and to receive other free support materials.


Learning intentions:

  • Students respond to texts
  • Students understand the aims of National Recycling Week
  • Students grasp the messages in texts
  • Students collaborate to create physical representations of the ideas in texts

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingTeam Work                

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 & 8 Dance

  • Develop their choreographic intent by applying the elements of dance to select and organise movement (ACADAM014)

Year 7 & 8 Drama

  • Plan, structure and rehearse drama, exploring ways to communicate and refine dramatic meaning for theatrical effect (ACADRM042)

Year 7 Science

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)

Year 8 Science

  • Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)

Syllabus Outcomes: SC4-11PW, SC4-12ES.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priorities: Sustainability OI.8.

Time needed: 60 minutes.

Resources required: Internet, Student Worksheet, ‘The Second Law: Unsustainable’ by Muse (consider downloading from iTunes).

Keywords: National Recycling Week, Resources, Rubbish, Re-using, Recycling.

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

You will need: An audio copy of the song ‘The Second Law: Unsustainable’ by Muse (from their album The Second Law) to play to the class, a cleared classroom space (groups can prepare their performances in close proximity in order to hear the music as it is played and repeated). Students can work from the online Student Worksheet or you can print one double-sided worksheet for each student. For the homework task students will need access to a copy of the steampunk recycling advertisement PDF.

* Students should be advised that IF they wish to use costumes, props or masks for their performance, they should prepare these beforehand. Alternatively, groups may perform their dance or mime in a later lesson in order to have more preparation time.

Teaching Sequence

8 minutes – listening and responding to the song ‘The Second Law: Unsustainable’ by Muse (some words may need defining).

2 minutes – forming groups.

40-50 minutes – group preparation of dance or mime (the te

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How can the arts make the world a better place?

Part 1.

Listen to the song ‘Unsustainable’ by Muse. Read the lyrics carefully as you listen: 


All natural and technological
Processes proceed in such
a way that the availability of the
remaining energy decreases

In all energy exchanges, if no energy
enters or leaves an isolated system
the entropy of that system increases

Energy continuously flows from being
concentrated to becoming dispersed
spread out, wasted and useless

New energy cannot be
created and high-grade
energy is being destroyed

An economy based on endless growth is

You’re unsustainable


The fundamental laws of
thermodynamics will place fixed
limits on technological innovation
and human advancement

In an isolated system, the entropy
can only increase
A spec

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