Activity Introduction

Mirvac-building-2-heroQuick summary: This lesson is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to enter the Nudge by Mirvac – Sustainability Film Competition. Students investigate four resources (water, energy, waste and materials) essential to house design, examine how they are currently used and then re-imagine these resources in new ways. In the first part of the activity students look at their own understanding of sustainability and they investigate the four resources in depth. In the second part of the activity students imagine that they are living in a future where all buildings and communities incorporate green technologies and practices. Students are asked to write a short movie script or create an epistolary narrative to describe this future.

Activity developed in partnership with Nudge_bymirvac

This lesson is part of the Nudge by Mirvac – Sustainability Film Competition unit. The Competition encourages young people (up to 18 years) to make a short film aimed at giving our community a ‘nudge’ on sustainability: ‘Nudge a neighbour, change a behaviour’. This year’s competition is focused on the theme “Re-imagining Resources”.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand principles of sustainability and sustainable house design.
  • Students recognise how we use resources in our houses.
  • Students understand that there are more ways to use resources than we currently do.
  • Students create their own piece of writing using specific language features.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 English

  • Create literary texts that adapt stylistic features encountered in other texts, for example, narrative viewpoint, structure of stanzas, contrast and juxtaposition (ACELT1625).
  • Experiment with text structures and language features and their effects in creating literary texts, for example, using rhythm, sound effects, monologue, layout, navigation and colour (ACELT1805).
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725).

Year 8 English

  • Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632).
  • Experiment with particular language features drawn from different types of texts, including combinations of language and visual choices to create new texts (ACELT1768).
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736).

Topic: Nudge by Mirvac – Sustainability Film Competition, Sustainability.

Time required: 2 x 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity and facilitate discussion.

Resources required: Internet access, Sustainable buildings factsheet, Definitions of sustainability, Sustainability factsheet – secondary, Tips for writing a short story, Creating an epistolary narrative, Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Mirvac, resources, waste, water, energy, materials, sustainable building.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Mirvac-building-8-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this lesson students will understand principles of sustainability and sustainable house design. They will recognise how we use resources in our houses and understand that there are more ways to use resources than we currently do.

Teacher content information: Buildings in Australia account for about 20% of our national greenhouse gas emissions. Waste associated with buildings (including demolition) accounts for about 40% of our materials going to landfill. Then there’s the water used daily in buildings and the materials required to build our buildings. It can all add up to a pretty massive impact on our environment.

However, there is an increasing emphasis on sustainable building design and construction. These green buildings are both environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout their life-cycles, from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition.

Australia's gree

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What will your home look like in 2050?

1. What is sustainability?

Write down as many words as you can that come to mind when thinking about the word ‘sustainability’:

2. Investigating resources

5 whys investigation of resources: working in pairs or small groups you will undertake a 5 whys investigation into two of the following four resources (your teacher will assign you with two):

  • Water - Water conservation is integral to green building design
  • Energy - We need to consider energy conservation when designing and building houses
  • Materials - We should use sustainability sourced materials in our houses
  • Waste - We should we worry about waste management in our houses

You will investigate how these resources relate to green buildings and why incorporating a more sustainable use of these resources in green buildings might be important.

Initially you will work on large sheets of butcher's paper, writing the main statement at the top of the page and writing y

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