Activity Introduction

bbrw-tree-photoframe-newQuick summary: Students are introduced to the concept of business externalities with a focus on negative externalities. Students are asked to look at and reflect upon a range of images associated with negative externalities. They are then asked to investigate one of these images in depth, making suggestions about how this externality could be addressed whilst still meeting the financial needs of the industry associated with this externality.

This lesson supports students to inquire into the big idea of ‘real wealth’. Students develop an understanding of shared values, and build their sustainable and ethical financial knowledge, equipping them with the skills to make sound financial decisions based on social, environmental and economical merit.

Learning goals:

  • Students develop an understanding of negative externalities resulting from the production and consumption of goods and services.
  • Students develop an understanding of strategies businesses, governments and consumers can use to reduce their negative externalities.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6 OI.7 OI.8.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 10 Economics and Business

  • The ways businesses organise themselves to improve productivity, including the ways they manage their workforce, and how they respond to changing economic conditions (ACHEK054)

Syllabus Outcomes: C5.2, C5.3, C5.4.

Topic: Consumption

Unit of lessons: Real Wealth Year 9 &10

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – prior to lesson complete teacher background reading and externalities factsheet, and watch circular economy video and externalities video from teacher ‘hot tip’.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet, device capable of presenting a website to the class, Externalities Factsheet, Real Wealth Cheat Sheet, Glossary Secondary. Extension – CSR And Shared Value.

Digital technology opportunities: Apps and presentation tools, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension and homework.

Keywords: externalities, natural capital.

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


Teacher Worksheet

bbrw-docks-photoframe-newTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will develop an understanding of negative externalities resulting from the production and consumption of goods and services, and will understand what strategies governments, businesses and consumers can use to reduce their negative externalities.

Teacher content information: In this lesson students will be introduced to the concept of externalities. In Economics students would normally explore the four areas of externalities noted below. However, this lesson will focus on negative externalities (and mostly from production).

For more information on externalities, download the Externalities Factsheet.

Teaching Sequence

20 minutes - Negative externalities, Think Pair Share and discussion
30 minutes - People and Planet Along with Profit activity
10 minutes - Reflection

Work through this resource material in the following sequence:

Preparation: Ask students to download and read the Externalities Factsheet (also available on th

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Does production and consumption have to be bad for the environment?

Preparation: Prior to starting to this lesson, please read the Externalities Factsheet.

What do negative externalities look like?

Externalities are created when the actions of businesses have unintentional spillover effects (or costs) on third parties who are not directly involved in the production or consumption of their product. These externalities can be either positive (beneficial) or negative (detrimental) and they can result from either the production or consumption of a good or service.

Here are some examples of negative externalities. Use these images to complete the Think Pair Share table below:

burning amazon surfing
1. Cattle graze among the burning Amazon jungle in Brazil. Photograph: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace. 2. Surfing in a remote but garbage-covered bay in Java, Indonesia, the world’s most populated island. Photograph: Zak Noyle.
oil burning diamond mine
3. Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010
- or - to view worksheets

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