Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students look at positive and negative ways humans manage the environment. They focus on actions they can take to protect the environment and mitigate natural disasters.

Subjects: HASS Geography. 

Year Level: 5. 

Teaching Time: 60 minutes.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Resilient Australia: Building Resilience To Natural Disasters – Primary.

Related Professional Development: We encourage you to undertake the free PD Course How to teach a unit on fire and flood resilience for tips on how to best deliver this lesson.

If you’re concerned about the challenging nature of these topics, consider the free PD Course How to approach trauma in the classroom for information on how best to support your students.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCreative ThinkingCritical Thinking

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 HASS Geography:

  • The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them (ACHASSK113)

Relevant parts of Year 5 HASS Geography achievement standards: Students identify and describe the interconnections between people and the human and environmental characteristics of places, and between components of environments.

Syllabus outcomes: GE3-2, GE3-3.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability. 

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Facilitate class discussion and explicit learning, support students in independent tasks.

Resources required:

  • Art supplies – coloured pencils or texta
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Individual devices capable of accessing the internet – one per student (optional)
  • iView account for the ABC – you will want to have this set up beforehand if you don’t have one already
  • White paper – A3 in size.

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 ...

  • … understand the impact humans can have on the environment, and the consequences these impacts have with regards to natural disasters such as floods and bushfires.

Success criteria: Students can …

  • … contrast environments where humans have had a negative impact through their actions with an environment where humans are managing the environment in positive ways.

Teacher content information:

Handling sensitive topics:

While presenting the lesson, you may notice that students could develop heightened emotions as you uncover the physical and psychological effects of hazards and disasters. Resilience, rebuilding and hope are essential learnings from the lessons. Therefore, it is vital to create a psychologically safe place for students to discuss and debrief, should they need to. The tasks can be activating for some students and could trigger old memories that some students may find challenging to revisit or proce

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