Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will discover how natural hazards have been depicted by various artists worldwide and consider how technique, medium and colour have been used to evoke emotion. Further, students will use various materials that illustrate the effects of natural hazards on the Australian landscape. The image featured in the lesson was completed by artist Katsushika Hokusai, Under the Wave off Kanagawa, also known as The Great Wave.

Subject: Art.

Year Level: 7 & 8.

Topics: Creative Thinking, Sustainability and Climate Change. 

Teaching Time: 80 minutes.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingEmpathyProblem FindingSocial Skills  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 & 8  Art:

  • Investigate ways that visual conventions, visual arts processes and materials are manipulated to represent ideas, perspectives and/or meaning in artworks created across cultures, times, places and/or other contexts (AC9AVA8E01)
  • reflect on the ways that they and other artists respond to influences to inform choices they make in their own visual arts practice (AC9AVA8D02)
  • select and manipulate visual conventions, visual arts processes and materials to create artworks representing ideas, perspectives and/or meaning (AC9AVA8C02).

Syllabus outcomes: VAS4.3, VAS4.5.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 achievement standards: 

By the end of Year 8, students identify and analyse how other artists use visual conventions and viewpoints to communicate ideas and apply this knowledge in their artmaking. They explain how an artwork is displayed to enhance its meaning. They evaluate how they and others are influenced by artworks from different cultures, times and places.
Students plan their art-making in response to the exploration of techniques and processes used in their own and others’ artworks.

Level of teacher scaffolding: This lesson involves a medium level of teacher scaffolding with teachers facilitating class discussion, encouraging students’ reflective writing skills about art and facilitating class understanding about how art is used as a form of communication about what is happening in the world.

Resources required:

  • A device that connects to the internet to present google slides
  • Art folio or art materials such as pencil, paper, or rubber to complete their rough sketch
  • Additional materials such as design programs, magazines (for collage), paint, glue etc. 

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.

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

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, shall 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 process. You should direct students to a school counsellor if they require additional support and read through the Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues for more information.

Delivery of Lessons:

The Years 7 to 8 Art lessons will encourage students to explore the true meaning of hope and resilience and apply empathy to those affected by fires and floods. Students will analyse artworks and have opportunities to create portraits, concepts and drawings

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