Activity Introduction

Subjects: English.

Year Levels: Year 6 and Year 7.

Topics: Climate change. Click here for more lessons on these topics.

Teaching Time: 60 minutes.

Quick summary: Students consider some of the challenges associated with electric cars and debate whether they can truly help reduce carbon emissions from transportation. 


Cool would like to thank the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation for generously supporting the development of these lessons.


21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingDigital LiteracyProblem Finding  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 6

Content descriptions: Year 6 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (ACELY1713)

Relevant parts of the Year 6 English achievement standards: Students show how specific details can be used to support a point of view.

Year 7

Content descriptions: Year 7 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)

Relevant parts of the Year 7 English achievement standards: Students understand how to draw on personal knowledge, textual analysis and other sources to express or challenge a point of view.

Syllabus Outcomes: EN3-3A, EN4-2A.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work IPCC Climate Change Solutions.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Discuss the IPCC report with students, guide their thinking on the electric car debate, and support them in independent work.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Individual devices capable of accessing the internet – one per student
  • Presentation Slides (optional)
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student (optional)
  • Student writing materials.
  • Whiteboard.

Related Professional Development: If you’re interested in learning more about how to approach challenging topics around climate change and sustainability in your classroom through a Hope and Optimism lens, consider our PD course.

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

Teacher Content Information:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was created to:
  • provide policymakers (governments) with regular scientific updates about climate change;
  • highlight the impact climate change will have on the planet in the future; and,
  • offer some ideas about how to tackle the challenges of climate change's potential effects on the planet.
In 2021-22, the IPCC released their sixth assessment report. This is the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change.
The report makes a number of important points:
  • It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.
  • Global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered. Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reduc
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: Can switching to electric cars help us reduce our carbon emissions?

Currently, 8 gigatonnes of total annual carbon emissions are emissions from our transportation. If, by 2040, 50% of the kilometres driven (2-wheelers, 3-wheelers, cars, buses, and trucks) on the world’s roads are electric, and by 2050 95% are electric, this alone will reduce these emissions by 5Gt (Source).

The challenge

Read the following texts, and answer the questions below each.

Costly, toxic and slow to charge? Busting electric car myths by Thomas Bräunl (

  • Was this article in favour of, or against, the use of electric cars, or somewhere in the middle? It might be helpful for students to imagine a scale of 0 (very against the idea of electric cars) to 10 (love electric cars), with 5 (electric cars are good but have some problems). 
    Explain your reasoning.


  • What pieces of evidence did the
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