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

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... demonstrate ways in which net-zero carbon emissions can be reached by 2050.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... compile and consider evidence in support of electric cars helping to reduce carbon emissions from transportation
  • ... compile and consider evidence in opposition to electric cars helping to reduce carbon emissions from transportation
  • ... write persuasively on whether electric cars can form part of the solution to working towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Teaching Sequence

Work through this resource material in the following sequence:

10 minutes – Part A: The context - Briefly introduce students to the IPCC's Sixth Report on climate change science, and the hope lens we will use for approaching potential solutions to the challenges the report presents.
30 minutes – Part B: The challenge - Students explore evidence in support of, and in opposition to, electric cars as a solution to help

- 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
- or - to view worksheets

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