Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students will look at the ways that three different environmental artists have represented one environmental issue. They will write a newspaper article describing and comparing these three works, and are asked to review the articles of other students, providing feedback for improvement.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that there are multiple ways to represent environmental issues through art.
  • Students recognise that some environmental artists feel they have a responsibility to communicate messages about environmental issues.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Years 7 & 8 Visual Arts

  • Analyse how artists use visual conventions in artworks (ACAVAR123)
  • Identify and connect specific features and purposes of visual artworks from contemporary and past times to explore viewpoints and enrich their art-making, starting with Australian artworks including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAVAR124)

Year 7 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)
  • Edit for meaning by removing repetition, refining ideas, reordering sentences and adding or substituting words for impact (ACELY1726)

Year 8 English

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736) 
  • Experiment with text structures and language features to refine and clarify ideas to improve the effectiveness of students’ own texts (ACELY1810)

Syllabus Outcomes:  EN4-2A, EN4-4BVAS4.3, VAS4.7, VAS4.8, VAS4.9, VAS4.10.

Topic: Sustainability

Time required: 2 x 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity.

Resources required: Sticky notes, internet access, student worksheets.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: Environment, art, artists, newspaper article.


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:

Overarching learning goal: Students understand that there are multiple ways to represent environmental issues through art, and they recognise that some environmental artists feel they have a responsibility to communicate messages about environmental issues.

Teacher content information: Broadly speaking, environmental art can be broken down into several loose categories:

  1. Art that describes the natural world;
  2. Art that celebrates personal engagement in the natural world; and
  3. Art that directly addresses environmental issues (sometimes known as ‘ecological art’ or eco-art’).

A lot of environmental art is ephemeral; it is made to disappear or transform, much like aspects of the natural environment. Alternatively it is designed with a particular place in mind. Increasingly, environmental art is a collaborative effort between artists, scientists, or the community.

According to the website, some environmental art:

  • "Informs and interprets na
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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Should environmental artists use environmentally friendly materials, techniques, technologies and processes?

In this activity you will be exploring how different environmental artists represent one environmental issue and writing a newspaper article around these artists.

You will need to:

  1. Select one of the following environmental issue to investigate - climate change, consumption or biodiversity loss;
  2. Find three works of art by different artists that address the issue you have chosen;
  3. Analyse how these different artists have addressed this issue using the questions below.
  4. Write a newspaper article about these three works of art.

In the news

Write a newspaper article about an imagined exhibition where these three artists have their work presented. The exhibition is titled: 'Eco-art = Eco-responsibility'?

Your article should address the following points for each artist:

  • What do you think is the visual intention of the artist?
  • What is the medium use
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