Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students explore plastic waste articles in the news. Students begin by discussing what they already know about single-use plastics before reading and analysing two news articles about plastic waste, looking at the content of the articles, as well as language features, visual features and text structures of the articles. Students are then invited to write their own article, either based on a waste or recycling activity they have been involved in or a clip from War On Waste

Cool Australia’s War On Waste lessons have been developed in partnership with Lune Media and with support from the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network. These lessons have been designed to lead students through a deeper understanding of some of the big issues relating to waste in Australia and to support them to take action to reduce the impact of waste on our environment. To access the full War On Waste unit for Years 4 to 6, click here.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand why plastic waste is a problem for our environment
  • Students understand what a news article is
  • Students understand the key structure and features of a news article

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingTeam Work               

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 4 English

  • Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (ACELY1692)
  • Understand differences between the language of opinion and feeling and the language of factual reporting or recording (ACELA1489)
  • Recognise how quotation marks are used in texts to signal dialogue, titles and quoted (direct) speech (ACELA1492)
  • Explore the effect of choices when framing an image, placement of elements in the image, and salience on composition of still and moving images in a range of types of texts (ACELA1496)
  • Use interaction skills such as acknowledging another’s point of view and linking students’ response to the topic, using familiar and new vocabulary and a range of vocal effects such as tone, pace, pitch and volume to speak clearly and coherently (ACELY1688)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features (ACELY1694)
  • Re-read and edit for meaning by adding, deleting or moving words or word groups to improve content and structure (ACELY1695)

Year 5 English

  • Understand how to move beyond making bare assertions and take account of differing perspectives and points of view (ACELA1502)
  • Use interaction skills, for example paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal cues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes (ACELY1796)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)
  • Re-read and edit student’s own and others’ work using agreed criteria for text structures and language features (ACELY1705)

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)
  • Understand the uses of objective and subjective language and bias (ACELA1517)
  • Understand the uses of commas to separate clauses (ACELA1521)
  • Investigate how vocabulary choices, including evaluative language can express shades of meaning, feeling and opinion (ACELA1525)
  • Investigate how complex sentences can be used in a variety of ways to elaborate, extend and explain ideas (ACELA1522)
  • Compare texts including media texts that represent ideas and events in different ways, explaining the effects of the different approaches (ACELY1708)
  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)
  • Re-read and edit students’ own and others’ work using agreed criteria and explaining editing choices (ACELY1715)

Syllabus outcomes: EN2-4A, EN2-11D, EN2-8B, EN2-1A, EN2-2A, EN3-8D, EN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-3A.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.7.

Relevant parts of Year 4 English achievement standards: Students understand that texts have different text structures depending on purpose and context. They explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used to engage the interest of audiences. Students create structured texts to explain ideas for different audiences. They contribute actively to class and group discussions. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary from a range of resources and use accurate spelling and punctuation, re-reading and editing their work to improve meaning.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students understand how language features, images and vocabulary influence interpretations of characters, settings and events. They describe how events, characters and settings in texts are depicted. Students create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences. They contribute actively to class and group discussions. When writing, they demonstrate understanding of grammar using a variety of sentence types. They edit their work for cohesive structure and meaning.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students understand how the use of text structures can achieve particular effects. They analyse and explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used by different authors to represent ideas, characters and events. Students compare and analyse information in different and complex texts. Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. They contribute actively to class and group discussions. They use accurate spelling and punctuation for clarity and make and explain editorial choices based on criteria.

Topic: Waste, sustainability.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: War On Waste – Years 4-6.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate guided discussion and lead students in activities.

Resources required:

Keywords: War On Waste, plastic waste, news, environment.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • … understand why plastic waste is a problem for our environment
  • … understand what a news article is
  • … understand the key structure and features of a news article.

Success criteria: Students can …

  • … read and analyse a news article
  • … create their own news article
  • … work independently and collaboratively
  • … participate in class discussions.

Teacher content information: In Australia, we began addressing the issue of waste in the 1960s and '70s with litter campaigns like Keep Australia Beautiful and Tidy Town Awards. With such a long history of waste reduction campaigns, you would think we had got on top of the waste issue; however, as the recent recycling crisis shows, we're still trying to solve the issue of waste in Australia.

Why is this the case? War On Waste, highlighted the confusion consumers have about the waste we create and the struggles we experience when trying to reduce the amount of waste in

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Where do you get your news?

Reflection

Work independently to think about what you looked at in this lesson and respond to the following:

What did I like about this lesson?

What did I find interesting about this lesson?

What didn’t I enjoy? Why?

What would I do differently next time?

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