Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will explore the costs associated with consumption. They begin by creating a list of things they would like to buy and classify these as needs or wants. Students then use their list to explore the relationship between consumers and businesses. The class will then analyse the full costs of the things we purchase through the lens of sustainability, focusing on the environmental costs, and choose one of their own needs/wants items to analyse in the context of sustainability. Students are then introduced to the idea of a decision tree and are asked to create a decision tree around the question: Do I Really Need It? Students present their work in a gallery walk format. Students can use their learning from the lesson as the basis for the follow-up social action lesson.

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 7 to 10, click here.

Learning intention:

  • Students recognise the relationships between consumers and businesses
  • Students understand how sustainability can be used to identify the full costs of the things we purchase
  • Students recognise some of the environmental costs associated with the things we purchase.

21st century skills:

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingProblem Finding

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Economics and Business

  • The ways consumers and producers interact and respond to each other in the market (ACHEK017)
  • Gather relevant data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES022)
  • Generate a range of alternatives in response to an observed economic or business issue or event, and evaluate the potential costs and benefits of each alternative (ACHES024)
  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar and new situations (ACHES025)
  • Present evidence-based conclusions using economics and business language and concepts in a range of appropriate formats, and reflect on the consequences of alternative actions (ACHES026)

Year 8 Economics and Business

  • Types of businesses and the ways that businesses respond to opportunities in Australia (ACHEK030)
  • Gather relevant data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES033)
  • Generate a range of alternatives in response to an observed economic or business issue or event, and evaluate the potential costs and benefits of each alternative (ACHES035)
  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar and new situations (ACHES036)
  • Present evidence-based conclusions using economics and business language and concepts in a range of appropriate formats, and reflect on the consequences of alternative actions (ACHES037)

Year 9 Economics and Business

  • The nature of innovation and how and why businesses seek to create and maintain a competitive advantage in the market, including the global market (ACHEK041)
  • Gather relevant and reliable data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES044)
  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar, new and hypothetical situations (ACHES047)
  • Present reasoned arguments and evidence-based conclusions in a range of appropriate formats using economics and business conventions, language and concepts (ACHES048)
  • Reflect on the intended and unintended consequences of economic and business decisions (ACHES049)

Year 10 Economics and Business

  • Factors that influence major consumer and financial decisions and the short- and long-term consequences of these decisions (ACHEK053)
  • Gather relevant and reliable data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES056)
  • Apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts in familiar, new and hypothetical situations (ACHES059)
  • Present reasoned arguments and evidence-based conclusions in a range of appropriate formats using economics and business conventions, language and concepts (ACHES060)
  • Reflect on the intended and unintended consequences of economic and business decisions (ACHES061)

Syllabus outcomes: C4.1, C4.2, C4.3, C4.4, C4.5, C4.6, C4.7, C4.8, C5.1, C5.2, C5.3, C5.4, C5.5, C5.7, C5.8.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students describe the interdependence of consumers and producers in the market. They gather data and information from different sources to investigate an economic or business issue. Students develop and present conclusions using appropriate texts, terms and concepts. They identify the effects of their decisions and the possible effects of alternative actions.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students describe the different ways businesses can respond to opportunities in the market. They gather relevant data and information from different sources to investigate an economic or business issue. They apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts to familiar and unfamiliar problems. Students develop and present evidence-based conclusions using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts. They identify the effects of an economic or business decision and the potential consequences of alternative actions.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students explain why businesses seek to create a competitive advantage. They gather and analyse relevant data and information from different sources to answer questions, identify trends and explain relationships. Students generate alternative responses to an issue and apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts to familiar, unfamiliar and hypothetical problems. Students develop and present evidence-based conclusions and reasoned arguments using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students analyse factors that influence major consumer and financial decisions. They gather and analyse reliable data and information from different sources to identify trends, explain relationships and make predictions. Students generate alternative responses to an issue and apply economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts to familiar, unfamiliar and complex hypothetical problems. Students develop and present evidence-based conclusions and reasoned arguments incorporating different points of view.

Topic: Waste, Consumption, Sustainability.

Unit of work: War On Waste – Years 7-10

Time required: 100 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activities and lead students in class discussions.

Resources required:

Keywords: War On Waste, consumption, environmental costs, sustainability, needs, wants.

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...

  • ... recognise the relationships between consumers and businesses
  • ... understand how sustainability can be used to identify the full costs of the things we purchase
  • ... recognise some of the environmental costs associated with the things we purchase.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... think critically about their own needs and wants
  • ... use sustainability to analyse the costs of the things we buy
  • ... use a decision tree to guide them in consumer decisions
  • ... apply economics and business knowledge to personal choices
  • ... work collaboratively and independently
  • ... participate in class and group 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, a

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: "Buy less, choose well.” – Vivienne Westwood

The Costs Of Consumption

1. Work independently to answer the following question:

What might be some of the costs associated with the things we buy? 

2. As you watch the first War On Waste clip, record anything you notice about the following:

Sustainability - what are the social, economic and environmental costs?

The relationship between businesses and consumers

Needs and wants

3. After watching the second War On Waste clip, work in pairs or small groups to discuss your answers to the following. Record some notes in the spaces provided:

How does this solution help address the environmental costs of consumer needs/wants?

How has the relationship between consumers and businesses changed in this clip? Can you identify any new types of relationships?

What strategy do the cafés in this clip use to increase their competitive advantage? Who are they appealing to?

Analysing Our Consumption

You will now work

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