Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students explore the issue of plastic waste and its impact on our environment. They begin by participating in a silent gallery activity, viewing and responding to a range of images relating to plastic waste. Students then investigate one of these issues in detail and source or create a new image that helps to express their research. This image is then added to the gallery exhibit and students again reflect on the waste information being communicated.

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 intentions:

  • Students understand that plastic waste has a range of impacts.

21st century skills: 

Communicating  Creative Thinking  Critical Thinking  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Geography

  • The influence of environmental quality on the liveability of places (ACHGK045)
  • Evaluate sources for their reliability and usefulness and select, collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS048)
  • Present findings, arguments and ideas in a range of communication forms selected to suit a particular audience and purpose; using geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS053)

Year 8 Geography

  • Ways of protecting significant landscapes (ACHGK052)
  • Evaluate sources for their reliability and usefulness and select, collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS056)
  • Present findings, arguments and ideas in a range of communication forms selected to suit a particular audience and purpose; using geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS061)

Year 9 Geography

  • The effects of the production and consumption of goods on places and environments throughout the world and including a country from North-East Asia (ACHGK068)
  • Evaluate sources for their reliability, bias and usefulness and select, collect, record and organise relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS064)
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms, selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose; using relevant geographical terminology, and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS070)

Year 10 Geography

  • Human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
  • Evaluate sources for their reliability, bias and usefulness and select, collect, record and organise relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS073)
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms, selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose; using relevant geographical terminology, and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS079)

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-1, GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-5, GE4-6, GE4-7, GE4-8, GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-7, GE5-8.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.7, OI.9.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Geography achievement standards: Students explain interconnections between people and places and environments and describe how these interconnections change places and environments. They evaluate a range of secondary sources to locate useful information. Students present findings and arguments using relevant geographical terminology in a range of communication forms.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Geography achievement standards: Students explain interconnections within environments and between people and places and explain how they change places and environments. They evaluate a range of secondary sources to locate useful and reliable information. Students present findings, arguments and ideas using relevant geographical terminology in a range of communication forms.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Geography achievement standards: Students analyse interconnections between people, places and environments and explain how these interconnections influence people, and change places and environments. They evaluate a range of secondary sources to select and collect relevant and reliable geographical information. They present findings, arguments and explanations using relevant geographical terminology in a range of appropriate communication forms.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Geography achievement standards: Students identify, analyse and explain significant interconnections between people, places and environments and explain changes that result from these interconnections and their consequences. They critically evaluate a range of secondary sources to select and collect relevant, reliable information. Students present findings and explanations using relevant geographical terminology and graphic representations and digital technologies in a range of selected forms.

Topic: Waste, sustainability.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: War On Waste – Years 7-10.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – source materials and prepare gallery.

Resources required:

  • Device capable of presenting an online clip to the class
  • Familiar plastic waste items found in bins at school such as plastic bottles, plastic straws, and plastic food packaging, containers and wraps
  • Other plastic items that when discarded become waste, such as plastic kettles, phones or tablets with plastic parts, plastic torch, plastic toys, and clothes made of synthetic materials (such as polar fleece)
  • Silent Gallery Images
  • Student Worksheet – one copy per student

Keywords: War On Waste, plastic waste, environmental impacts, silent gallery.

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 understand…

  • … that plastic waste has a range of impacts.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … think critically and respond to visual prompts
  • … undertake research
  • … visually represent research findings
  • … 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 our lives. It also showed us that there is a greater need for political leadership and policy creation, as well as an

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Packaging accounts for over 40% of total plastic usage.

Reflection

Work independently to respond to the following questions:

1. What was this clip about?

2. What information presented in this clip was new to me?

3. What information did I find most interesting or important?

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