Activity Introduction

beach3Quick summary: Students are asked to create two different visions of the future under two different conditions. In the first case, students are asked to create a picture of the future based on scientific predictions of rising temperatures and a changing climate. In the second case (the bulk of this activity) students are asked to work in groups to create a shared vision of the future, a future that they would like to see. Students create this vision using the ‘thinking hats’ learning tool, brainstorming initial ideas and then using these ideas to build a picture of the future that they then share through either a presentation or infographic.

These activities “… are an invaluable tool for teachers to address climate change in an educationally relevant, scientifically sound, and action-­based way.” – Tim Flannery (Read more)

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that science can be used to make predictions about our future.
  • Students recognise that they have the skills and knowledge to create their own vision for the future.
  • Students understand that different people have different ideas about what the future should look like but that these differences can be used to give strength to the vision and its meaning.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, ICT capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.3, OI.5.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 Science

  • Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)

Year 7 Geography

  • The causes, impacts and responses to an atmospheric or hydrological hazard (ACHGK042)
  • The influence of environmental quality on the liveability of places (ACHGK045)
  • The strategies used to enhance the liveability of places, especially for young people, including examples from Australia and Europe (ACHGK047)

Year 8 Geography

  • The causes, impacts and responses to a geomorphological hazard (ACHGK053)
  • The management and planning of Australia’s urban future (ACHGK059)

Year 8 English

  • Use interaction skills for identified purposes, using voice and language conventions to suit different situations, selecting vocabulary, modulating voice and using elements such as music, images and sound for specific effects (ACELY1808)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content, including multimodal elements, to reflect a diversity of viewpoints (ACELY1731)
  • 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)

Syllabus OutcomesEN5-1A, EN5-2A, EN5-3BGE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-4, GE5-5, GE5-8SC5-12ES, SC5-13ES, SC5-9WS

Topic: We Are the Weather Makers

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity

Resources required: Internet access, students worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Online brainstorming tools (e.g. or mindmeister), presentation or infographic tools (e.g. Powerpoint, Prezi or Piktochart), digital sharing capabilities. DIY infographic background information.

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity includes opportunities for homework or extension.

Keywords: Climate change, science, future, thinking hats.

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

Cool Australia would like to acknowledge:

  • Tim Flannery
  • David Harding, Rose Iser, Sally Stevens
  • Text Publishing and Purves Environmental Fund
  • Climate Council



Teacher Worksheet

beach3Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Through this activity students will understand that while science can be used to make predictions about our future, students themselves have the skills and knowledge to create their own vision for the future. Students will understand that although different people have different ideas about what the future should look like these differences can be used to give strength to the vision and its meaning.

Teacher content information: Most of us are used to governments and policy makers designing the future for us, so the idea of engaging the general public in creating a vision of the future is a very powerful notion, especially in the face of the bad news around climate change.

The aim of this activity is for students to create a shared vision of the future, one that includes climate change but that remains positive. Most importantly this is an activity that gives the students the opportunity to think about what kind of future they would like

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How can we create a shared vision of the future?

Step 1. Read the information about your 'hat' (see below).

Step 2. Begin brainstorming with your group about your vision for a shared future. Use either or mindmeister to record your brainstorming. Use the following topics to guide your brainstorming:

  • Cities and towns
  • Government
  • Natural environment
  • Sustainability
  • International relations
  • Transport and travel
  • Food
  • Water
  • Material goods
  • Health
  • Education
  • Community
  • Economy

Step 3. Once you've completed your brainstorming, it's time to create a presentation or infographic that describes your future. Your presentation should include:

  • An outline of the vision for a shared future
  • The strengths and weaknesses of this vision
  • How this vision relates to climate change
  • At least 5 actions that can be taken to achieve this vision
  • Supporting images and/or music

You will also need to be prepared to present your ideas to the class,

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