Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will investigate what an ecological footprint is by using an online activity that calculates their ecological footprint. Students will then think about what actions they can take to reduce their footprint.

Learning intention:

  • Students understand what an ecological footprint is.
  • Students know how to use an online tool to calculate their own ecological footprint.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content Descriptions:

Year 4 Science

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE062)

Year 4 Geography

  • The use and management of natural resources and waste, and the different views on how to do this sustainably (ACHASSK090)

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2, OI.3.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Science achievement standards: Students identify when science is used to understand the effect of their actions.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Geography achievement standards: Students identify the interconnections between components of the environment and between people and the environment.

Topic: Sustainability.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Assist students with online tool.

Resources needed: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Writing materials. Tablet/computer with internet access for each student/group of students.

Keywords: Ecological footprint, sustainability, online tool.

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 what an ecological footprint is.
  • Students know how to use an online tool to calculate their own ecological footprint.

Success criteria: Students can …

  • Know what an ecological footprint is.
  • Think critically about what actions they can take to reduce their ecological footprint.
  • Follow written instructions in an online tool.

Teacher content information: An ecological footprint could just as easily be called a sustainability footprint. By choosing a number of options about how resources are used, online ecological footprint packages can calculate the approximate outcome. For example, this may done as how many Earths are required if everyone on the planet made the same choices. Other packages show what the future would be like in 30 or 40 years time.

The following ecological footprint calculator can be completed in 10-15 minutes: Footprint Calculator (http://www.footprintcalculator.org/)

Teaching Sequence...

 
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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is the fastest way to reduce the size of your ecological footprint?

How big is your footprint?

Access the online ecological footprint calculator and follow the questions to find out how big your ecological footprint is:

  • Footprint Calculator (http://www.footprintcalculator.org/)

Once complete, answer the following questions:

1. What is the size of your ecological footprint? 

 

2. How many planets would we need if everyone in the world had your ecological footprint?

 

3. Which consumption category is largest for you (click See Details)? Why do you think this is?

 

4. What was most interesting or surprising about your ecological footprint?

 

5. What questions do you still have about your ecological footprint?

 

What can you do? 

Team up with a classmate to share the size of your ecological footprint. You should then work together to think of five things you could do to reduce your footprints:

 1.

 

 2.

 

 3.

 

 4.

 

5.


Reflection

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