Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students explore different mediums for communicating environmental messages and how they have been utilised in the real world by activists in the documentary Wild Things. They then work independently or in small groups to plan and create a piece of environmental activism and share this with an audience.

Wild Things follows a new generation of environmental activists that are mobilising against forces more powerful than themselves and saying: enough. Following a year in the footsteps of School Strike 4 Climate, Stop Adani and Save The Tarkine Rainforest, interwoven with a look at historical campaigns, this film is set to show that every action counts and individuals can make a difference. Access the film here.

The lessons in this unit use the Wild Things documentary to guide students through the environmental movement in Australia, and support students in raising their own voices for an environmental issue that is important to them. We recommend this lesson is used as the fourth lesson in a sequence of learning within this unit.

Learning intentions:

  • Students recognise different forms of environmental activism
  • Students understand how to create their own environmental activism piece.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingProblem FindingTeam Work                

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 8 Civics and Citizenship

  • The freedoms that enable active participation in Australia’s democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion and movement (ACHCK061)
  • Appreciate multiple perspectives and use strategies to mediate differences (ACHCS071)

Year 9 Civics and Citizenship

  • How citizens’ political choices are shaped, including the influence of the media (ACHCK076)
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS084)
  • Recognise and consider multiple perspectives and ambiguities, and use strategies to negotiate and resolve contentious issues (ACHCS086)

Year 8 English

  • Understand how rhetorical devices are used to persuade and how different layers of meaning are developed through the use of metaphor, irony and parody (ACELA1542)
  • Analyse how the text structures and language features of persuasive texts, including media texts, vary according to the medium and mode of communication (ACELA1543)
  • Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632)
  • 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)

Year 9 English

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)

Year 10 English

  • Understand how language use can have inclusive and exclusive social effects, and can empower or disempower people (ACELA1564)
  • Compare the purposes, text structures and language features of traditional and contemporary texts in different media (ACELA1566)
  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)

Year 8 Geography

  • Human causes and effects of landscape degradation (ACHGK051)
  • Ways of protecting significant landscapes (ACHGK052)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Environmental world views of people and their implications for environmental management (ACHGK071)
  • 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: GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-5, GE4-7, GE4-8, GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-4, GE5-8.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.3, OI.8, OI.9.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Civics and Citizenship achievement standards: Students explain features of Australia’s democracy that enable active participation. They explain different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. When planning for action, students take into account multiple perspectives, use democratic processes, and develop solutions to an issue.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Civics and Citizenship achievement standards: Students reflect on how groups participate and contribute to civic life. They compare and account for different interpretations and points of view on civics and citizenship issues. When planning for action, students take into account multiple perspectives, use democratic processes, and negotiate solutions to an issue.

Relevant parts of Year 8 English achievement standards: Students understand how the selection of language features can be used for particular purposes and effects. They explain the effectiveness of language choices they make to influence the audience. Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response.

Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students select evidence from texts to analyse and explain how language choices and conventions are used to influence an audience. They understand how to use a variety of language features to create different levels of meaning. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts.

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students explain different viewpoints, attitudes and perspectives through the development of cohesive and logical arguments. They create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. 

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 compare alternative strategies to a geographical challenge, taking into account environmental, economic and social factors. Students present findings, arguments and ideas using relevant geographical terminology and digital technologies in a range of appropriate communication forms.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Geography achievement standards: They analyse interconnections between people, places and environments and explain how these interconnections influence people, and change places and environments. Students synthesise data and information to draw reasoned conclusions. They present findings, arguments and explanations using relevant geographical terminology and digital representations 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 analyse and synthesise data and other information to draw reasoned conclusions, taking into account alternative perspectives.

Topic: Sustainability.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Wild Things Years 8 to 10.

Time required: 75 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion, lead students in activities.

Resources required:

Keywords: activism, environment, sustainability, forests, fossil fuels, climate change.

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

 

This lesson has been developed with the support of 360 Degree Films and the Garry White Foundation.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... recognise different forms of environmental activism
  • ... understand how to create their own environmental activism piece.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... analyse different forms of activism and create their own activism piece
  • … participate in class and group activities and discussion
  • … work independently and collaboratively.

Teacher content information: The history of the green movement in Australia is widely acknowledged to have begun with the green bans in Sydney in the 1970s and Tasmania's Franklin Dam project of the late 1970s/early 1980s. These campaigns both raised awareness of the value of our natural environment and the ability of people to come together to protest and demand change. Since then, the green movement has engaged with a range of environmental issues such as threatened species, forests, mining and energy, and climate change, as well as broader issues, such as the anti-nuclear mov

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: "Change is coming, whether you like it or not." - Greta Thunberg

Communication Methods

You will now spend some time looking through the examples of environmental activism listed below. 

Once you've had a chance to look at these examples, respond to the following question:

Which medium/method appeals to you the most and why?

Social Action

You will now plan and create your own piece of activism around an environmental issue you are concerned about. The first step in this process is to identify an issue you are interested in. You can draw on the research you’ve conducted in other lessons about

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