Frontline Activism to Save the Planet
Wild Things is a documentary that explores this history and that follows a new generation of activists as they take on issues such as logging of old-growth forests, fossil fuels and renewable energy, and climate change. In this documentary, we watch as activists of all backgrounds and ages take to the streets, chain themselves to coal trains, create camps high in the canopy of a threatened rainforest, and lock themselves onto bulldozers.
Using the power of social media to spread their word, these activists are aiming to generate mass action with one finger tap. All this is presented against a backdrop of drought, fire and floods, and through the film we witness today’s environmentalists making a difference, fuelled by the belief in a better future.
As 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg says, “change is coming”.
Despite the different issues being addressed and the forms of activism involved, all the actions associated with the green movement are united by a common thread; the belief in the value of the environment and bravery in standing up for these beliefs, even in the face of physical harm or being arrested.
The lessons in this unit use the Wild Things documentary to guide students through key events in the history of the environmental movement in Australia, and will support students in raising their own voices for an environmental issue that is important to them, moving people to think differently and create real societal change.
It is recommended that you begin by watching the film (available for purchase from The Education Shop) guided by the “Watching the Film” lesson, before working your way through these resources in full and in sequence.
Wild Things Education Resources – Geography, Years 8 to 10
Watching The Film
Students will be immersed in and connect with the documentary film Wild Things. They will engage with the film from critical, emotional, cultural and ethical perspectives and understand some of the backgrounds of the film while also considering the intentions of the filmmaker.
Finding Your Voice
Students begin by exploring environmental activism. Students explore some key events in the environmental movement in Australia. They then explore what activism is and why people feel compelled to stand up for the environment.
Students think about an environmental issue that they would take action for. Students conduct a role-play activity to test this issue and explore the complexities involved in taking action for this issue.
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