2 — How do we bring this issue closer to home?
In this sequence, the students will be presented with statistics that are a little closer to home and the aim will be to personally connect their lifestyles to the issues of focus.
This sequence addresses the Cross-Curriculum Priority Sustainability. Students will complete an opinionnaire to think about their own views on the topic of waste and they will view and respond to a short documentary film Waste Not (see Resources). The students will form inquiry groups and will begin to create an annotated bibliography that they will update and refer to throughout the unit. Students will draw on the following General Capabilities: Literacy, Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Responsibility.
Activity 1: Opinionnaire
Present students with the Opinionnaire worksheet. Explain that an opinionnaire is a form of survey where their opinions count. In relation to the overall inquiry question: How are our lifestyles shaping and changing the planet? the students are required to think about their background beliefs and experiences. It is important that students respond to the prompts individually and not consult with others at this point. They will be required to support and justify their decisions when they do get a chance to share their answers with others in a group situation. This can involve sharing personal anecdotes and experiences.
The students will have a chance to see what thoughts and experiences other members of the class may have on this topic and the activity will also provide an opportunity for a structured discussion to occur in newly formed small groups. ACELY1808
Note: First ensure that all students are familiar with the language used (for example, incentives, obscenely). These are words that they will encounter in the Waste Not documentary.
Forming inquiry groups
Once the students have completed the opinionnaire, explain that they will now be working together in small groups (groups of four will work well) to complete some key tasks. Students will regularly form groups to share, reflect on, clarify and evaluate opinions and arguments about aspects of texts studied in this unit. ACELT1627
The students can remain in the same groupings for the entire duration or the unit, or different groups can be formed to complete different tasks. Ask the students to share their responses to the opinionnaire in their newly formed inquiry groups. Students should be encouraged to stay true to their answers and to justify their opinions. After some discussion time, ask the students to focus on the statements that the group disagrees with the most. This will lead into a whole class discussion.
- Did any of the statements draw a consensus?
- Which of the statements led to more discussion or debate? Why?
The opinionnaire can be completed once again, further into this unit. Students can complete the opinionnaire from the perspective of a character in a text studied or in response to what they think a real individual might say, as a way of recognising and explaining different viewpoints. ACELT1807
Activity 2: Creating annotated bibliographies
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, films and other studied materials. Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph – the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Annotations may include some or all of the following information:
- main focus or purpose of the work
- intended audience for the work
- usefulness or relevance to your research topic (or why it did not meet your expectations)
- special features of the work that were unique or helpful
- background and credibility of the author
- conclusions or observations reached by the author
- conclusions or observations reached by you.
Introduce one of the ongoing formative assessment tasks for this unit: the creation of an Annotated bibliography worksheet. The annotated bibliographies can be used to track student research and thinking. Students can be asked to complete their annotated bibliographies individually or with a partner to aid in the shared learning of how to reference, and ways to determine the relevance and credibility of a found text. Students can be presented with an interactive worksheet to update and save as they go along.
Students will begin to search for and record interesting facts, figures and sources as part of their ongoing creation of an annotated bibliography. This bibliography will become useful when students begin to write informatively and for the completion of one of the rich assessment tasks of this unit; the writing of a feature article. Explain that authors use referenced material of credible sources as a way to add authority to a text. ACELY1732, ACELY1734
Activity 3: Waste Not documentary
Watch the short documentary film Waste Not (26 mins duration). Encourage students to take summary notes while they watch. They can use a Sum it up chart to assist with this process. If the documentary is not available, the Waste Not trailer can be viewed and/or any relevant and related visual or print text can be used here as an alternative and to stimulate discussion.
After watching the film the students can participate in an inquiry group discussion, and respond to a series of questions relating to the effectiveness of the short documentary in getting the audience to stop and think:
- Did the documentary challenge any of your views from the completed opinionnaire?
- What was interesting about the film?
- What stood out?
- Has the film had an impact on you as a listener and viewer? In what ways?
- What were the key messages in the film and how do these relate to our overall inquiry?
- Did the creators of the documentary successfully combine different modes and media in creating this film? How?
- How do you feel about the statement ‘We are obscenely wasteful’? (Not just ‘wasteful’; the commentator uses the word ‘obscenely’, arguing that the amount of waste is enormous.) What statistics and arguments were presented by this commentator to support her stance? ACELY1735
Based on their summary notes and in their inquiry groups, have the students complete an entry on the Annotated bibliography for the text just viewed. It would also be very useful to use this sample annotation as a way of discussing the following with the students: