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Teaching and Learning Units – an overview

The units are your online curriculum resources for K-10 classes. The units offer a range of ideas and activities for the early, primary, and middle years of schooling, and enable students to achieve outcomes set out in State and Territory curriculum frameworks.

The units have been developed to assist students to:

  • develop and appreciation of climate change and its impact on marine and coastal environments;
  • develop an appreciation of the greenhouse gases and carbon pollution that are emitted to the environment in Australia ;
  • understand the interrelationship between the emissions and the marine and coastal environment and our society;
  • adopt sustainable lifestyles; and take action for the marine and coastal environment.

The units are designed to be integrated into key learning areas in the Curriculum of Australian Schools. By using them in the context of Studies of Society and Environment, Science, Literacy, Numeracy, Technology and the Arts, greater understanding and appreciation of the greenhouse gases and carbon pollution emitted to the environment can be achieved.


The units use inquiry learning as the basis for unit organisation and implementation. Each unit begins by ascertaining students' own experiences and understandings about the topic. A series of investigative activities is then suggested to enable students to gather new ideas and information. Then a range of activities are outlined to help students to sort out and make sense of this new information. In the latter stages of each unit, activities are suggested to help students reflect on, generalise and analyse their new understandings and to put them into action in some way.

The units can be used in a number of ways. There is much choice in each of the 7 inquiry stages and teachers can select, adapt add to or modify these.

This model uses seven stages to assist students with a teacher's guidance, to become motivated to investigate an issue, make connections with other material and then to take action.

The units in this resource are all based on the inquiry model, and it is used as a basis for organising the following stages of inquiry.


Tuning In

These activities:

  • Provide students with opportunities to become engaged with the topic;
  • Ascertain students' initial curiosity about the topic; and
  • Allow students to express their personal experience of the topic.

Preparing To Find Out

These activities:

  • Establish what students already know about the topic;
  • Provide students with a focus for the forthcoming experience; and
  • Help in the planning of further experiences and activities.

Finding Out

These activities:

  • Further stimulate the student's curiosity;
  • Provide new information, which may answer some of the students' earlier questions;
  • Raise other questions for students to explore in the future;
  • Challenge the students' knowledge, beliefs and values; and
  • Help students to make sense of further activities and experiences which have been planned for them.

Sorting Out

These activities:

  • Provide students with concrete means for sorting out and representing information and ideas arising from the 'finding out' stage;
  • Provide students with the opportunity to process the information they have gathered and present this in a number of ways; and
  • Allow for a diverse range of outcomes.

Going Further

These activities:

  • Extend and challenge students' understanding about the topic; and
  • Provide more information in order to broaden the range of understandings available to the students.

Making Connections

These activities:

  • Help students draw conclusions about what they have learnt; and
  • Provide opportunities for reflection both on what has been learnt and on the learning process itself.

Taking Action

These activities:

  • Assist students to make links between their understanding and their experience in the real world;
  • Enable students to make choices and develop the belief that they can be effective participants in society; and
  • Provide further insight into students' understandings for future unit planning.

Unit Overview

Unit 1

Title: ‘Understanding Climate Change

In Unit 1 students:

  • Use the outdoors and direct experiences to investigate sources of carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change;
  • Use websites to develop knowledge about the sources of carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change;
  • Identify interactions that take place between air and themselves at home and at school;
  • Use critical and creative thinking techniques (e.g. De Bono's Six Hat Thinking) to clarify a range of perspectives about climate change;
  • Explore environmentally friendly actions they can initiate at home and school to reduce greenhouse gases and carbon pollution emitted to the environment

See Unit 1      

Unit 2

Title: ‘Explore the Effects of Climate Change on Australia Marine and Coastal Environment'.

In Unit 2 students:

  • Investigate greenhouse gases and carbon pollution emitted to that affect marine and coastal environments;
  • Explore different types of emission sources;
  • Explore emissions from their schools, homes and community buildings and their impacts on human health and the environment;
  • Learn about schools involved in the carbon Sink Schools program and their approaches to becoming sustainable;
  • Choose a local issue associated with living more sustainably and reducing emissions that can affect marine and coastal environments;
  • Take action at school and home to live more sustainably.

See Unit 2      

Unit 3

Title: ‘Exploring Preferred Futures for Marine and Coastal Environments'.

In Unit 3 students:

  • Use futures perspectives and explore issues that include the emission of cabon pollution and greenhouse gases to the environment;
  • Identify and envision alternative futures that are more sustainable;
  • Use critical and creative thinking skills to explore a range of futures; and
  • Participate in a range of decision-making activities, and engage in active and responsible citizenship in the local and global community, on behalf of present and future generations.

See Unit 3      





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