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Foundation - 2

Sustainability: A Journey Towards Saving Our Planet!




- Charlotte Wearne

9 weeks

- Madalyn Mckirdy

- Brearne Ozella




Why should we care for
the environment?

- Exploration of the dimensions of the environment using all senses.

- Children are introduced into the concept of caring for the


Can we make a
difference in our school
looking after the

- Children begin to develop a sense of belonging to the school

What could we do?
- Children communicate with peers, teachers, known adults, and
students from other classes about the environment.
Will this help? Why?
Year 1

- Understand that nature provides us with an abundance of resources

on earth for a variety of purposes. These resources exist in limited
amounts and in other words they will not last forever.

Year 1
What is sustainability
and why is it important?

- Children are able to make observations and record information,

ideas and feelings about the sustainability.
- Children begin to think critically and creatively about environmental
challenges and opportunities in particular with water and waste
- Children demonstrate awareness of the impact of people on the
environment and the idea of building strong communities.

How does waste affect


What can we do?

- Demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively and in partnership with


Who is responsible?

Year 2

Where does water come

from why do we need it?

- Students realise that their actions and choices make an impact

both positively and negatively on the Earth.

- Students learn to change the way they perform daily tasks in

order to become sustainable individuals.

- How the use of resources affect economic sustainability.

How can you make a


- How we can use local resources to make sustainable


Year 2

- How can we change

our daily actions to
become Earth friendly or

- How can we make or

grow our own resources
at our school or in our
own backyards?


Sustainability, Environment, Earth, Waste, Water, Recycling,

Community, Resources, Behavior, Change, Conservation,
Consumption, Environment, Energy, Preservation, Ecosystems,
Pollution, Reduce, Re-think, Recycle, Reuse.

Thinking Skills


Personal Learning



- Develop questions for

- Determine their
interests and

- Students listen, view

and respond.

- Students are able to

summarise and organise
their ideas and
information, logically and
clearly in a range of
- Students will draw
conclusions about what
they have learnt.

- Students are able to

work in groups
collaboratively and
contribute in


- Students respond to
feedback to help
develop their
understandings and
content knowledge.

- Students can
work in teams
effectively taking
on a variety of

- Students challenge
their knowledge beliefs
and values.
- Students present and
communicate their
understandings using a
range of presentation
- Students make more
informed choices and
develop the belief that
they are actively
responsible participants
in society.

- Can offer
feedback and
evaluate their own

- Make connections
between experiences
and the real world.

- Students use
reflective thinking to
evaluating their

- Students will
demonstrate their
creative thinking


Information Resources

CERES Community Environment Park. (2012). Retrieved May 5th, 2012, from

Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative. (2011). Biodiversity. Retrieved May 2nd, 2012,

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss

What Does It Mean To Be Green? By Rana DiOrio

Green Thumbs by Laurie M. Carlson

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. [VCAA]. (2013). Domains. Retrieved on

October 8 , 2013 from

Material Resources


Tub of live worms - from Bunnings (Approx cost is $48.98)

Wood to barricade vegetable garden

Poster paper

Garden tools: Shovel and Spades

Ipads/ computers/ camera

Range of collected recyclable materials.

Promise Song available from


Lesson 1:
Read the Story What Does It Mean To Be Green? By Rana DiOrio
(This colourful, insightful story demystifies for children what it means to be green by helping them
to view everyday tasks through an environmentally friendly lens. The book empowers children to

do whatever they can to protect the earths precious resources).

Activity 1: Class discussion: What is Sustainability?

As a whole group on the floor, guided by the teacher, students reflect on the story and
brainstorm childrens ideas on what it means to be green and ideas on sustainability.

Activity 2:

Students develop a class table stating what they currently know about sustainability. They work in
pairs to come up with one important thing they know that they then add to the table. This table
will be built upon over the unit.
Lesson 2:
Activity 1: Sing the song Promise Song

By this lesson, students will be becoming familiar with the vocabulary used to describe and
explain sustainability concepts. These concepts are outlined in the lyrics of the song Promise
Song, with the use of the words, love the land, the air, the water and all living creatures and I
will be a defender of my planet and I will save the Earth.
Students are invited to sing the song as a class for a fun and harmonious tuning in lesson to this
Sustainability unit.

Activity 2: Made a Pledge

Students will be asked to work together to create a pledge that declares their commitment to the
classes journey to sustainability. As a result of this, they will be provided with an opportunity to
take ownership over their learning throughout the unit. These pledges will be signed and
displayed in the classroom. Students will begin to help create a class journey board that will be
constructed and added to throughout the duration of the unit.

Relates to AusVELS Domains:

Interpersonal development. Students learn to recognise that their actions have consequences for both themselves and
others in social contexts. (AusVELS, 2013).
Civics and Citizenship: Students begin to participate in a range of class and school activities such as recycling, taking
responsibility for class resources. and students investigate the ways individuals, families, groups and communities can work to
improve their environment. (AusVELS, 2013).

Lesson 3:
Activity 1: Excursion to CERES
Students will engage with their local communities to develop their knowledge on what people are
currently doing to be more sustainable citizens. Students will be encouraged to attend an
excursion to Ceres Community Environment Park (CERES). CERES is an environment park that
has realized this issue and imbalance and the need for society to change their consumption,
production and behavioral attitudes. It expresss to all that by changing the way we manage
energy, water, waste and biodiversity, we can head towards becoming a sustainable earth.
CERES directs its focus on many of the areas crucial to this and provides education and training.
This training then encourages people to be learners and critical thinkers with the skills necessary
to create a sustainable society, as well as motivating them to be active participants in the
transformation process as a whole community.

Students will participate in;

( day program - 3 programs; refer to Appendix A)

(all suitable for prep-2)

The water keepers program


The recyclers program


The plants and food program



The students will also get to explore and gain an understanding of a great example of what their
local community is doing to live more sustainably. Students can decide what information or
questions they would like to find out about and work on gathering and finding that information.

Activity 2: Recap
The teacher will facilitate a group discussion on the excursion to CERES. Students will be asked
to participate in a circle discussion on some interesting things they remember and have learnt
during their time at the park. During the circle discussion all children will have an opportunity to
participate and build upon one another's ideas. The teacher will provide a small globe to the
circle and only the child in possession of that globe will be given the opportunity to speak then
pass it on.The teacher annotate observations and build a class mindmap for students to look at
and follow.




How can we: Take students beyond what they already

know? Challenge their ideas, beliefs and attitudes? Enable
them to use skills and knowledge to collect new
information? Provide a range of experiences to develop
our understandings?

How will students sort out,

organise, represent and present
what they have found out? Ho
can they communicate and
express what they know? How
will they use preferred ways to
demonstrate their knowledge,
skills and values?


Lesson 6 : WATER

ACTIVITY 1- Discussion

Read the story - One Well: The

Story of Water on Earth by
Rochelle Strauss

A discussion will be held about vegetable gardens.

Discussion questions will be focused on what can be
planted in a vegetable garden? What are the benefits of
planting our own vegetable gardens? What does a
vegetable garden need to stay alive? Why is it important to
have compost for a vegetable garden? And who has a
vegetable garden at home?
Read the story - Green Thumbs by Laurie M. Carlson

ACTIVITY 1: Walk Around The

Teacher takes the class for a walk
around the school and students
have to note down (on a
clipboard) the things the school
uses water for.

This story teaches young children how to make things grow

with fun activities that require available materials.
After reading the story children will turn to a partner to
discuss what they learnt then share what they learnt about
growing seeds with the class.
ACTIVITY 2- Planting Our Own Vegetable Garden
As a class, students are reflect on the story Green Thumbs
as well as their trip to CERES (from lesson 3 of tuning in) to
come up with all the things they need to build their own
vegetable garden at school. The educator is to record all of
the ideas onto a large piece of butcher paper. Students are
to discuss how they could collect the items they come up

(Drinking taps, water tanks,

flushing the toilets, bathroom taps,
washing paintbrushes, outdoor
taps, watering the garden, kitchen
dishwasher, kitchen taps for
washing dishes, bathroom
ACTIVITY 2 - Discussion and
The class comes back to the
classroom and sits on the floor.
Students share their ideas to each
other by one student at a time
stating a particular water use to
the teacher. The teacher records

with. This could be for example: soil, compost, shovels,

rakes, wood to border in the compost bin and worms.
Once the items are collected, students are to create their
very own vegetable garden like the vegetable garden in the
book Green Thumbs. Students saw how a worm farm was
made and the benefits of it from their visit to CERES so they
are too add worms into the vegetable garden. (Tub of worms
can be purchased from Bunnings)
Students are to each plant a seed. These seeds could vary
and include vegetables such as tomatoes, beans and
Students are to take photos of their vegetables growing
each time they see a change and display the pictures on the
journey board in the classroom.


the list on the whiteboard.

Teacher raises the question, what
can we do about conserving the
water we use in this school?
Once all the possible school water
uses are listed, the teacher
allocates one water use to a pair.
The pair then has to create a
small poster to display at that
given area, regarding water
conservation. E.g. A sign saying,
wasting water is a turn-off! with a
relevant drawing, at all the
bathroom taps in the school. This
gives the children the opportunity
to communicate and express what
they know about water
conservation to other members of
the school, and also to create
awareness about the importance
of conserving water.

The reflection session for this investigation will involve

discussing vital questions about how we must now put what
we have learnt towards keeping our vegetable garden alive.


Questions will include:


- What actions do we now need to take to ensure our

vegetable garden survives?

- How is our vegetable garden sustainable?

For the closure period of this

lesson, students come down to
the floor to show the rest of the
class their designed

- How can we collect water for our vegetable garden?

- Predict how long will it be until the vegetables are grown

and ready to eat?

- What could we do with the vegetables once they are ready

to eat?

Focus questions:
- Why did you choose this certain
area of water use, to base your
sign on?

- Why do you think its a good

idea that we do this?

- Do you think this

poster/sign/sticker will change
how people use water? Why?

- Why did you choose to do a


Lesson 5: WASTE

Lesson 7 : COMMUNITY

Activity 1: The 4Rs (Rethink, Reduce, Recycle and


Build your own small community

The students will watch the two following short film clip on

Activity 1: Community walk


How to sort and classify waste

Video: (what a school is doing to reduce waste)

Students will undertake a small

walk around their school and local
community. Teachers can either
ask students to make written
notes of things they notice or keep
in mind the things they observe in
particular reference to the
Some students may be asked to
draw pictures or take photos of
significant things they see.

( Title: Change the world in 5 minutes)

The Class will recap looking at their mind map created in
tuning in lesson 3 on the CERES excursion (in particular
waste sorting and the 4 Rs) and add any more important
points they can think of from the clips shown.
The class will split into 4 table groups one dedicated to each
of the four Rs. Each table is to prepare a poster

After the nature walk the teacher

will ask the students to identify the
things they have observed or seen
and share their images or

demonstrating images or words that can help assist the rest

of the school think and become more aware of these words.
The groups will also be able to access ICT resources to
further research their topic.

Students will then be told they are

going to begin to create their own
sustainable and environmentally
friendly small school community.

Activity 2: Pick your Activity.

After the completion of their group posters they are to work
together to take on one of the following tasks depending on
ability levels.

A short drama performance representing one of the

4RS to their peers.

Be involved in a waste sort demonstration to the

class. Separating the different materials provided.

Becoming re-inventors. Where children use recycled

materials to re-invent something new and more

In groups students will begin

brainstorming and drafting a list of
items they will need in their school
community. This may include
sketches or annotated examples.

Activity 2: Construction

Using a range of collected

recycles resources (boxes/ paper/
cardboard etc.)

Create a short movie or advertisement about waste in

our environment using Ipad or other available ICT.

Create a set of class rules to minimise waste in the PStudents will be prompted to use
2 Classroom or your home.
the plans they had made to create
the community they had designed.


The reflection for this lesson will consist of the groups

sharing their posters and chosen activity with their peers
and receiving or providing feedback to one another. Ideally
this gives students the opportunity to watch the ideas that
other groups have come up with and deepen their
understanding of the topic. The teacher will prompt students
to discuss some of the new things they had discovered and
how they worked as a team.

Students will be asked to delegate

roles and take on tasks working
as a cohesive team.

Students may then take pictures

and enter them onto a wiki space
or blog and add them to the
journey wall in the classroom.

Focus Questions
- What do we now know about waste?

Students will evaluate and

demonstrate their journey of
planning to implementation of their

- What will happen if we continue to waste?

community. They will share with

their peers the ideal features and
- Can someone share 3 ways to reduce waste they might tell strengths of their community and
justify why they believe it is
their family at home?
sustainable and environmentally
ACELA1443, ACELT1586, ACHHS022
friendly. Students will also be
encouraged to share how they
delegated the roles and the
student responsible for different
parts will be able to share.

Students will be encouraged to

share their creations at assembly
or with their parents/ family
members on the class wiki space
or blog.


References to curriculum
AusVELS- Arts & civics and

- They begin to develop a sense

of belonging to the school
community (AusVELS, 2013)
- They are introduced to the idea
of the classroom being a
community and they learn about
respect and concern for others
and being fair. (AusVELS, 2013)


How can we extend and broaden the unit? What other perspectives or dimensions can we
explore? What are the ways which students can negotiate their own personal inquiries?

Lesson 8:

As a whole class, children will commence the lesson on the floor, ready to hear about the task
thats is going to follow. The teacher outlines what is expected of them during the class
(explanation of what to do) and clarifies that they will have the whole lesson to work on it, so they
get it completed by the end.


Individually, students choose a component of sustainability; energy, water, recycling,
preservation, consumption, transport/fossil fuels/alternative energy, waste, ecosystems, food,
pollution, (which ever one they feel confident with) to produce a creative A3 poster on the
importance of their issue/topic. Accordingly with ability and developmental stages, posters can
range from including pictures from magazines, drawings, facts, figures, persuasive writing, etc.
Students will explore different types of sustainability elements, to produce a big display in the
classroom of childrens learning and inquiries on the sustainability unit.
Having a scientific lesson investigating the importance of sustainability encourages children to
conserve resources and promotes environmental friendliness and preservation practices in the
school and local environments.


For the reflection section of this lesson, students will come down to the floor and sit in a circle.
The teacher will guide and facilitate this part and go around the circle asking students to show
their posters and explain what they did during the lesson.
Focus questions:
- What sustainability component did you choose? Why?
- What has been the most interesting thing youve learnt from the investigation?
- Do you think if people were to look at this poster, their views may change? Why?
- Why did you include this particular piece of information/fact/figure/image/drawing on your

Lesson 9:


The concluding lesson for this inquiry lesson based on: Sustainability: A Journey towards saving
our planet, will involve students reflecting on the class display they created in lesson 1 and added
too as the unit went on. Students will discuss important factors they learnt from this unit.
Each student is to come up with a promise of one thing they will now do (as a reflection of what
they have learnt) to help save our planet. Students are to choose a topic to base their promise on
and write it down, accompany it with an illustration and place it next to the pledge they committed
too at the start of the lesson.
An example of this might be:

In an effort to save our beautiful planet that we call home,

I (insert name here) promise to endeavour to save water by
always keeping my shower times below four minutes from now on.
Other saving water promises could be:

In an effort to save our beautiful planet that we call home,

I (insert name here) promise to endeavour to save water by
catching the water I wash my dishes with in a bucket in the sink that I can later water my plants

While the class is sitting on the floor, students will each be invited up to the class sustainability
display to show the class what they contributed to the wall during this unit. Students will be asked
to make comments on the unit as to how it changed their thinking and the way they now rethink,
reduce, recycle and reuse to become sustainable individuals.

AS and OF learning)


Lesson 1


Teacher roams around each working

group asking questions to assist
children in thinking about certain
sustainability aspects.


Understanding of different
components of sustainability in
order to support further
development of the unit.
Building of vocabulary.

Can you think of something the

school may do that is being green?

Do you think this is one of the

biggest issues?

Lesson 2

An observation will take place as to

how well students have decided on
their pledges and how effectively
they have started to grasp the
concept of sustainability, as well as
by realising that their own individual
actions can make a positive or
negative difference.

To observe whether students

realise their actions can make a
difference towards saving our

Lesson 3



Teacher will observe students

participation in excursion to ceres.

Teacher will observe if children

are becoming active participants
in their learning during the
excursion and share time eg.
pose questions.

They will also observe all students

ability to share and communicate
their new understandings during the
class recap.

Note whether all children get

involved and gain a sense of
ownership and responsibility for
their learning.

Are students able to gather, sort

and decide on what information is
important/ relevant and what is

Are students able to observe and

then share their knowledge with
others and process information
from one context to another
(CERES to classroom).

Lesson 4

Anecdotal notes will be recorded by

the educator as to how well the
students understood the materials
and nurturing needed to ensure they
could grow their own vegetable

To decipher whether the students

have understood what is needed
for a vegetable garden as well as
how they have implemented their
knowledge from CRERS into the
real life task of building their own
vegetable garden.

Notes will also be taken in regards to

what the students are expressing in
regards to what this lesson taught
the students about sustainability and
how have the students implemented
their knowledge from CERES
(mainly in regards to worm farms) to
grow their own vegetable garden.

Lesson 5

The teacher will collect the samples

of students posters.

Ideally this assessment will show

a variety of visual representations
and written/ spoken information.
This will demonstrate the
students ability to show their
Teacher will observe and make notes understanding of the content, can
gather information and work
of students ability to work in groups
together to complete a creative
collaboratively and their ability to
group presentation.
provide feedback to their peers.

The teacher will also record the

students chosen activity or
presentation. This footage will then
be available for the teacher to
assess and create extensive notes.

Students should also be able to

provide and receive feedback
from their peers in order to
improve and extend upon their

This will also assess the students

ability to use a range of
communication forms (oral,
graphic, written, role play, ICT)

Lesson 6

Teacher directly observes childrens

behaviour and focus on school tour,
ensuring that students are taking
note of water uses, as they go.

Understanding of different
components of sustainability in
relation to water conservation.
This lesson aims for children to

Back in the classroom the teacher

roams around the class, assisting
children with ideas for their

What area do you think people will

need to see your sign? Why?

further develop their knowledge

on conservation by
giving them the opportunity to
communicate and express what
they know to other members of
the school, and also to create
awareness about the importance
of conserving water.

Why are we doing this lesson?

Do you think it will make a

difference? How?

The teacher also takes photos of

produced work once displayed at
allocated area. These photographs
will be used for a written piece of
work when they explain what they
did during the lesson.

Lesson 7

The teacher will take anecdotal

notes during the process of
developing a reflection period. This
will enable the teacher to observe
the students ability to investigate
their ideas, take on roles, draft
products, provide feedback

Lesson 8

Posters will be collected for teacher

to take anecdotal notes on how well
the students grasped the task.

Have they provided accurate


Having a scientific lesson

investigating the importance of
sustainability encourages
children to conserve resources
and promotes environmental
friendliness and preservation
practices in the school and local

Did they use relevant and

appropriate images/drawings?

Lesson 9

To observe how well students can

reflect upon the unit as well as how
have they formed their pledges as a
reflection of how well they
understand the unit and how they
have changed their actions to
become sustainable individuals.

- To reflect upon the unit,

realising what students have
learnt and how they have
changed their actions to become
more sustainable.
- To understand that sentences
can have meaning and that their
sentences (pledges) are a
promise that they pledge to keep
in order to make the world a
better place.


We are very pleased with the results if the inquiry unit we created. The students showed a
positive response to the activities and it was satisfying to see all students become involved as
active members of the school community, working in the direction of creating their class journey
towards sustainability.
There were some opportunities regarding where students could present their work, allowing them
to be creative and take ownership of their learning.
Something that we would change for next time would be to include more individual work as this
unit is very communal based, therefore those who benefit from individual work were not catered
for very well in this unit.
The students gained a great enjoyment with the use of a range of resources in particular the use
of ict, the camera and blogging to share knowledge and information with those out of the school
community such as families and caregivers. This resulted in positive feedback from parents as
they really involved becoming part of their childrens learning.

Cohort Description

The unit Sustainability: A Journey Towards Saving Our Planet! has been designed for VELS level
K-2 students. It has been tailored for a class consisting of approximately 24 students within a co-ed
school. The school is situated in the inner city suburb of northcote with a composition of
approximately 65% boys to 35% females. There are 5 EAL students and families from Vietnam,
India and Greece. These students often face difficulties when reading and writing in english
language and communicating their ideas effectively in big groups. these students also show little
understanding of their local community and sometimes find difficulty starting interactions
confidently with their peers. The following Inquiry unit aims to help foster and develop these skills
with the assistance of their peers and build a sense of identity and belonging as a classroom
community. The students are particularly good at problem solving and often come up with unique
and original ideas. Most of the class are hands on kinesthetic learners that enjoy being outdoors
both working in groups and individual investigation. The students have particular strengths and
interests in the use of ICT and often blog on their classes pages.

Throughout the unit students will be working both independently, as a class and as a school
community to research and develop knowledge on sustainability and explore the importance of
living sustainably in particular reference to waste and water. Students will participate in and be
encouraged to be involved in a number of activities using a range of resources to cover the
dynamic range of abilities within the classroom. Students will use the knowledge they have gained
to improve their own community and undertake a journey to sustainability and become more
responsible citizens.

Meeting Minutes

1. Tuesday 8th October:

All members of group present for 2 hours (10am-12pm) [No absences]
- Brainstorming ideas for a unit theme, in which we ended up choosing Sustainability.
- Allocated specific lessons to each group member.

2. Tuesday 15th October:

All members of group present for 3 hours (10am-1pm) [No absences]
- Worked collaboratively to construct and create activities for some of the lessons.

- Chose some relevant literature to include in the lessons (books/youtube video).

- We set up a google document so we could each access the the unit planner from home.

3. Tuesday 22nd October:

All members of group present for 2 hours (10am-12pm) [No absences]
- Put all the work together as a group.
- Proof-read each others work.
- Wrote up our individual contributions.

Group Contribution Declaration

Charlotte Wearne

In planning for this unit of work, we worked collaboratively as a group to produce a creative unit on
sustainability for the early primary years, Prep/Foundation to Year 2. Individually, we each had specific
parts to work on and create ourselves. I was in charge of creating the lessons; Tuning in 1, Finding Out
6 and Sorting Out 8 as well as being in charge of the times we met up and recording who was there,
how long the meetings went for and to note down any absences. Individually, we also covered our
allocated year levels (mine being Foundation), key understandings for the whole unit, and assessment
strategies for our lessons.

Madalyn Mckirdy
As a group we have worked collaboratively to create an engaging and interesting inquiry unit. As a
group we were all involved in designing a topic, brainstorming important areas to cover, some
interesting tasks and creating the key understandings for our year level (mine is grade 1). Individually I
wrote Tuning in lesson 3, Finding out lesson 5 and sorting out lesson 7 and discussed appropriate
assessment strategies for these tasks. I also composed the thinking skills, communication skills,
personal learning and interpersonal development skills.

Brearne Ozella

Together our group worked in partnership to come up with the topic of Sustainability: A Journey
Towards Saving Our Planet! From that idea, we came up with concepts of what we wanted to cover
within the unit. This is where I started to construct the mind map.
We then went away and researched and created our activities before coming together again and
tweaking our activities with advice from each other. We opted to use an online live Google Document
so that we could work on our unit planner whenever we thought of ideas from the comfort of our own
As we were all adding to the same document, everyone could see what each person was doing and
this was great to enable to provide feedback to each other as to how we felt we were covering the unit
regarding our initial ideas.
I had a primary focus on creating the tuning in lesson two, finding out lesson four, going further lesson
nine as well as the construction and completion of the mind map.