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Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

Assessment Task: Developing a Learning Inquiry Unit


Unit title: Sustainability in School
Year level: Year 8, Footscray City College
Unit overview: In small groups, students will develop sustainability
strategies that they will then campaign to have implemented within the
school. Using the E5 Instructional model that has been endorsed for use in
Victorian schools students will go through an Inquiry process.
Engage: Students will go on an excursion to the Maribyrnong City Council
where the local sustainability office will take them though a workshop
explaining the global issue of climate change and that initiatives on
sustainability and energy efficiency at a local level can make a difference.
They will take part in a local project and be encouraged to come up with
ideas of their own.
The unit project will then be announced where students need to
come with a sustainability initiative at school that they will need to
present using ICT to a mock parliamentary committee of teachers and the
sustainability-officer where the winning entry will receive council backing
to be implemented. The entries will be judged by the following criteria, as
well as rubric which will cover their grade.
Must show benefit, backed up by evidence, to the environment.
Must be economically and practically feasible to implement.
Have the backing of a portion of the school community.
Explore: Students will research environmental initiatives undertaken in
Australia and overseas to come up with ideas. They will also research
social and political campaigns in Australia to discover what works and
what doesnt, they will be reminded that the campaigns need to
communicate to a wide range of people and be inclusive. They will also
undertake polling to get an indication of how their idea will be received.
Explain: Students will launch their campaign to the school and try to
garner support which will be included in their final presentation. Feedback
will also be given and students will have the chance to make adjustments
before the final presentation.
Elaborate: Students will present their audio-visual ICT presentation to the
mock committee.
Evaluate: The committee will announce the winner, and go into detail
explaining the decision based on the criteria. Students will also undertake
reflection on the project through writing and discussion.
Unit Rationale: This unit is nominally included within the Civics and
Citizenship domain but also incorporates English and Mathematics
curriculum,
the
following
is
sourced
from
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/ and links the inquiry unit to the
areas of the curriculum that the subject will be covering:
Civics and Citizenship: When researching, students develop a range of
questions to investigate and critically analyse information gathered from
different sources for relevance. They explain different points of view on
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Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

civics and citizenship issues. When planning for action, students take into
account
multiple
perspectives,
use
democratic
processes,
and develop solutions to an issue. Students develop and present reasoned
arguments on civics and citizenship issues using appropriate texts,
subject-specific language and concepts. They identify ways they can be
active and informed citizens in different contexts. They analyse issues
about national identity in Australia and the factors that contribute to
peoples sense of belonging.
English: Students understand how the selection of language features can
be used for particular purposes and effects. Students create texts for
different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response.
They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group
discussions, using language patterns for effect. When creating and editing
texts to create specific effects, they take into account intended purposes
and
the
needs
and
interests
of
audiences.
They demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary for effect
and use accurate spelling and punctuation.
Mathematics: They choose appropriate language to describe events and
experiments. They explain issues related to the collection of data and the
effect of outliers on means and medians in that data.
The unit also covers the following cross-curriculum priority and ICT
capability:
Sustainability: This priority can provide a context for developing students
civics and citizenship knowledge, understanding and skills. In the
knowledge and understanding strand, students have the opportunity to
explore sustainability issues as they relate to government services and
the different levels of government. They develop the understanding that
sustaining a resilient democracy depends on the informed participation of
its citizens, and develop skills and dispositions to support active
citizenship. They explore contemporary issues and develop action plans
and possible solutions to local, national and global issues which have
social, economic and environmental perspectives.
Information and communication technology capability: Civics and
Citizenship students develop the knowledge and skills to use digital
technologies to research and source information on civics and citizenship,
including critically analysing that information. Students learn about and
have opportunities to use social media to collaborate, communicate, share
information and build consensus on political, legal and social issues.
Students develop and apply ICT skills through organising and presenting
information digitally using multimodal elements.
Learning Activities:
Activity 1
Students are introduced to the unit with an excursion to the Maribyrnong
City Council located at the Footscray Town Hall. The sustainability officer
will deliver a presentation to the students outlining issues about climate
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Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

change, the environment, sustainability and what initiatives the council is


implementing or supporting that can tackle the issue at a local,
community level, with students also asked for input. There would then be
a screening of a video produced by the local Indian community that
demonstrates ways to increase energy efficiency around the home:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAr95tcmBm0
The excursion would also include a demonstration of sustainability
practices used at the Town Hall as well as environmental projects that the
council has launched. Before leaving, students will be told of a plan by the
council to support a student-led sustainability initiative at the school.
There would be a post-activity discussion about what the students have
learned and about how getting involved in the community is linked to
being a good citizen. Following this, the teacher then outlines to the
students that they will be required to split into groups, develop a strategy
to improve sustainability in the school, then present it at a mock
parliamentary committee made up of teachers and the councils
sustainability officer.
Learning outcomes:
- With prior knowledge drawn upon, students will have a greater
understanding of the environmental challenges that the world faces.
- Students will be able to identify initiatives that are being undertaken
in their own community and organise their thinking towards coming
up with new ideas.
Stage of inquiry process: Engage
Australian Curriculum links:
- How national identity can shape a sense of belonging in Australias
multicultural society (ACHCK067)
- Identify, gather and sort information and ideas from a range of
sources (ACHCS069)
- Reflect
on
their
role
as
a citizen in
Australias democracy (ACHCS074)
Formative assessment: I would evaluate the students interest and focus
during it and then during the feedback session mentioned above. I would
look for some level of participation from all students.
Activity 2
Students will look into a case study involving a community-led initiative
designed to improve sustainability. The case that will be looked at is the
town of Bundanoon which banned the sale of bottled water in 2009.
Students will research the following site:
http://www.bundyontap.com.au/
After researching the website, the students will undertake a think-pairshare using the following questions as a guide:
- What methods were used in the campaign?
- What environmental evidence was used to support the ban (include
estimates in reduction of energy expenditure)?
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Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

What was the process for having the initiative introduced as law?
What methods could be transferred across to their own
environmental initiatives?
- What other methods could be used?
In their groups students will then research other such examples in
Australia and abroad. I will also give them a list of community resources
that they will be encouraged to contact to discuss ideas for their proposed
initiative.
Community Resources:
- ResourceSmart Schools: www.sustainability.vic.gov.au
- Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies:
www.ceres.org.au
- Environment Education Victoria: www.eev.vic.edu.au
Learning outcomes:
- Students understand how citizens can participate in Australias
democracy and achieve desired outcomes.
- They show the ability to identify, gather and sort information and
ideas from a range of sources.
Stage of inquiry process: Explore
Australian Curriculum links:
- The
freedoms
that
enable
active
participation
in
Australias democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom
of
speech,
association,
assembly,
religion
and
movement (ACHCK061)
- How citizens can participate in Australias democracy, including use
of the electoral system, contact with their elected representatives,
use of lobby groups, and direct action (ACHCK062)
- How laws are made in Australia through parliaments (statutory law)
and through the courts (common law) (ACHCK063)
- Identify, gather and sort information and ideas from a range of
sources (ACHCS069)
- Critically analyse information and ideas from a range of sources in
relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS070)
- Analyse how the text structures and language features of persuasive
texts,
including media
texts,
vary
according
to
the medium and mode of communication (ACELA1543)
- Solve problems involving the use of percentages,
including percentage increases and decreases, with and without
digital technologies (ACMNA187)
Formative assessment: Ensuring all students answer questions and are
contributing to group discussions.
Activity 3
After having a lesson on the importance of polling in politics as well as
how questions can be structured to achieve desired outcomes e.g. the
Republic referendum, the class now move onto the following activity:
The different student groups must come up with a short-list of at least 4
different ideas for the environmental initiative (e.g. banning plastic water
bottles from being sold at the canteen, starting a school garden, putting
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Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

recycling bins in all classrooms, plant more trees etc.); as well as ideas for
the practical component of the campaign (e.g. social media campaign,
broadcasting a radio show at lunchtime, putting up posters around the
school, starting a petition etc.) Once they have a list, they must construct
4 questions which they will use to conduct a survey of at least 20 people
around the school. Two questions should be regarding which
environmental initiative and which campaign strategy they believe is best.
While the other two should be designed to establish school support for
environmental action (should be yes/no questions, so results can be
tabulated). Tell the students they should survey students from a range of
year-levels so it is representative of the school population.
Once the groups have completed their surveys they should compile the
results and present the findings for each question in a graph. Students are
not compelled to choose the ideas that polled the highest, but it should
be taken into account. The results of the other questions need to be
included in the final presentation and will be part of the summative
assessment.
Learning outcomes:
- Students explore the practicalities and implications of obtaining
data through sampling.
Stage of inquiry process: Explore
Australian Curriculum links:
- Investigate techniques for collecting data, including census,
sampling and observation (ACMSP284)
- Explore the practicalities and implications of obtaining data through
sampling using a variety of investigative processes (ACMSP206)
- How citizens can participate in Australias democracy, including use
of the electoral system, contact with their elected representatives,
use of lobby groups, and direct action (ACHCK062)
- Appreciate multiple perspectives and use strategies to mediate
differences (ACHCS071)
Formative assessment: Will check that data has been formulated correctly
and that the graphs are accurate. As mentioned previously the final
presentation needs to contain two graphs created from the survey results.
Activity 4
Up to this point, students will have researched different initiatives,
narrowed down their options, conducted polling and decided on both the
environmental initiative and a campaign strategy to sell it, researched
the benefits of their plan to the environment and started to draft their
final presentation.
Students must now undertake the practical component of their campaign
in order to get names onto a petition. This could be an advertisement in
the school newspaper, a poster to put up around the school, a radio show
over lunch that spruiks their initiative, a social-media campaign or
something else. The only criteria is that it should be persuasive, the text
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Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

structure is appropriate depending on the mode of communication and it


should be appealing to a wide cross-section of people (age, sex,
student/teacher, cultural background).
Once this has been completed, students will count the number of names
that can be used as part of their final presentation. There will be a
debriefing in class where the teacher will provide feedback and the rest of
the class will also provide insights into strengths, weaknesses and areas
that could be improved.
Learning outcomes:
- Students create persuasive communications using oral, visual,
digital or a combination of both.
- Students practice freedoms that enable participation in Australias
democracy while recognising the responsibility that comes with that
freedom.
Stage of inquiry process: Explain
Australian Curriculum links:
- The
freedoms
that
enable
active
participation
in
Australias democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom
of
speech,
association,
assembly,
religion
and
movement (ACHCK061)
- How national identity can shape a sense of belonging in Australias
multicultural society (ACHCK067)
- Analyse how the text structures and language features of persuasive
texts,
including media
texts,
vary
according
to
the medium and mode of communication (ACELA1543)
- Experiment with particular language features drawn from
different types of texts, including combinations of language and
visual choices to create new texts (ACELT1768)
- 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)
Formative assessment: The practical campaign element will be assessed
on the criteria mentioned above as well as its overall quality.
Activity 5
Students will give their final ICT presentation to a mock parliamentary
committee made up of Year 8 teachers and the Sustainability Officer from
the local council. In the students presentation they must provide an
outline of their initiative, research to back up their claims of
environmental benefit, the level of support from the student body (in the
form of survey results and the amount of signatures on their petition) and
the practicality of implementing it.
After all presentations the mock committee will announce the winner and
go through how they came to that decision, relating back to the criteria
and using examples from the presentations.
Learning outcomes:

Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

Ability to deliver a presentation to a specific audience, selecting and


sequencing appropriate content.
- Participating in a simulation to understand how to achieve
democratic consensus.
- Using ICT to create, edit, and publish text and visuals imaginatively.
Stage of inquiry process: Elaborate/Evaluate
Australian Curriculum links:
- 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)
- Use a range of software, including word processing programs,
to create, edit and publish texts imaginatively (ACELY1738)
- Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing
appropriate content, including multimodal elements, to reflect a
diversity of viewpoints (ACELY1731)
- Present
evidence-based civics and citizenship arguments
using
subject-specific language (ACHCS073)
- How citizens can participate in Australias democracy, including use
of the electoral system, contact with their elected representatives,
use of lobby groups, and direct action (ACHCK062)
- How laws are made in Australia through parliaments (statutory law)
and through the courts (common law) (ACHCK063)
- Use democratic processes to reach consensus on a course of action
relating to a civics or citizenship issue and plan for that
action(ACHCS072)
Summative assessment: This presentation will serve as the major piece of
summative assessment for the unit. Please find the rubric in at the end of
unit guide below.
Activity 6
The class after the presentations will be a session where students are
encouraged to reflect on the exercise. Students will write a short piece of
journal-type writing detailing their experiences undertaking the project
including what they thought went well, areas that could be improved and
what knowledge and skills that they have gained from the process. They
will also be asked to how issues such as sustainability can be used to
overcome difference amongst segments of society. After some individual
writing, we will come together as a class and discuss everyones answers,
as well as identify reasons that certain campaigns were successful while
others werent.
Learning outcomes:
- To develop students ability to reflect critically on their own work in
order to develop crucial insights that can provide benefits for future
endeavours.
- To adapt writing skills for a particular purpose in this case first
person reflective writing.

Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

To recognise that people often have a lot in common despite what


differences may exist.
Stage of inquiry process: Evaluate
Australian Curriculum links:
- Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language
features of other texts for particular purposes and
effects (ACELT1632)
- Different perspectives about Australias national identity, including
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, and what it means
to be Australian (ACHCK066)
- How national identity can shape a sense of belonging in Australias
multicultural society (ACHCK067)
- Reflect
on
their
role
as
a citizen in
Australias democracy (ACHCS074)
Formative assessment: Evaluate both the quality of writing and the
amount of insights the students are able to achieve.

YEAR 8: Civics and citizenship Unit School


Sustainability Rubric
Area
Awareness of the freedoms that
enable active participation in
Australias democracy.
Understands the role and
effectiveness of social and
political movements in Australia.

0-1 points
Little or no understanding of
the role that citizens can play in
achieving desired change in
Australia.

2-4 points
Some understanding of the
roles but there is some
confusion in how to achieve it.

5-7 points
Uses examples to
communicate awareness
they know the role of citiz
Australias democracy an
they have researched it.

Questioning and research


Identify, gather and sort
information and ideas from a
range of sources.

No use of credible sources.

Little use of credible sources.


(1-2)

Good use of credible sou


(2-3 used)

Rowan McCloskey s4526447

Teaching Middle Years 2

Problem solving and decision


making
Develop a plan of action that
incorporates a consultation
process to ensure a range of
views are heard and people are
provided with opportunities to
respond
Communication and reflection
Raising awareness of different
perspectives.

No clear planning or
consideration of strategies to
implement sustainability
initiatives.

Some planning and


consideration of strategies has
gone into implementing
sustainability initiatives.

Good planning and


consideration of strategie
gone into implementing
sustainability initiatives.
Thought has been given
potential barriers to that p

No awareness of different
perspectives on the
environmental issue.

Some awareness of different


perspectives on the
environmental issue.

Using digital technologies and


graphic displays for a specific
audience, purpose and context

Awareness of different
perspectives on the
environmental issue show
with examples given.

Limited or no use of digital


technology to present to the
audience.

Basic use of digital technology


in the presentation.

Good use of digital techn


and graphic displays use
the presentation.