In this lesson, students will investigate the measurement of CO2 as outputs per individual and household, in terms of kilograms of CO2 per annum. They will examine the carbon footprint of average Australians in comparison to the world average and to countries such as Bangladesh, as featured in a clip from 2040.
- understand about densities and masses of solids, liquids and gases
- learn how CO2 output by humans can be measured in kilograms produced ‘per annum’
- learn that human CO2 outputs can be reduced either through consuming less CO2 or by absorbing or ‘drawing down’ CO2 from the atmosphere
- develop teamwork skills as they calculate household CO2 footprints using addition, subtraction and multiplication of large numbers
- realise that they can make a difference to global carbon dioxide levels by acting locally and encouraging others to do the same
- explain in simple terms why liquids, solids and gases have different densities
- convert kilograms of CO2 into a given approximate volume at room temperature, using multiplication
- use provided data and successfully use addition, subtraction and multiplication to calculate and solve aggregate amounts of CO2 for individuals, neighbourhoods and societies
- express examples of local and household actions that can be taken to reduce their own individual carbon footprint and those of their families
Lesson guides and printables
- Unit of work: 2040 – Mathematics – Years 5 & 6
- Time required: 65 mins
- Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Direct teacher instruction required in the warm-up and in Part B (explicit instruction), and scaffolding and guidance is needed to explain the activity for Part C (group work and problem-solving)
To view our Australian Curriculum alignment, click here.
To view our NZ Curriculum alignment, click here.
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student
- A device capable of presenting a video to the class
- 1 plastic or glass 1 litre jug – with measurement markings
- 1 litre of water in a separate container
- 1 small packet of rigatoni or penne pasta shells (uncooked)
- 1 litre bag or container of small pebbles or stones or sand
- Small measuring scales capable of being set to zero (e.g. nutrition scales)
- Whiteboard and markers
- CO2 Saver Choice Cards & Facts’ – 1 per 2 or 3 students of page 1 and 1 copy of page 2 only
- ‘Our CO2 Saver Household’ Worksheet – 1 per 2 or 3 students
- Access to the ‘Household CO2 Calculator‘
- Summary slides – optional
- Sustainability Factsheet – optional
2040 is an innovative feature documentary that looks to the future, but is vitally important NOW! Director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream.
In Australia: Order the Schools Version of the 2040 DVD. The Schools Version includes an educational license and is for Australian primary and secondary schools that wish to utilise the film as a learning tool or host free on-site screenings for the school community.
In New Zealand: Order the Schools Version of the 2040 DVD. The Schools Version includes an educational license and is for New Zealand primary and secondary schools that wish to utilise the film as a learning tool or host free on-site screenings for the school community.
If you are teaching in either New Zealand or Australia, you can now organise a virtual screening of the film for your class. To enquire about this option, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and the 2040 team will help you set this up! If you have already bought a DVD of the film and you have a ClickView account, you can email the team for permission to upload the film to your account to make it more easily accessible for your teachers and students.
Cool.org, GoodThing Productions and Regen Pictures would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of Good Pitch Australia, Shark Island Institute, Documentary Australia Foundation, The Caledonia Foundation and our philanthropic partners in the development of these teaching resources.