Blueback - What are Marine Protected Areas?

Blueback - What are Marine Protected Areas?

Lesson 9 of 14 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 5
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Geography
  • Environmental
  • Oceans
  • Sustainability
  • Water
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students are introduced to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and explore the MPAtlas to better understand how countries protect marine environments. They analyse the way MPAs are classified to understand the varying levels of protection they offer.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • explore the MPAtlas by country so to collect information and data about marine protected areas
  • understand what effective protection and management of marine environs involves.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • recall where some Marine Protected Areas have been set up around the world
  • interpret data and explain their findings from MPAtlas
  • evaluate the efficacy of Marine Protected Areas by interpreting data from their research.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions:


Students learn to:

  • locate, collect and organise information and data from primary and secondary sources  in a range of formats (AC9HS5S02)
  • evaluate information and data in a range of formats to identify and describe patterns and trends, or to infer relationships (AC9HS5S03)
  • the influence of people, including First Nations Australians and people in other countries, on the characteristics of a place (AC9HS5K04)

General capabilities: Literacy, Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability

Syllabus outcomes: GE3-4GE3-2

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 5 achievement standards:
Students identify and describe different possible responses to a geographical challenge. They locate, collect and organise data and information from a range of sources to answer inquiry questions. They describe the location of places and their characteristics using compass direction and distance. Students interpret maps, geographical data and other information to identify and describe spatial distributions, simple patterns and trends, and suggest conclusions.

Resources required

  • Access to the film _Blueback  _
  • Access to MPA Atlas
  • Device capable of presenting video, audio, text and images to the class 
  • Individual devices with access to the Internet (one per student) 
  • Students’ vocabulary banks
  • Student Worksheet – one copy per student


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Digital literacy
  • Ethical understanding
  • Global citizenship

Additional info

Level of teacher scaffolding: High: The concepts covered in this lesson may be complex, sophisticated and/or refer to specific and technical knowledge. Teachers should read this resource and its associated materials well in advance of delivering the lesson. There will be concepts covered that require further reading or extra preparation. Some of the activities may need careful planning in context to teachers’ classrooms. This lesson requires students to navigate MPAtlas which teachers need to familiarise themselves with before using with students.

Minderoo Foundation is proud to be the education partner for the film adaption of Tim Winton’s best-selling book, Blueback.

Related professional learning

Teach the Big Picture of Sustainability

Quick summary: Open your students’ minds to how different systems – environmental, social and economic – are connected.

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