This Changes Everything includes a book by Naomi Klein and film by Avi Lewis. The texts join the dots between climate change, economic systems and the power of community action. In this lesson students examine a case study in which an entrepreneur creates a decentralised renewable energy company to provide both economic and environmental benefits to the community. They analyse strategies for reinventing the economy based on impact, benefits, fairness and potential barriers, and work in groups to create a two-minute video that could be used to educate the public about these strategies to reinvent the
- understand that there are alternative economic models that consider both human and environmental needs.
- understand how these alternatives can be applied to their local community.
- recognise that non-economic factors can influence economic decision making.
Lesson guides and printables
Australian curriculum content descriptions:
Year 9 Geography:
- The effects of the production and consumption of goods on places and environments throughout the world and including a country from North-East Asia (ACHGK068)
Year 9 Economics and Business:
- Why and how people manage financial risks and rewards in the current Australian and global financial landscape (ACHEK040)
Year 9 English:
- Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)
Year 10 Geography:
- Human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
Year 10 Economics and Business:
- The ways businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity through organisational management and workforce management (ACHEK054)
Year 10 English:
- Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)
- Use a range of software, including word processing programs, confidently, flexibly and imaginatively to create, edit and publish texts, considering the identified purpose and the characteristics of the user (ACELY1776)
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.6, OI.8.
Relevant parts of Year 9 Geography achievement standards: Students predict changes in the characteristics of places over time and identify the possible implications of change for the future.
Relevant parts of Year 9 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students explain the importance of managing financial risks and rewards and analyse the different strategies that may be used.
Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. In creating texts, students demonstrate how manipulating language features and images can create innovative texts.
Relevant parts of Year 10 Geography achievement standards: Students predict changes in the characteristics of places and environments over time, across space and at different scales and explain the predicted consequences of change.
Relevant parts of Year 10 Economics and Business achievement standards: Students explain how businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity.
Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. They experiment with language features, stylistic devices, text structures and images.
Unit of work: This Changes Everything.
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and guide discussions.
- Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet
- Film clip: Red Cloud Renewable Energy. Making a Short Film Tips, Storyboard Template
- Phones, cameras or tablets for filming
- Access to the This Changes Everything website and infographic software such as Piktochart (Take it Further/Extension).
This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:
- Critical thinking
- Cultural understanding
- Ethical understanding
- Problem solving
- Global citizenship
This Changes Everything explores the complex relationship between humans and our environment, and in particular how our economic system’s push for continual growth impacts both the environment and quality of life for all people. Both the book and the film present powerful portraits of communities on the front line of both fossil fuel extraction and the climate crisis it is driving, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.
This Changes Everything is a vehicle to discuss the climate crisis as an opportunity; an opportunity for a new economic model that accounts for both people and the planet in a just and sustainable way. It is through this context that the possibilities for hope and optimism amidst the climate crisis are explored. Teachers and students are critical to this conversation. After all, it will be young people who will inherit the world we have created, who will become the leaders tackling the many challenges and who will reinvent a different future.
This Changes Everything - Global Trailer (https://vimeo.com/137514489)
- This Changes Everything - Welcome message
- About This Changes Everything
- This Changes Everything - Using these lessons
- This Changes Everything - Resources