Clean Up Australia - The Life of a Piece of Waste

Clean Up Australia - The Life of a Piece of Waste

Lesson 8 of 12 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 7 - 8
  • English
  • Science
  • Environmental
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students will investigate the life cycle of a common piece of waste, something that we throw away so frequently we barely even notice it. Students will create a poster or computer-based image around the process and present this to the class.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand that even the most ordinary pieces of waste can have a very involved life cycle
  • learn that we use a range of renewable and nonrenewable resources
  • take action to reduce their personal waste.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • demonstrate critical thinking in relation to the waste they create.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, to confidently create, edit and publish written and multimodal texts (ACELY1728)

Year 7 Science:

  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)
  • Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)
  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)

Year 8 English:

  • 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)

Year 8 Science:

  • Science understanding influences the development of practices in areas of human activity such as industry, agriculture and marine and terrestrial resource management (ACSHE136)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148)

Syllabus outcomesSC4-11PW, SC4-13ES, SC4-9WS, SC4-12ESEN4-2A, EN4-4B

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.3, OI.8.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – assist students in identifying life cycle processes.

Resources required

  • Devices with internet access
  • Pieces of waste (students select their own – safe and clean)


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

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking

Additional info

Following this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in Schools Clean Up Day or a Clean Up on any day of the year. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change.

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