Planned obsolescence

Planned obsolescence

Lesson 2 of 3 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 7 - 8
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Business and Economics
  • Technology
  • Design and Technologies
  • Environmental
  • Sustainability
  • Economic
  • Design Thinking
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this activity students are asked to investigate the idea of planned obsolescence and how this relates to what we consume and how much we consume. Students are asked to watch and respond to a short clip from a documentary in their own time, then analyse the planned obsolescence of a product that they or someone in their family recently purchased. Students will then recreate a product according to a more sustainable design model.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the term ‘planned obsolescence’
  • identify a range of ways that products are designed according to principles of planned obsolescence
  • recognise the role of consumers in the sustainability of products.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet

Lesson details

Curriculum Mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 Economics and Business:

  • The ways consumers and producers respond to and influence each other in the market (ACHEK017)

Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies:

  • Examine and prioritise competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations in the development of technologies and designed solutions to meet community needs for preferred futures (ACTDEK029)
  • Investigate the ways in which products, services and environments evolve locally, regionally and globally through the creativity, innovation and enterprise of individuals and groups (ACTDEK029)
  • Generate, develop, test and communicate design ideas, plans and processes for various audiences using appropriate technical terms and technologies including graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP036)

Syllabus Outcomes: T4.1.2, T4.1.3, T4.4.1, T4.6.2, T4.2.1, T4.2.2, T4.5.2C4.2, C4.3, C4.4.

Time required: 60 mins+

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion

Resources required

  • Internet access
  • Student worksheet

Additional info

This is an original Cool.org lesson. Facts and figures in these lessons may have changed since this lesson was published. We always endeavour to update our resources in a timely manner, but if you see an error or issue in our resources please get in touch with us.

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