This unit provides a powerful way for students to develop their ocean literacy skills through studying the film adaptation of Tim Winton’s classic novella, Blueback. Using clips from the film, contemporary texts and data on marine conservation, teachers will provide students with current information that empowers them with strategies to enjoy and engage with the ocean sustainably. Students will value becoming ocean literate by exploring topics such as sustainable recreational and commercial fishing and studying the ways in which individuals and groups protect marine areas. We recommend that this unit is delivered as a whole package and in sequence. The unit begins by introducing students to ocean literacy and marine conservation concepts and then deep dives into investigating specific issues faced by marine life and environments in Australian waters. With more than 50% of Australians living near the coast, this unit is an invaluable resource that will promote insight and strategies into how to sustainably enjoy the ocean.
Accessing the Film
Teachers should watch Blueback (2022) so they are familiar with the narrative, characters and content. Currently, the film is available on multiple streaming services for purchase or rent, you can view the list of where you can access it at Justwatch. You can access the film here. Watching the film as a class helps contextualise the lessons, but each lesson features clips from the film to reinforce the context of learning, meaning the lessons can stand alone without the film.
Cool Australia would like to thank the Minderoo Foundation for supporting the development of these lessons. Blueback: Sustainability and the ocean works to promote high quality education that cares for young people, the ocean and sustainable practices.