Water in the world

This unit develops Year 7 students’ knowledge of floods as hydrological hazards and of the importance of access to clean water, using texts with examples from Australia and Indonesia, particularly World Vision’s Get Connected: Water in the world. Students learn about literary language patterns in the picture book Flood by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley, and about the geographical causes of floods by reading factual texts. In the final learning sequence students transform factual knowledge and use literary language to create a multimodal text.

A small child being pushed by another on gis tricycle in muddy flood waters on a street

Above: Children play in flood waters after torrential rains in Kampung Melayu, South Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo by Kate Lamb CC-BY-SA-3.0

Australian curriculum links

The general capabilities emphasised in this unit of work are literacy, , information and communication technology, critical and creative thinking, intercultural understanding and ethical understanding. The unit addresses the cross-curriculum priority Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia.

See how this unit relates to Australian Curriculum content descriptions for English and Geography, and NSW Syllabus outcomes.


This unit provides opportunities to explore the ideas that:

  • language patterns in literature contribute to characterisation
  • floods are a serious hazard affecting people and their environments and requiring community responses
  • floods have a number of causes, and these can be explained using geographic vocabulary and the language of cause and effect
  • floods in Jakarta are caused by a number of factors, both natural and human
  • clean water scarcity is a serious problem for significant numbers of people globally
  • imaginative literary texts based on real events can evoke empathy and encourage their audience to ethical behaviour in response.

Teaching and learning activities

  1. Literary language and meaning in Flood: acts of service as acts of heroism
  2. What causes floods?
  3. Water in Indonesia: too much or not enough?
  4. Bringing it together: Creating a multimodal presentation about water in Indonesia

For the teacher

For further activities to develop knowledge of Indonesia as a country, download Chapter 1 of Indonesian Stories (.pdf 5 MB).

Also see Global Words Year 7 ‘Changing minds; Changing behavour, addressing the cross-curriculum priority Sustainability, in which students’ are guided to work in creative teams to write a script for an advertisement to persuade viewers not to buy bottled water.

Find further curriculum-based teaching ideas using the book Flood by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley in a unit of work for Years 5 and 6 from PETAA (requires member access).

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