Taking care of Earth together

This unit of work, Taking care of Earth together, allows students to explore pressing issues that relate to our shared responsibility to care for the environment for future generations. The unit uses the picture book The Tomorrow Book by Jackie French and illustrated by Sue de Gennaro, with other texts including a play and a poem relating to the theme of sustainability.

The unit is concerned with the values of responsibility and understanding: that by seeking to understand each other and the natural world we are closer to becoming global citizens. Issues are addressed by having students complete activities cooperatively in small groups.

Image comprised of NASA image (public domain) and on right A Little Planet panorama of a green plaza, photo by Giligonei CC BY-SA 3.0

Above: Image comprised of NASA photo (public domain) and on right A Little Planet panorama of a green plaza, photo by Giligonei CC BY-SA 3.0


Australian curriculum links

The general capabilities emphasised in this unit are literacy, information and communication technology (ICT) capability, critical and creative thinking, ethical behaviour and intercultural understanding. This unit addresses the cross-curriculum priority Sustainability.

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


This unit provides opportunities to explore the ideas that:

  • it is essential to recycle and reuse in order to sustain the Earth’s resources
  • global warming is impacting negatively within our world
  • we share a responsibility to work together to make our world a better place
  • we are all different but in many ways we are all the same
  • we need to work together to reduce our impact on the environment
  • we are global citizens and, as such, we need to understand each others’ cultures.

Teaching and learning activities

  1. Introduce the unit with a recycling/re-use activity
  2. What is global warming?
  3. Why is the Earth crying?
  4. Caring for our Earth and its inhabitants

For the teacher

Find primary-age resources for sustainability, including more school resources from World Vision Australia. Find teachers notes (.pdf 250 kB) and notes with worksheets and activities (.pdf 262 kB) for The Tomorrow Book including notes on inventions. Explore the art and books of David Higgins for this theme.

The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative website (now archived) remains an excellent source of background information. Refer to the Sustainability Curriculum Framework – a guide for curriculum developers and policy makers for how education for sustainability may be incorporated into curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 10.

Note that print downloads do not include updates applied online, including curriculum changes over time and should be used with caution:    .doc 1.1 MB    |    .pdf 573 kB    |      Copyright