• Audience
    Primary school
  • Learning stage
    Stage 2, Stage 3
  • Learning area
    Climate change, Science
  • Type
    Learning journey, Teaching resources

On this page...

Learning journeys offer a scaffolded approach to exploring a topic both in the classroom and at the exhibition. Follow our learning journey to help your students learn about positive solutions for the impacts of climate change.

Future Now is a touring climate solutions exhibition showing how we can create brighter futures with the technologies and approaches we have now.

The exhibition is centered on three dioramas of sustainable human-nature landscapes. The dioramas are based on what can be done now in your community, and are themed as Clever Homes, Smart Towns and Caring for our Country.

The key messages for the exhibition are:

  • Sustainable landscapes are good to live in.
  • If we care for nature, nature can care for us.
  • Solutions exist to carbon pollution.
  • Each of us can help.

Through this learning journey, students will:

  • engage with Future Now exhibition content.
  • research and identify sustainable living technologies.
  • design and make a cubby house applying knowledge and understanding of sustainable practices and products.

NSW syllabus outcomes: ST3-2DP-T, ST3-4LW-S, ST3-5LW-T, ST3-7MW-T, ST3-10ES-S

Australian curriculum content descriptions: ACSSU094, ACSSU095, ACSSU096, ACSSU097, ACSHE100, ACSIS103, ACSIS108, ACSIS110

Prepare your students

  • An Acknowledgement of Country is a statement that pays respect to the Traditional Custodians of the Country that you are learning or meeting on and recognises their ongoing relationship with Country. The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people as the Custodians of the land on which the Museum stands.

    Which First Nations Country or Nation was your school built upon? If you are unsure contact a local First Nations organisation to find out. You might like to start with the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.

    Ask your students to write an Acknowledgement of Country for your school. To get them started, read more about why an Acknowledgement of Country is important and how to write one in this ABC article.

  • Dreaming of the future
    Read or watch Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg.

    Discuss the story as a class, using the below prompts to get your students thinking.

    Walter has a dream about what life will be like on Earth in the future. What does he see?
    How far into the future do you think Walter travelled?
    What does Walter do to
    stop his dream from becoming a reality?
    When does Walter decide to change the future?

    Walter has a second dream about the future. What does he see?

  • What does a sustainable future look like?
    Create an illustration of life in the future. Add labels to highlight key features of your illustration.

    Student work sample
    Student work sample Image: Lynette Cantrill
    © Australian Museum

    Share illustrations in partners. Scaffold your students' responses with the statement starters below.

    I think life in the future…

    I think this because…

    The future I have illustrated is _______ years from now.

At the exhibition

  • Future Now is an exclusive Australian Museum touring exhibition developed to highlight positive solutions for the future to tackle the impacts of climate change.

    Read our tips on how to use our exhibitions.

    Future Now exhibition opening at Stockland Burleigh Heads.
    Future Now exhibition opening at Stockland Burleigh Heads. Image: Supplied
    © Australian Museum

  • When visiting Future Now, access and download our activity sheet below. Use it to find examples of positive solutions in each of the three dioramas!

    Future Now diaromas
    Every day, we are creating our future. Explore the benefits of sustainable living in this new exhibition jam-packed with exciting ideas for what we can do now to create a more liveable future. Image: Natalia Mroz
    © Australian Museum

Back in the classroom

  • Watch How to talk to kids about climate change created by Save the Children Australia.

    In small groups, ask your students to define 'sustainable living'. You can get them started with the following prompt:

    The answer is 'sustainable living'. What are 5 questions that could be linked to this answer?

    Research sustainable living technologies and practices, and ask your students to answer the following questions.

    What can you do at home to live sustainably? Look up examples from other people's homes, such as creating a worm farm, taking shorter showers, using reusable bags and containers, playing outside or collecting rainwater.

    What technologies are available today that can help people live sustainably? You can get started by researching solar panels, wind turbines, insulation, chicken tractor or public transport.

  • Eating for a cause!
    Plan a 'nude food' lunchbox or organise a class 'rubbish free lunch' day. 'Nude food' is food with little or no packaging, for example fruits! A 'Rubbish free lunch' day challenges students to prepare a lunchbox with no disposable packaging. Are your students up for the challenge?

    Sustainability checklist
    Develop a sustainability checklist for your school, to see where you might be able to save on energy, stop water wastage or reduce rubbish.

    Example: leaking taps, second-hand uniform shop, lights turned off when not needed, recycling bins, compost bins, native plants that require minimal watering, rainwater tanks, broken objects repaired.

    Investigate sustainability in the school using your checklist.

  • Cubby house of the future
    Design a 'cubby house of the future'. Work in partners to draw a diagram of the cubby house. Add descriptive labels that identify and explain sustainable features of the design.

    Example: curtains and window awnings to block heat, skylight for natural lighting, light coloured roof to reflect heat, location of cubby close to deciduous plants to provide shade in summer and sunlight in winter, pulley system for clean transport of goods, reusable or repurposed (upcycled) materials.

    Make a diorama of your designed cubby houses using at least 50% recycled materials and “8R” principles.

    –Rethink: What do I really need to buy?
    – Refuse: What won’t I buy?
    – Reuse: Can someone use this again?
    – Repurpose: What can I upcycle?
    – Reduce: How many do I need?
    – Rot: Can this be composted?
    – Repair: Can I fix it?
    – Recycle:
    How can this be recycled?

    Future Now Modelcraft build 21 April 2022
    The AM project team visit the Modelcraft workshop in St Peters, Sydney to see the progress on the construction of the models for the three pods in the Future Now touring exhibition. Master model maker Steve Mosley showed the team details of the build for the Smart Cities, Clever Homes and Caring For Country dioramas. Image: Abram Powell
    © Australian Museum

  • Reflecting on your design
    Reflect on your 'cubby house of the future' design and the making process. Use the below question prompts to get your students thinking.

    What worked? What would you do differently next time?
    Does your diorama match your design? Why or why not?
    How did you apply the “8R” principles?
    Using recycled materials was easy. Agree or disagree?

    An exhibition for the future
    Host a 'Future' exhibition at school – you can call it after your class name, for example Future 5R. Display cubby house dioramas and invite other classes in the school as well as parents and carers to visit.

    Follow our activity How to make an exhibition in your classroom if you need some pointers!

    What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. - Jane Goodall