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Integrated unit years 9–10

Motivating question

How do we express our heritage and culture today?

Lesson plans

Curriculum connections

Level 5

These activities support an integrated approach to learning about China and the wider context of Asia. They draw on key concepts that carry across a number of learning areas. Specifically at this level, students will explore, in an integrated way, the concepts of culture, heritage, sustainability, change, and perception. Achievement objectives that could support this learning are included below. Schools are encouraged to pursue further learning in each area as is appropriate for their programmes. See the section Where to next? at the end of this unit.

Through the course of this unit of learning, students will consider that:

  • cultures change, adapt, are expressed and sustained by the actions of groups and individuals
  • how we perceive a place is influenced by the images, values, and ideas communicated by people, their culture, and heritage.

As they...

Social sciences

  • Gain knowledge skills and experiences to understand how:
    • cultural interaction impacts on cultures and societies (L5)
    • people’s management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability (L5)
    • cultures adapt and change and this has consequences for society (L6)


  • Recognise, understand, and consider the connections between oral, written, and visual language (L5)
  • Use a wide range of oral, written, and visual language features to create meaning and effect and to sustain interest (L5)
  • Select and use appropriate processing and comprehension strategies with confidence
  • Think critically about texts with understanding and confidence (L5)

The Arts


  • Investigate and consider the relationships between the production of art works and their contexts and influences (L5)
  • Compare and contrast the ways in which ideas and art-making processes are used to communicate meaning in selected images (L5)
  • Apply knowledge of selected conventions from established practice, using appropriate processes and procedures (L5)


  • Learn to communicate initial greetings, introductions, family members, numbers, likes and dislikes
  • Develop some initial understandings of the structure of language
  • Learn about the links between culture and language

(Level 1 emergent)
The approach will be influenced by the prior understanding of your students.

Challenges to a secondary school

The learning in this unit is approached in an integrated way because the themes/'big ideas' benefit by the combined and integrated approach of a number of learning areas. The structure of most secondary schools, where units of learning generally take place within individual learning areas, means that this will present some challenges, but such an approach will greatly enhance the learning and experience of students.

If possible, before starting the unit, meet with teachers from other learning areas to consider how you could approach the learning in an integrated way. For example, you could consider team teaching, swapping classes and/or periods or you could plan ways of sharing learning so far.

An option is for one learning area to take responsibility for coordinating the activities with the other learning areas. Alternatively, one teacher could teach all activities with support and advice from teachers of the other learning areas.

After completing the unit (estimated time three weeks), individual curriculum learning areas could pursue an aspect of learning in greater depth. See the section on Where to next? at the end of this unit.

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