Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

How can we teach social responsibility in schools?

Teamwork and social responsibility are key messages for school pupils. Here, we take a look at how you can encourage those skills.

Consider the ‘call to arms’ in the youth-produced short film, Time is Up. The film uses poetry and simple but effective editing techniques to suggest that if we each take small steps to become more sustainable, the impact on our planet will be significant. This is a message, that as educators, we can pass on to our learners: teamwork all the way.

Shoebox set design

A great design and technology activity to encourage learners to begin thinking about making positive changes in their immediate environment is by redesigning their space in a ‘shoebox set design’ task. This activity is perfect for kinesthetically designing and dressing a film set, but in this instance can also be used as a plan for how to improve a personal space that they inhabit, such as the classroom, the playground or their bedrooms.

By repurposing an old shoebox and other waste materials, students can design a new space with as many simple sustainable features as possible. Perhaps they could include a recycling station, a vegetable garden, solar panels or recycled wall art? The activity could also help you plan your sustainable film sets that we’ll explore further in Week Two of the course.

Engaging in ‘hands-on’ filmmaking activities (such as prop or costume making, set designing and storyboarding) has been seen to give us greater and even ‘extended’ time for deeper introspection and reflections (David Gauntlett, 2018). They create a safe space for discussion and give us another way to listen to young people and find out about the causes they care about.

Here are some examples of shoebox set design in action. While they’re not necessarily sustainably-themed, you can get a feel for what the concept looks like.

Shoebox set design depicting a setting in Egypt in front of the pyramids

Shoebox set design of a film set

Shoebox set design of a Bug Hotel

This article is from the free online

Sustainability Through Film

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now