Extension Activities Units 3 & 4

Units 3 & 4 – Innovation

  • SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • SDG 14 – Life Below Water

After every two Units you are offered a choice of extension tasks. Depending on what area you most want to develop, choose and complete a relevant task. You are welcome to complete as many as you like.

These are not tests, and no marks are awarded. They are opportunities to develop your language further, based on a self-assessment of your needs.

NOTE: It may be that in your local context you are not able to access the videos on YouTube. They’re included here alongside other free-to-access resources, so hopefully you will still have plenty of choice.

Develop your knowledge of the SDGs

1. Test your knowledge of SDG9 & SDG14 with Go Goals digital board game

Go Goals is a ready-to-use board game developed by the United Nations that helps you understand the Sustainable Development Goals, and how each of us can contribute to realising the goals. Access this link to the game and click on the white circle next to goal 9 and goal 14 and answer the set of quiz questions that appear. Check your answers when you are done (Game created by Božica Borbaš).

2. Input any text into the OSDG Wheel and you will be able to see any key SDGs in the text along with their estimated relevance scores (%), followed by any additional SDGs found in the text. Try inputting one of the texts you’ve been reading in these two Units.

Develop your writing

One of the aims of SDG9 is to build resilient infrastructure. In the ‘Why this goal’ section of Unit 3 you learned that economies with a strong infrastructure experienced faster recovery from the Covid-18 pandemic, and that high-tech industries performed better and recovered faster, providing a strong example of how important technological innovation is to achieving Goal 9.

Read the graphic story and think about the link between climate and technology and the the ability to innovate. Write a paragraph about the ability of people in the developed world and the developing world to deal with climate change and build a resilient infrastructure.

Sounding the Siren: Preparing the aid system for the climate emergency. Climate change impacts everything. Imagine it’s so hot that your laptop burns out. It happened to me in Ethiopia.
Amrita’s Story: Sounding the Siren: Preparing Humanitarian Aid for the Climate Emergency

Develop your speaking

Design and deliver a ‘Pecha Kucha’ (Japanese for chit-chat). This presentation format is based on using 20 presentation slides but only talking about each of them for 20 seconds (each presentation should be 6 minutes and 40 seconds long).

  • Only still images on the slides – no text or videos
  • Each slide only stays on the screen for 20 seconds
  • What you say should be about the slide that is showing

Choose one of the topics below and find 20 relevant images:

  1. What you’ve learned in these two Units: Create a presentation with images of different topics or themes you have studied.
  2. One of the Goals:  Create a presentation with images based on one of the SDGs.
  3. A story: Create a sequence of images of people places and things related to one or both of the SDGs.
  4. An initiative you would like to be involved with: Research an initiative happening somewhere in the world. Create a sequence of 20 images.

Configure your slide timings so that the slides automatically change after 20 seconds. This will oblige you to be very concise!

You can practice recording/timing your presentation here:

Develop your reading – Read for interest

Access the link and read one (or more) of the following texts. Practice your skim reading first to get a general idea of what the text is about, and then read in more detail, focussing on the parts that interest you.

Articles from The Conversation:

  1. Biodegradable plastic in clothing doesn’t break down nearly as quickly as hoped – new research.
  2. It may not be possible to slow down fast fashion. So can the industry ever be sustainable?
  3. Four clothing businesses that could lead us away from the horrors of fast fashion
  4. Charity shops; why they beat the rest of the High Street as a retail experience
  5. How Illegal fishing harms Nigeria, and what to do about it
  6. Review of nine African ‘Blue economy’ projects.
  7. Women are a mainstay of fishing in West Africa but they get a raw deal.

Develop your listening

Listen once for general idea and then listen again for detail, focusing on the parts that interest you.

1. The Conversation Weekly podcast (Starts at 16.00 mins/ Ends 20.42 mins). The ocean economy is booming: who is making money, who is paying the price? 

2. How a Kenyan start-up is upcycling fashion waste

To see the transcript click ‘watch on YouTube’. When you are in YouTube, click the 3 dots in the bottom right under the video and select ‘show transcript’.

3. ‘Cotton’s Hidden Voices: Video stories from the makers of your clothes’ – a project led by Dr. Mark Sumner, Lecturer in Sustainability, Fashion and Retail, University of Leeds UK and author of the text in Unit 4. Click on the image to see details of the project.

Stories from the Makers of Your Clothes

Develop your vocabulary

Add the new vocabulary you learn to your vocabulary note-book.

Resources from BBC Learning English (to see the transcript, when you are in YouTube click the 3 dots in the bottom right under the video and select ‘show transcript’).

6-minute English:

Lingo Hack:

Develop your grammar

If you’d like more practice in using gerunds and infinitives watch the video from 6-minute Grammar, BBC Learning English, and complete the quiz at the end.

Or play this game:

Build an argument

  1. Most people would agree that killing animals for their fur is not ethical, and that fur products should not be fashion items. This article from The Conversation, about banning the killing of seals in the arctic region, offers an alternative view however. Read the text and use the information to build an argument about why the European ban on seal fur is harmful to the Canadian Inuit people and their way of life.
  2. Free course from the Open University UK (1 hour) ‘How arguments are constructed and used in the Social Sciences‘.

Practice expressing caution

Play an interactive web-based game

Deep Blue Dump – A beautiful baby turtle has just hatched and began his first ocean journey. Can you keep him safe from the plastic pollution?

Plasticity is a hauntingly beautiful puzzle-platformer about a plastic-ridden world and the choices you make to save it. Play as Noa, a curious young girl who leaves her home in search of a better life. Embark on an emotional journey as your actions dynamically change both gameplay and the story.

Take action

  1. Access the link to the ‘Take Action Today’ site for Goal 9 and/or Goal 14 and select an action you can take in your everyday life to help meet the aims of these two SDGs.
  2. Or choose an action from The Good Life Goals.
  3. Or choose an action from 170 Actions.


Choose one (or more) of the songs to listen to. When you have listened record your response to the song. This could be:

    • a short, written response
    • a drawing
    • an infographic
    • a video of yourself talking about it (made on your phone)
    • any other mode that allows you to respond to the song

1. ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, by Radiohead (1995)

The song was written by Thom York whilst suffering poor mental health. At the time of the song’s release there was a sense of frustration among young people at the disillusionment that comes with living, loving and surviving in our hectic modern world. This frustration is still prevalent now as plastic has become a dominant part of culture both in its material quality and in what it symbolises. The song portrays a feeling of claustrophobia as there seems to be no escape from the plastic, manufactured, man-made world it describes. Listen to the song and write a paragraph that describes your response to it.

Find the song here on YouTube.

2. #4KEEPS’, by Joelle Barwick (2020)

The phrase ‘for keeps’ means ‘forever’. In this song fashion student Joelle Barwick challenges her peer group to keep clothes longer before throwing them away, or to buy second-hand (pre-owned) items instead.

Listen to the song. (This page describes her project and includes the song lyrics at the bottom of the page if you’d like to read as you listen).


The lyrics contain a lot of informal language, as a rap is an informal style. Although informal, all of the words glossed below are usable without causing offence:

  • Line 4 – garms = garments. Prices are long = prices are high.
  • Line 7 – to make do with something = to manage with the limited means available.
  • Line 14 – dope = very good.
  • Line 15 – stay woke = be aware of issues concerning social justice.
  • Line 16 – go broke = either spend or lose all your money.
  • Line 21 – receive a pat on the back = be praised by someone.
  • Line 28 – ‘tea’ means t-shirt. [usually spelled ‘tee’]
  • Line 30 – edgy = at the forefront of a trend.
  • Line 31 – street = relating to the outlook, values, or lifestyle of young people who are perceived as composing a fashionable urban subculture (street style, street culture, street credibility).

3. ‘Don’t Go Near the Water’, by Johnny Cash (1974)

American country singer-songwriter Johnny Cash wrote this song about water pollution in 1974, during the growth of nationwide environmental awareness. His fame helped to further the effort to bring environmental issues to the attention of the public.

Find the song here on YouTube.

Something else?

Is there something you’ve spent time studying that hasn’t been covered above? What is it? Explain in detail either in writing or as an audio file on your phone.

Use the menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen to access Section 2.


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