Teacher notes

Designed to support you and your students’ inquiry into the concept of change, this resource focuses on the three essential questions of the exhibition:

  • What does change mean to me?
  • How does art and design change the world?
  • How can I be a changemaker for the change I would like to see?

Learning Objectives

  • Use the process of inquiry to explore the concept of change on a personal, local and global scale
  • Analyse, interpret and discuss how artists and designers create, influence or represent change through their work
  • Apply the knowledge and experience gained from the exhibition We Change the World to reflect on ways to personally create or influence change

Links to the Victorian Curriculum

Using this resource

Each of the following inquiry stages includes discussion prompts and activities to use before, during and after your visit or virtual excursion to We Change the World. They can be adapted for use with one artwork from the exhibition, or several, or with any of the exhibition themes: Environment and place, Activism and protest, Celebrating the everyday and Shaping the future. Before you start, you might like to choose an artwork or theme to explore.

We would love to see what you and your students are saying. Follow the link to share your responses on the NGV Padlet forum. See you there, changemakers!


  1. What does change mean to me? What changes have you experienced or created?
    • Brainstorm examples of change. Create a mind map.
    • Discuss whether these changes are considered positive or negative or both.
    • Record student responses using a Plus, Minus, Interesting (PMI) chart.
  2. Brainstorm examples of people who have an impact on our society. Consider personal, local and global issues and changemakers.
    • What jobs or roles do they have?
    • What impact do they have?
    • What do they do to create change?
    • Why do they do it?
  3. Did you consider any artists in your discussion? Why or why not? What role might an artist or designer have in responding to or advocating for change?


Explore and research the artworks, the exhibition themes and their relationship to the concept of change. Use the exhibition information and NGV resources to support your investigations.

  1. What are your initial thoughts, reactions and responses to the work of art or design? Turn and talk with a partner.
  2. Describe the work of art or design. Think about features such as the colour, size, subject matter, materials and techniques used.
  3. What might the artist or designer wish to communicate through this work? What clues does the artist or designer give to convey this?
  4. What do we know about the artist or designer? How has this influenced their work?


Use the thinking routine Connect, Extend, Challenge1 to review your thinking, express new understandings and ask more questions. The aim is to make sense of the new information gathered and further extend your thinking to new ideas or situations.

  1. How is the artwork and the ideas and information presented connected to something you know about?
    Discuss how the work of art or design connects to the related exhibition theme and the concept of change.
  2. What new ideas or impressions do you have that extended or broadened your thinking in new directions?
    Has the work of art or design changed or influenced your thinking about particular issues?
  3. What is challenging or confusing? What further questions or wonderings might you have?
    Can you explore these new wonderings further?


I used to think…Now I think…2

Support students to evaluate the learning and knowledge gained throughout their inquiry. Use the thinking routine I used to yhink…Now I think…to make connections back to the central idea of Change and related exhibition themes and/or artworks.

    1. Review the essential questions introduced in the Engage phase of Inquiry:
      • What does Change mean to me?
      • How do art or design create or influence change?
    1. For each question, have students complete the following sentence stems and record their responses on a T-Chart:
      • I used to think…
      • Now I think…
    1. Reflect on your responses.
      • What new learning or discoveries have you made?
      • How has your thinking changed throughout your inquiry?

Be a changemaker

Encourage students to reflect on how they can be changemakers. The aim is for students to think about what they can do to create or make change, in any way. This could be a small change we can make in our own lives or expanded to change in our local community, or even the world! Use the final question of inquiry to support your discussion: How can I be a changemaker for the change I would like to see?


You might like to create your own artwork inspired by the exhibition, or to inspire a change you care about. Use the Great art ideas linked below to get you started.

Notes and further resources

Download the Pdf

Download the PowerPoint


  1. Project Zero, Artful Thinking, <pzartfulthinking.org>, accessed 3rd March 2021.
  2. ibid.
  3. NGV, ‘We Change the World artwork labels’, 2021, NGV, Victorian Government, < https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/we-change-the-world/>, accessed 7th May 2021. (Used throughout)
  4. The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘”These issues are global”: new NGV exhibit connects country and climate’, 11th March 2021, The Sydney Morning Herald, < https://www.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/these-issues-are-global-new-ngv-exhibit-connects-country-and-climate-20210310-p579fd.html>, accessed 19th March 2021.
  5. NGV, ‘Big Weather learning resource’, 2021, NGV, Victorian Government, < https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/school_resource/big-weather/>, accessed 1st April 2021.
  6. National Gallery of Victoria, ‘Guerrilla Girls’, NGV, Victorian Government, < https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/guerrilla-girls/ >, accessed 10th February 2021.
  7. Megan Patty, ‘Are You Listening? The poster as a site for resistance’, 9th April 2020, NGV, Victorian Government, < https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/essay/are-you-listening-the-poster-as-a-site-for-resistance >, accessed 10 Feb. 2021.
  8. Queensland Art Gallery| Gallery of Modern Art, QAGOMA, Queensland Government, < https://learning.qagoma.qld.gov.au/artworks/dropping-a-han-dynasty-urn/ >, accessed 10th February 2021.
  9. The Refugee Nation, The Refugee Nation, , accessed 10th February 2021.
  10. 22nd Bienniale of Sydney NIRIN, ‘Marlen Gilson’, Bienniale of Sydney, 2020, < https://www.biennaleofsydney.art/artists/marlene-gilson/ >, accessed 1st April 2020.
  11. The Conversation, ‘Terra nullius interruptus: Captain James Cook and absent presence in First Nations art’, 2020, The Conversation, < https://theconversation.com/terra-nullius-interruptus-captain-james-cook-and-absent-presence-in-first-nations-art-129688 >, accessed 24 Mar. 2021.
  12. ibid.
  13. To learn more visit: NGV, ‘Colony to Nation First Contact’, NGV, Victorian Government, 2020, < https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/school_resource/art-and-history-colony-to-nation-first-contact/ >, accessed 1st April 2021.
  14. National Gallery of Victoria, ‘David Hockney’, NGV, Victorian Government, 2016, < https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/david-hockney/ >, accessed 11 Feb. 2021.
  15. QAGOMA, ‘Meet our quirky Aurukun camp dogs’, 2020, QAGOMA, Queensland Government,  <https://blog.qagoma.qld.gov.au/indigenous-australian-camp-dogs/>, accessed 23 April 2021.
  16. Aurukun Shire Council, ‘Aurukun camp dog sculptures in demand’, 2016, Aurkun Shire Council, <http://www.aurukun.qld.gov.au/aurukun-camp-dog-sculptures-in-demand/>, accessed 23 April 2021.