Using "The Story of Stuff"

by Miranda Childe




There is a great website I want to share:

I did a little table handout-share on conference day about it, but many might have missed it. On “The Story of Stuff”, there is a 20-minute film on the site which is a great start-off point from which to develop a unit on sustainability. I use it for speech 6, but it would work for levels 5 & 6 speech or writing classes. The film is an inventive combination of animation and narration by Annie Leonard. There is also a wealth of resources, including a glossary, a blog, and lots of links. I highly recommend it!




(Here's an example of how Miranda uses this website in her Level 6 Speech class.)


EAP 1600 Speech 6
Spring 2008
Formal Speech Guidelines
Prof. Miranda Childe
Formal Speeches:  March 10 to March 19
Time:  minimum 5 minutes -- maximum 7 minutes
Hand-in:  Outline on the day of your presentation
Topic:  Your choice of a specific aspect of the theme of sustainability




Text Box: The overall theme of our formal speeches will be


What is sustainability?

To answer this question, we will begin by exploring Annie Leonard's "The Story of Stuff" website.  (

We will watch the movie on-line in class several times.  Three class sessions will be devoted to group discussions of the contents of the movie, defining terms, understanding the bigger picture.

Your home assignment during the next three weeks will be to explore the website by reading the blog, surfing the resources, going to the links provided which interest you.

Come to class prepared to present the information you gather as you find it.  The idea is to share your discoveries with your groups.  Bring in whatever you find whether you want to use it for your speech or not; your discovery may spark someone else's interest.

There is a world of waste and destruction out there for you to explore.  Go out and find out how some people are working to make our planet's quality of life sustainable.




Return to the Home Page