Activity Introduction


In this lesson, students will be immersed in and connect with the documentary film 2040, focusing on the topic of food. Students begin by thinking about where our food comes from, and then work in groups to explore some of the big issues relating to food, including waste, packaging, transport, farming, and healthy eating. Students undertake research into a big issue and then work collaboratively as a class to create a montage of big issues.


Students then explore some of the solutions to these big issues, undertaking research and sharing what they have learnt through a presentation. Finally, students are asked to work collaboratively to create their own food 2040 script and scene.


Learning Intentions

  • Students understand some of the big issues around food sustainability.
  • Students understand that solutions to the big issues around food sustainability already exist.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

  • Topic: Sustainability, Consumption.
  • Unit of work: 2040 – Integrated Unit – Years 5 & 6
  • Time required: 100+ mins.
  • Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activities and facilitate class discussions.
  • Keywords: 2040 documentary, food, farming, waste, packaging, health, montage, presentation, script.

To view our Australian Curriculum alignment click here.

To view our NZ Curriculum alignment click here.

Resources Required

Accessing the Film

2040 is an innovative feature documentary that looks to the future, but is vitally important NOW!  Director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream. 

In Australia: Order the Schools Version of the 2040 DVD. The Schools Version includes an educational license and is for Australian primary and secondary schools that wish to utilise the film as a learning tool or host free on-site screenings for the school community.

In New Zealand: Find out how to see the film here. 2040 is currently only available in NZ cinemas and you can make a group booking for your class at your local cinema. The Schools Version of the DVD and BluRay will be released in New Zealand on 7th November 2019. This version includes an educational licence that covers classroom use and on-site screenings for the school community. To pre-order a copy for your school, please email: [email protected].


Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Cool Australia, GoodThing Productions and Regen Pictures would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of Good Pitch AustraliaShark Island InstituteDocumentary Australia FoundationThe Caledonia Foundation and our philanthropic partners in the development of these teaching resources.



Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • … understand some of the big issues around food
  • … understand that solutions to the big issues around food already exist

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … undertake research online and from prescribed texts
  • … create a montage
  • … create a presentation
  • … write a script
  • … work independently and collaboratively
  • … participate in class and group discussion

Teacher content information: A 2018 study by The University of Melbourne on the thoughts and concerns of young people from Generations X and Y found the number one concern across both groups was lack of action around climate change. In particular, "Generation X worries what climate change will mean for their own children, while Generation Y is concerned about the impact on future generations" (The Educator). The report indicates that young people have a serious mistrust in the Government's ability or willingness to tackle climate change.

Tackling climate

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Where does your food come from?

Thinking About Food

Working in pairs spend some time looking at the image below and discussing your answers to the following questions. Record key responses to each question in note form.

• What foods can you see in this image?



• Which foods come from an animal and which come from a plant?



• Which foods do you think came from a farm?



• How do these foods get from the farm to us?



• What kind of packaging do these foods have?



• Could you eat all this food for breakfast? What would you do with the bits you couldn’t eat or don’t like?



• Do you think these foods are healthy? Why or why not?



Big Issues About Food

The big issue we are exploring:






The questions we are answering:





Research we have found and thoughts we have in response to this question (NOTE: You can discuss your thoughts in your groups, however each student is responsible for recording their own th

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