Activity Introduction

Quick summary: 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 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.

2040 is only available in cinemas until later in 2019. You can make a group booking for your class at your local cinema during the film’s theatrical release. Find out how to see the film in cinemas hereThese lessons have been designed with a media library to support teachers. The Schools Version of the 2040 DVD is now also available for pre-order! School-based screenings can commence from September 1st – pre-order now to ensure that the DVD is delivered to you before the end of August. The Schools Version includes an educational license, allowing you to play it in class as a learning tool or even host on-site screenings for your school community. 

To expand on and further embed student learning in this activity, consider following up with Taking Action For Your 2040.

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.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 English

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700)
  • Use comprehension strategies to analyse information, integrating and linking ideas from a variety of print and digital sources (ACELY1703)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)

Year 6 English

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis (ACELY1710)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (ACELY1713)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)

Years 5 & 6 Design and Technologies

  • Examine how people in design and technologies occupations address competing considerations, including sustainability in the design of products, services, and environments for current and future use (ACTDEK019)
  • Investigate how and why food and fibre are produced in managed environments and prepared to enable people to grow and be healthy (ACTDEK021)

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-3A, ST3-14BE, ST3-15I, ST3-16P, ST3-11LW.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6., OI.8.

Relevant parts of Years 5 English achievement standards: Students create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences, and make presentations which include multimodal elements for defined purposes. Students contribute actively to class and group discussions.

Relevant parts of Years 6 English achievement standards: Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using a variety of strategies for effect.

Relevant parts of Years 5 & 6 Design and Technologies achievement standards: Students explain how social, ethical, technical and sustainability considerations influence the design of solutions to meet a range of present and future needs.

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.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Presentation Assessment Rubric. One of the following factsheets for each group: Farming Factsheet, Transporting Food Factsheet, Packaging Factsheet, Food Waste Factsheet, Healthy Eating FactsheetScript Writing TipsSustainability Factsheet – Optional. Climate Change Factsheet – Optional. 

Keywords: 2040 documentary, food, farming, waste, packaging, health, montage, presentation, script.

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 Australia, Shark Island Institute, Documentary Australia Foundation, The 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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