Activity Introduction


In this lesson, students will be immersed in, and connect with, the documentary film 2040, focusing on the topics of food security and urban agriculture. Students begin by exploring the concept of food security by participating in a classroom demonstration and a guided discussion around a food security clip. They then explore the practice of urban farming as one solution to current and future food security challenges.


Students then work collaboratively to identify a potential site for an urban farm in their area, creating a proposal for this project to share with the class.


Learning Intentions

  • Students will understand what food security is
  • Students will understand what urban agriculture is and how it can help address food security

Lesson & Curriculum Details

  • Topic: Sustainability, Food.
  • Unit of work: 2040 – Geography – Years 7 to 10
  • Time required: 100+ mins.
  • Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activities and facilitate class discussions.
  • Keywords: 2040 documentary, documentary, sustainability, food, food security, future, farming, urban farming.

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 what food security is
  • ... understand what urban agriculture is and how it can help address food security

Success criteria: Students can …

  • ... work collaboratively
  • ... participate in class and group discussions
  • ... propose and justify an urban agricultural project
  • ... create a proposal based upon set criteria

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 change requires large-scale,

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is food security and why is it important?

Urban Agriculture in Your Area

In this part of the lesson, you will be working in groups to develop an agriculture project in your area. In your groups you will need to:

  • Identify a site. This could be in your school (such as an unused part of the school) or in your community (such as vacant or under-utilised land, or unused buildings).
  • Identify what form of urban agriculture would be most suitable, such as vertical farming or green walls, hydroponics, aquaponics, rooftop or backyard gardens, street landscaping, animals (e.g. chooks) or bees, or greenhouses.
  • Create a report, poster, or video to share your ideas - this should include maps, diagrams, proposed forms of urban agriculture, and justification for design and site selection and.

Site Selection

Record the details of the site selected for your urban agriculture design below.

Location of the site (give the address and/or coordinates):





Type o

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