Activity Introduction

Quick summary: The ability to think critically and creatively is integral to students becoming resourceful, imaginative and innovative learners. This lesson uses Visible Thinking Routines to make critical and creative thinking clear to students and their teachers – allowing them to identify, evaluate and improve upon their own thinking practices.

In this lesson, students will use 2 Visible Thinking Routines as they journey from an idea to a personal connection. The lesson explores the topic of food but is designed to be easily adaptable to other topics of interest. In this lesson, students will build on their prior knowledge of food and how it is grown by exploring the idea of a food garden. Students will make food artworks then work collaboratively to design a garden to grow their favourite foods.

Faber-Castell has long understood the importance of creativity to all people, especially to young people. It is also continuously searching for environmentally friendly processes and high-quality materials to enhance children’s creative experience throughout every development phase. For more information about Faber-Castell, click here.

Learning intentions:

  • Students use and understand the ‘Think, Puzzle, Wonder’ and ‘Compass Points’ thinking routines to explore their thinking on a topic.
  • Students understand that food can be grown by individuals and communities.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 4 Visual Arts:

  • Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111)

5 – 6 Visual Arts:

  • Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115)

Year 4 Design and Technologies:

  • Investigate food and fibre production and food technologies used in modern and traditional societies (ACTDEK012)

Year 5 – 6 Design and Technologies:

  • Investigate how and why food and fibre are produced in managed environments and prepared to enable people to grow and be healthy (ACTDEK021)

Year 4 HASS:

  • Interact with others with respect to share points of view (ACHASSI080)

Year 5 HASS:

  • Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI102)

Year 6 HASS:

  • Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI130)

Syllabus outcomes: VAS2.2, VAS3.2, ST2-10LW, ST2-11LW, ST3-11LW

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 4-6 achievement standards: Students create designed solutions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts suitable for identified needs or opportunities. They demonstrate different techniques and processes in planning and making artworks.They reflect on their learning to propose action in response to an issue or challenge, and identify the possible effects of their proposed action.

Topic: Sustainability

Unit of work: Creative Sustainability – Faber-Castell Sculpture Competition – Early Learning – Year 10

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – seek relevant materials for art making prior to the lesson and facilitate class discussions.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. A3 paper – one sheet per student. Coloured paper. Colourful drawing materials such as connector pens, marker pens or pencils.

Keywords: thinking routines, creative thinking, critical thinking, drawing, art, food, food security, Faber-Castell.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ...use the 'Think, Puzzle, Wonder' and 'Compass Points' thinking routines to explore their thinking on a topic.
  • ...understand that food can be grown by individuals and communities.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ...use thinking routines to understand and develop their thinking on a topic.
  • ...identify ways that they can become producers of food.

Teacher content information: Critical and Creative Thinking is one of the general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. The ability to think critically and creatively is also integral to becoming resourceful, imaginative and innovative learners. Critical and creative thinkers learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems.

Visible Thinking is an approach to learning developed by Harvard. It provides a set of routines that can help make critical and creative thinking processes vi

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: What is your favourite food and where does it come from?

Think, Puzzle, Explore

1. On the topic of growing food:

  • What do you think you already know about this topic?


  • What questions or puzzles do you have?


  • What does this topic make you want to explore?

2. What is your favourite meal?

3. List some of the ingredients in your favourite meal:

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