Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will examine a real-world permaculture case study from Zanzibar. Students will assess the case study by identifying the challenges, opportunities, goals, and people in the case study. They will then participate in a role-play activity to determine whether to accept or decline the proposal presented in the case study. Although this lesson can be taught by itself, it also forms the second part in a unit of 6 lessons that can be delivered in sequence to take your students through a complete permaculture project design process.

These lessons have been created in partnership with Faber-Castell, who 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 will understand the ethics of permaculture. 
  • Students will relate the ethics of permaculture to a large scale project.
  • Students will understand how people and agricultural practice can be linked together in communities.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies

  • Analyse how food and fibre are produced when designing managed environments and how these can become more sustainable (ACTDEK032
  • Investigate the ways in which products, services and environments evolve locally, regionally and globally and how competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations are prioritised in the development of technologies and designed solutions for preferred futures (ACTDEK029)
  • Use project management processes when working individually and collaboratively to coordinate production of designed solutions (ACTDEP039)

Year 9 & 10 Design and Technologies

  • Critically analyse factors, including social, ethical and sustainability considerations, that impact on designed solutions for global preferred futures and the complex design and production processes involved (ACTDEK040)
  • Investigate and make judgments on the ethical and sustainable production and marketing of food and fibre (ACTDEK044)
  • Evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions against comprehensive criteria for success recognising the need for sustainability (ACTDEP051)

Syllabus outcomes: D&T5.3.1, D&T5.3.2, D&T5.3.2 and SC4-13ES, T4.1.2, T4.1.3, T4.4.1, T4.6.2

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability 

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 achievement standards: Students explain how social, ethical, technical and sustainability considerations influence the design of innovative and enterprising solutions to meet a range of present and future needs. They explain how the features of technologies influence design and production decisions. Students explain a range of needs, opportunities or problems and define them in terms of functional requirements and constraints. 

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 achievement standards: Students explain how people working in design and technologies occupations consider factors that impact on design decisions and the technologies used to produce products, services and environments. They identify the changes necessary to designed solutions to realise preferred futures they have described.

Topic: Sustainability

Unit of work: Creative Sustainability – Exploring Permaculture – Design & Technology – Years 7 – 10

Time required: 60+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion

Resources required: Students’ workbooks. Equipment to show a short clip. Case Study – Permaculture Project In Zanzibar – one copy per student. Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Optional – Permaculture Ethics And Principles. Optional – Case Study- Permaculture Project In Australia.

permaculture, gardening, food, fibre, agriculture, principles, ethics, design, case study, 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...

  • ... understand the ethics of permaculture. 
  • ... relate the ethics of permaculture to a large scale project.
  • ... understand how people and agricultural practice can be linked together in communities.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ...describe the ethics of permaculture.
  • ...explain in their own words, how people and agricultural practice can be linked together in communities.
  • and analyse a case study.
  • ...participate in a class role play.
  • ...contribute to class discussions.
  • independently and collaboratively.

Teacher content information: Although it can be taught in isolation, this lesson also forms the second part in a unit of 6 lessons, designed to introduce permaculture thinking to your design class and to encourage them to consider the ethical impacts of their own work as designers. To allow flexibility for you and your students, this unit is designed so that you can work through a

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: “You can solve all the world's problems in a garden.” - Geoff Lawton

Case Study

After looking at the Case Study, come up with your own proposal for the community by filling in the following:

  • Challenge:



  • Opportunity:



  • Goal:



  • People:



Complete the following sentences:

  • I want to address the challenge of (challenge):



  • I plan to do this by working with (people):



  • The project will (opportunity):



  • This will allow (goal):




Role Play

For the next activity, your teacher will allocate your group one of the following perspectives to consider your proposal from:

  1. Young Women: you are young women. You are all educated but you don’t have jobs. It’s hard to find work because there isn't much work and the men seem to get the jobs that are available. Also, you live in rural areas where women are still expected to work in the home and look after the children. However, you would like
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