Activity Introduction

soil photoframe 1Quick summary: This lesson is designed for a flipped classroom, where students learn new content by watching a video in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that people have had significant negative impacts on our soil.
  • Students recognise that poor soil health affects food production.
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1., OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Geography

  • Challenges to food production, including land and water degradation, shortage of fresh water, competing land uses, and climate change, for Australia and other areas of the world (ACHGK063)

Syllabus Outcomes: GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-5.

Time needed: 30 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – allow students to explore the topic independently.

Resources required: Internet, laptops and earphones, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Soil, humans, food production.

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


Teacher Worksheet

soil photoframe 2Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students take responsibility for their own learning by watching a video on the relationship between humans and the soil health and completing a thinking routine.

The Flipped Lesson

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore/build their current knowledge, attitudes and values about how humans impact the soil and how these impacts will ultimately affect humans. While working independently, students are to view the following video and complete tables on the student worksheet. Teachers will also gain insight from students’ responses which can be used to plan other activities.

The visible thinking tools included on the Student Worksheet can be useful in examining and reflecting on how and why student thinking has changed based on learning specific content information. It also helps to develop their reasoning abilities and to recognise cause and effect relationships.

Nature Is Speaking – Edward Norton is The Soil | Conse

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How much of your food comes from the ground?

Before watching this clip, answer the following question:

1. How do you think soil health can be affected by human activity?

2. How do you think soil health can affect humans?

Once complete, watch the following video and answer the questions below:

Nature Is Speaking – Edward Norton is The Soil | Conservation International (

After watching the clip, answer the following questions:

1. Summarise this clip in 25 words or less:

2. Complete the following sentence starters in response to what you saw in this clip:


How would it be different if...

What are the reasons...

Suppose that...

What if...

What if we knew...

What is the purpose of...

What would change if...

3. Finally, do you think this clip could be useful in gaining support for action on soil health? Why or why not?

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