Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students explore the potential climate change risks to food security around Australia. Students are asked to compare the risks to food production in their state or territory with the risks to another state or territory and to produce a map or infographic that shares the results of their research.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand the term ‘food security’.
  • Students recognise how potential climate change impacts may pose a risk to food security.
  • Students understand that potential climate change impacts will be different in different parts of Australia.
  • Students understand that the risks to food security from climate change will vary around Australia.
  • Students recognise that threats to food security can have impacts locally and globally.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1. Sustainability OI.2. Sustainability OI.3

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 9 Geography

  • The 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)
  • The capacity of the world’s environments to sustainably feed the projected future population to achieve food security for Australia and the world (ACHGK064)
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms, selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose; using relevant geographical terminology, and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS070)
  • Reflect on and evaluate the findings of the inquiry to propose individual and collective action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge, taking account of environmental, economic and social considerations; and explain the predicted outcomes and consequences of their proposal (ACHGS071)

Year 10 Science

  • Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
  • The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE230)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS208)

Year 10 Geography

  • The human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
  • The application of human-environment systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK073)
  • The application of geographical concepts and methods to the management of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK074)

Syllabus outcomesGE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-4, GE5-5, GE5-8SC5-11PW, SC5-9WS, SC5-12ES

Topic: Climate change

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity.

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, infographic program (e.g. Piktochart). DIY infographic background infomation.

Digital technology opportunities: Infographic creation, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity includes opportunities for extension or homework.

Keywords: Climate change, food security, impacts, risks, Australia, states, territories, global.

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:

Overarching learning goal: Through this activity students will understand the term 'food security' and how food security relates to climate change. Students will understand that potential climate change impacts will be different in different parts of Australia, that the risks to food security from climate change will vary around Australia and that threats to food security can have impacts locally and globally.

Teacher content information:

Australia has traditionally been blessed with the conditions for providing abundant amounts of food: large swathes of good agricultural land; a climate suited to grain growing and stock rearing; surrounding oceans full of seafood; and perfect conditions for growing grapes and a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. We've had more than we need and we've been able to sell our food overseas. But climate change could change all that. Changes to average rain falls, rising temperatures, and extreme weather events threaten our curre

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What are the risks to food security from climate change?

Opening questions

What types of food do we produce in our state or territory? 


Is this food consumed only in Australia or is it exported to other parts of the world? 


Why is this food produced here? What features of our environment and climate make this a good place to produce this food? 


How important do you think the food growing in your state or territory is to the local or national economy? 


What is food security? Watch this clip on food security in Australia:

Scinamation: Food Security:


What is 'food security'? Research the meaning of 'food security' and create a definition in your own words:


Research questions

Use the following questions to guide your research around food security and climate change in the states or territories you are investigating:

  • What are the potential climate change impacts to your state or territory? 
  • What are
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