Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will examine the concept of sustainability as it applies to agriculture, and explore links between sustainable agriculture and food security. Students will study the characteristics of sustainable agriculture to answer the question ‘What does sustainable agriculture look like?’ They will examine holistic approaches to sustainable agriculture such as regenerative agriculture, organic farming, permaculture and agriculture supporting pollinators. Students will then research a local farmer using sustainable practices and work to educate your community on this topic.

 

This lesson has been created in partnership with ACT for Bees. ACT for Bees is a not-for-profit organisation taking action to preserve these essential pollinators to ensure a food secure future.  

 

Learning intentions:

● Students will gain a deeper understanding of ‘sustainable agriculture’ including holistic approaches such as organic agriculture and permaculture.
● Students will examine the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to understand the importance of a global approach to sustainable food production and food security.
● Students will investigate examples of sustainable farms to identify key features of sustainable food production.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 Geography 

● The capacity of the world’s environments to sustainably feed the projected future global population (ACHGK064).
● 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).

Year 10 Geography

● Human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070).
● Environmental world views of people and their implications for environmental management (ACHGK071).
● The application of systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK073).

Syllabus outcomes: GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-4, GE5-5

General capabilities:  Literacy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability, Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability 

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students analyse interconnections between people, places and environments and explain how these interconnections influence people, and change places and environments. Students synthesise data and information to draw reasoned conclusions.

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students identify, analyse and explain significant interconnections between people, places and environments and explain changes that result from these interconnections and their consequences. They predict changes in the characteristics of places and environments over time, across space and at different scales and explain the predicted consequences of change. They evaluate alternative views on a geographical challenge and alternative strategies to address this challenge using environmental, economic, political and social criteria and draw a reasoned conclusion.

Topics: Love Food? Love Bees!, Biodiversity, Consumption

Unit of work: Love Food? Love Bees! – Food Security and Sustainability – Year 9 & 10

Time required: 100 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher needs to organise students’ work to be posted to the wider community.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Sustainable Agriculture Factsheet – one copy per student. Enough internet-enabled devices to facilitate group work. A stopwatch, timer app or access to an online timer. Permission to post students’ work on a school social media account or another medium that your school uses to share information with the community such as a school blog or newsletter. If this is not possible, a display area in a part of the school frequented by members of the community, such as an administration office, is a great option to display work.

Keywords: Sustainable agriculture, Regenerative farming, Organic agriculture, Permaculture, Sustainable Development Goals, Food security

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of ‘sustainable agriculture’ including holistic approaches such as organic agriculture and permaculture.
  • Examine the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to understand the importance of a global approach to sustainable food production and food security.
  • Investigate examples of sustainable farms to identify key features of sustainable food production.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... Identify common features of sustainable agriculture.
  • ... Explain the link between SDGs, sustainable agriculture and food security.
  • ... Apply their learning to selected farm studies.

Teacher content information: As we approach the year 2050 it is estimated that the world's population will reach 9.7 billion people. Although this seems a long way away, it is within students' lifetime. Because of this expected population increase we need to be smart about how we use resources today, to make sure they are available i

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: 'Don't you find it odd that people will put more work into choosing their mechanic or house contractor than they will into choosing the person who grows their food?' – Joel Salatin

Complete as many of the following sentences as you can:

1. Sustainability means

2. Environmental sustainability means

3. Economic sustainability means

4. Social sustainability means 

5. An example of a farmer doing something to be environmentally sustainable would be 

6. An example of a farm that is economically sustainable would be

7. An example of a farm that is socially sustainable would be 

  • I know about question/s
  • I could still learn more about question/s

After reading the Sustainable Agriculture Factsheet, list five features of sustainable agriculture:

The following list is a good starting point for your research, alternatively independently research a local food producer:

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