Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson students will review and critically examine typical features of sustainable agriculture to complete a Diamond Ranking activity. They will examine different categories of food producers and identify examples for each. Working in groups, students will select one category of interest to investigate one food producer (farm) in that category and assess its contribution to a sustainable food future. 

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 understand some of the features of sustainable agriculture.
● Students will be able to do a geographical inquiry in which they learn about one food producer.
● Students will understand how food producers can contribute to a sustainable food future.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 Geography 

● Environmental, economic and technological factors that influence crop yields in Australia and across the world (ACHGK062).
● 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 global population (ACHGK064).

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 geographical concepts and methods to the management of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK074).

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

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability 

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources to select and collect relevant and reliable geographical information and data. They record and represent multi-variable data in a range of appropriate digital and non-digital forms, including a range of maps that comply with cartographic conventions. Students synthesise data and information to draw reasoned conclusions. They present findings, arguments and explanations using relevant geographical terminology and digital representations in a range of appropriate communication forms.

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students explain how interactions between geographical processes at different scales change the characteristics of places. Students identify, analyse and explain significant interconnections between people, places and environments and explain changes that result from these interconnections and their consequences.

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

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

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – the teacher will hold class discussions and facilitate small group work.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. A class set of internet-enabled devices. Set of cards for Diamond Ranking Activity (see Teacher Preparation section). Student Enquiry Resource (optional) – digital access or one copy per student.

Keywords: Agriculture, sustainable, large-scale crop, livestock, farming, horticulture, urban agriculture.

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 some of the features of sustainable agriculture.
  • ... be able to do a geographical inquiry in which they learn about one food producer.
  • ... understand how food producers can contribute to a sustainable food future.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... define sustainable agriculture and food security in their own words.
  • ... critically evaluate different features of sustainable agriculture and rank their perceived importance to a sustainable food future.
  • ... work collaboratively to identify a topic for investigation and undertake an inquiry.
  • ... use geographical tools such as maps, statistics, diagrams and photographs to summarise geographical information.
  • ... make a judgement (assessment) about the role of a food producer in creating a sustainable food future.
  • ... create digital content for a class food map.

Teacher content information: As we approach the year 2050 it is estimated that th

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Student Worksheet

Student Worksheet

1. Use your allocated sustainable agriculture topic to complete the following sentence:

What can farms do to... 

2. Plan your brief class presentation on the question above, here:

3. What can farms do to:

  • reduce or eliminate chemicals.
  • be pollinator friendly. 
  • maintain soil health.
  • conserve water.
  • engage with the community.
  • reduce food waste.
  • encourage biodiversity.
  • produce nutritious, safe food.
  • uphold animal welfare.

4. Add your group's finished diamond ranking here:

5. The following two examples can be used as inspiration for your own farm assessment for your class' food map: 

Example a: 'The ... farm demonstrates a high level of sustainability and is doing as much as it can to produce quality food while minimising environmental impacts and supporting the farmer and his family. The farmer grows a diversity of native flowering plants to support bees and other pollinators and sells his produce locally and would, therefore, have a sm

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