Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This is a STEAM lesson, which adds the Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). To find out more about STEAM and STEM, click here. In this lesson, students consider the nature of organic farming and link it to home gardening practices. Students will then design and model a vegetable garden for their home or school using familiar craft materials. 

This STEAM lesson demonstrates how science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics are interrelated. The lesson requires students to draw on and develop skills from all areas to complete their project.

Learning intevntions:

  • Students understand how a home garden can grow their own organic produce.

21st-century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 1 Science

  • Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017).
  • Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211).
  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022).

Year 2 Science

  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030).
  • Earth’s resources are used in a variety of ways (ACSSU032).
  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035).

Year 1 and 2 Design and Technologies

  • Identify how people design and produce familiar products, services and environments and consider sustainability to meet personal and local community needs (ACTDEK001).
  • Explore how plants and animals are grown for food, clothing and shelter and how food is selected and prepared for healthy eating (ACTDEK003).
  • Explore the characteristics and properties of materials and components that are used to produce designed solutions (ACTDEK004).
  • Generate, develop and record design ideas through describing, drawing and modelling (ACTDEP006).
  • Use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to safely make designed solutions (ACTDEP007).

Year 1 and 2 Visual Arts

  • Explore ideas, experiences, observations and imagination to create visual artworks and design, including considering ideas in artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists (ACAVAM106).
  • Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks (ACAVAM107).
  • Create and display artworks to communicate ideas to an audience (ACAVAM108).

Year 1 Mathematics

  • Measure and compare the lengths and capacities of pairs of objects using uniform informal units (ACMMG019).
  • Recognise and classify familiar two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects using obvious features (ACMMG022).

Year 2 Mathematics

  • Compare and order several shapes and objects based on length, area, volume and capacity using appropriate uniform informal units (ACMMG037).
  • Describe the features of three-dimensional objects (ACMMG043).

Syllabus outcomes: ST1-10LW, ST1-11LW, ST1-9ES, STe-5WT, STe-9ME, STe-10ME, ST1-5WT, ST1-10LW, ST1-11LW, ST1-12MW, ST1-13MW, ST1-14BE, ST1-15I, ST1-16P, VAS1.1, VAS1.2, MA1‑1WM, MA1‑3WM, MA1-9MG, MA1-11MG, MA1-14MG, MA1-15MG.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 1 Science Achievement Standards: Students describe objects and events that they encounter in their everyday lives, and the effects of interacting with materials and objects. They describe changes in their local environment and how different places meet the needs of living things.

Relevant parts of Year 2 Science Achievement Standards: Students describe changes to objects, materials and living things. They identify that certain materials and resources have different uses and describe examples of where science is used in people’s daily lives.

Relevant parts or Year 1 and 2 Design and Technologies Achievement Standards: Students describe the purpose of familiar products, services and environments and how they meet a range of present needs. Students identify needs, opportunities or problems and describe them. With guidance, students produce designed solutions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts. Students evaluate their ideas, information and solutions on the basis of personal preferences and provided criteria including care for the environment. They safely create solutions and communicate ideas and information face-to-face and online.

Relevant parts of Year 1 and 2 Visual Arts Content Descriptors: Students describe artworks they make and those to which they respond. They consider where and why people make artworks. Students use the elements and processes of arts subjects to make and share artworks that represent ideas.

Relevant parts of Year 1 Mathematics Achievement Standards: Students describe two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects. Students order objects based on lengths and capacities using informal units.

Relevant parts of Year 2 Mathematics Achievement Standards: Students recognise the features of three-dimensional objects. They interpret simple maps of familiar locations.

Topic: STEAM

Unit of work: STEAM Made Simple – Primary

Time required:  120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: medium – students’ competency completing the construction element of this task will depend on their experiences with creating models and the level of development of their fine motor skills.

Resources required: Device capable of presenting a video to the class. The Organic Farm Worksheet (one per student). Vegetable Garden Design Challenge Sheet (printed A3 or projected for the class to view). Vegetable Garden Design Sketch Worksheet (one per student). Vegetable Garden Reflection Questions (printed A3 or projected for the class to view). Icy-pole sticks, pre-cut into 10, 5 and 3 cm lengths. Scissors for the teacher to cut icy-pole sticks. Tacky Glue (recommended one bottle per 3 students). Unlined Boxboard (one sheet per student). Art Smocks (one per student). Fine tip markers (optional). Extra Icy-pole sticks (optional). Icy-pole Construction Sheet (optional).


Keywords: STEAM, STEM, organic, farm, farming, fruit, vegetables, health, garden bed, home garden, kitchen garden, chemicals, eating, food.

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 how a home garden can grow their own organic produce.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... explain in their own words what organic produce is.
  • ... explain how they can grow their own organic produce.
  • ... design a vegetable garden for the home or school.
  • ... make use of familiar construction materials to develop a prototype of their vegetable garden design.

Teacher content information:

STEAM Education

Over recent years, the importance of STEM has been heavily promoted and discussed within fields of education. This has been within the context of ensuring that the next generation of students are provided with relevant knowledge and skills for the 21st century. STEM acknowledges the importance of the interrelated nature of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and the prominence of these skills in a world of continuous technological advancement.

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