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Classroom resources

Food Stories

Classroom resources

Classroom activities

Food Stories offers rich material for building lessons relevant to the national geography and history curriculum. Find classroom activities and primary sources to explore the past and present of Australian food production and consumption.

Farms and market gardens

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation has developed a unit of work for year levels 4-6 that explores changes in farming and market gardening practices. The unit includes stories and images drawn from the Collingullie section of Food Stories.

pdf Download the Farms and Market Gardens classroom resource (PDF 5.9mb)

Object story animations

A Year 2 class from Majura Primary, one of the schools featured in Food Stories, wrote scripts and produced animations to tell the story of a plough which was part of its local food history. Students inspected the plough at the site of a former CSIRO experimental farm and talked with a curator and former CSIRO staffer about its significance and workings

See the plough animations

Food mapping and film

A Year 3 class from Monbulk Primary, another school featured in Food Stories, constructed food maps that show the different food producing regions of Victoria. The students researched the types of food produced across Victoria and represented each region on state maps. These maps do not show roads, towns or waterways, but where different foods are produced.

Students photographed the map making, and recorded a description of the project. The photos and audio became a narrated photo essay that explores both the history of local food production in Monbulk, and the process of learning about food production in their home state.

The activity undertaken by Monbulk Primary related to the Year 3 Australian Curriculum, Geography.

More resources

Other Museum resources for teaching about the historical and geographical dimensions of Australian food include:

'Feeding the family', a resource for building historical skills, Years 1 and 2, history

pdf 'Landmarks: People and Places across Australia' (PDF 7.99mb), especially Theme 2: Grazing the grasslands and Theme 4: Extending the farmlands, Year 9, history. 

'Investigating drought – its causes, impacts, management', Years 6 to 10, environment and geography.

‘Water and the Murray-Darling Basin’, Years 8 to 12, environment and geography.

More classroom resources are available at the Schools section of this website.

Primary sources

The Museum’s National Historical Collection is a rich teaching resource. The objects featured in the links below provide useful material for building lessons about Australian farming and food.

David Allen collection of agricultural show medals

Diana Boyer environmental art collection

1930s Farm Life quilt

Kenya station windmill

Placards and other protest material from irrigation communities in the Murray-Darling Basin

Newcastle bakery cart

Essendon milk cart

People and the Environment

Food Stories is part of the National Museum's People and the Environment program. Discover more stories about people's relationships with Australia's natural and built environments on our People and the Environment website.