T4L Loves Food and Farming 
Teachers' Notes 

Please share your students' work with us, we love to highlight these in the magazine: t4Linnovations@det.nsw.edu.au

About T4L Kids magazine
T4L Kids magazine is developed by the Department of Education NSW Technology 4 Learning (T4L) team. You will find the NSW curriculum links at the bottom of these teachers' notes.  


The magazine and the activities are open for all schools, to use anywhere, anytime. The magazine is designed to allow your students to work through the content and activities independently or as part of your class. 

We write the magazine for all learners and acknowledge that teachers are learners too. Each edition includes 'how to’ videos to support students to use the technology. We aim to provide some context and pedagogy behind the challenges, and the teacher guide elaborates the thinking behind the choice of tools.

We acknowledge your skills and encourage you to do what you do best. Ask the questions to deepen the thinking, support students to connect what they know with the challenges before them and work with your students to establish expectations, goals and measures for success. Make the magazine your own, and remember the use of the tools can easily transfer to new topics and often new technologies.  

Some of this may involve learning along with your students. That is better than OK. That is a powerful model for students to see lifelong learning in action

Generally aimed at students in years 4 - 8, the depth and expectations around the outcomes can be modified. We outline NSW curriculum outcomes here in the teachers’ notes. This is edition #13 and you will find all other T4L Magazines here.

Pages 2 - 3

Another simple classroom planting activity that allows your class to see the root system of the plant as it grows is presented here 

This edition of the magazine celebrates the launch of the stem.T4L Aeroponics Kit. The magazine itself lives here. 

If you want to get some plant action happening in your classroom, here are two very easy and satisfying ways to chart the growth of plants. The science syllabus outcomes are listed below. 

The first is simply cutting up an old tomato into slices and putting it in to some potting mix.

This is an American video so uses imperial measurement units. It is a good opportunity to discuss and compare these to highlight that not everyone measures using the same units.

What are the other global measurement units?
e.g. Height ? Feet? cm?  List and compare.
When did Australia change its units of measurement? How and why?

Did you know Australia has an official 'Style Manual' and measurement is part of that?  

See the results of the planting here 

Underpinning the professor's work are some concepts that your students certainly can get their heads around.

Asking your students: 

There are so many things you can do. Every day you learn new things but you use what you already know to keep learning and mastering new tasks.
​​​​You may or may not have ever made a peanut butter and jelly-jam sandwich, but once you learn I am sure you could make a cheese and tomato or whatever your favourite sandwich is pretty easily. 

This family is trying out an exact instructions challenge with the dad following exact instructions. Let's see how it goes...
After you watch the video check out all of the comments. (teachers check just in case) but generally the respondents are computer programmers admiring the video. Why?

Let's look at the concepts behind the sandwich 'programming'.
Robots aren't as clever as us, they are getting smarter. Ask students if they have heard of Artificial intelligence (AI)?
The dad is thinking like a robot and the kids are the programmers.  Robots, through the computers that run them, need humans to input instructions, ALL instructions. The robots then output the actions.
It is exactly what happens when you code or program a computer.

​​​​​​​Every time the kids get it wrong what do they do?
They go back, think about where they got it wrong and have another go.
​​​​​​​The programming term to going back and fixing things is to debug.
​​​​​There is one other term to learn to think and talk like a programmer - algorithm is the set of instructions given to solve a particular problem.

Activity: Ask your students to see if they can create algorithms to get each other to move through a task or from place to place.
Discuss the steps. 

Activity: Your students can kick start their coding experience even if there is no 'gear' available -  you just need internet connection.
Go to the T4L Kids TV Page
Navigate to the
Start Coding – Create code with Minecraft Education Edition, CS First and Apple Swift Playgrounds and choose the technology to give your students the experience of coding.
Discuss the input, output, debug and algorithm terminology and computational thinking.

Pages 4 - 5

Taking your passion to the next level

Do you any of your students have an interest in cooking? We have presented here some steps to consider to make it a career for them. 

What makes a 'Celebrity Chef'?

Kylie Kwong is one of Australia's best known 'Celebrity Chefs'. As a celebrity chef, she requires not only exceptional culinary skills but also strong business knowledge, marketing skills and a strong personal brand.

Challenge #4 below - creating a class cookbook and each student will have an opportunity to create a little bit of themselves in their recipe.

Focussing on marketing skills and a strong personal brand.

This has a strong message and connection to
'Safe and Responsible use of Technology' and presenting a positive online first impression -
thinking about how you want others to see you online.  

Kylie uses her Chinese heritage and her love of native bush and organic foods as part of her personal brand.
She tells a very personal story and presents her passion and values to her audience through the images and design of her website. https://www.luckykwong.com.au/

Curtis Stone is another Celebrity Chef who might have missed opportunity with his https://www.curtisstone.com/  (You might want to get your kids to redesign this for him!)

Looking at these images:
What can your students tell about the personal brand of each of these chefs?

Who is likely to be their audience? What types of food might they cook? All these assumptions from a single image and the choice of a font and colours.


In addition to developing your culinary skills, it is important to develop your personal brand. This includes creating a unique style of cooking, developing your own recipes and building a following on social media.

Can you create a webpage design to host your recipe?
Design a set for a recipe recording or create a mood board with the style for your personal brand for Challenge #4.

Get your students creating presentations with Sway  Direct video link
Build fast and easy websites with Google Sites  Direct video link 

Digging Deeper into astronomy

What is the influence of the planets on our world?

Questions to get your students to answer on a Jamboard  - 1 slide each

What others do students have? 

 6. How did the planets and stars assist first Nations Peoples' farming?

Using these links, develop questions for the Jamboard or even a summary of what they found out. 

Pages 6 - 7 

Here is a simple activity to try out with your class.
Get your kids to bring in something 'everyday' and something exotic.

Or set your students off to help with their family shopping at the supermarket or even check out online supermarkets like Coles, Safeway and Aldi or their local IGA.

You may need to dig deep to see where the produce has come from, but can you make a list of items and their source location?

Use the foodmiles calculator to see the distance the ingredients have travelled for some common recipes.
Use the T4L Kids data edition to get some ideas in the best ways to create and share your data. 


Can you make your recipe more sustainable?
Does this affect the price?

If so, why do you think that is the case?
What decisions do families have to make? 

You might want to use
Microsoft Office 365 – Excel

Discover the mathematical functions of Excel on T4L Kids TV

For more support, go to the Excel Support Centre

What can you learn from these?

We have shown Molly and 'Straws no more' before
It has been an effective campaign - How do we know? How was it measured? 

Earth Hour
A simple task anyone can do.

Why? What are the benefits and strategies?

Use the OZ Harvest resources to see what they do and how you can reduce waste in your home/ school. 

An infographic is a purposeful way to communicate complex ideas and statistics in short and concise ways. 

When you create your campaign in Canva infographics see if you can halve the words you use and present it with images/ graphs and other visuals. 

Pages 8 - 9 

In order to reduce your food wastage, you first have to be able to measure and compare the data you collect throughout the challenge.

Get ideas from the Dynamic Data issue of T4L Kids issue #6

Learn how to capture data with Google Forms and Microsoft Forms

Learn how to create a useful infographic (magazine issue #6)

Presenting Data bring data to life with Canva, Keynote or PowerPoint Source

Some simple measures in your classroom are to look at student lunches.

If there are lots of leftovers, could students pack less or add notes in their own lunchboxes to alert by sending a note to the maker of the lunch as to why they are throwing out their food e.g. I don't like peanut butter or it is just too big a portion. 

Another simple idea is to allow students to eat fresh fruit and vegetables in class with water.
Does this reduce waste but inspire healthy eating throughout the day? 

Page Links
Ladybird - original robot 

RIPPA was used operationally 

Digital Farmhand used by small-holder farmers

SwagBot was built for the cattle industry.

If you don't have a Micro:bit

This Minecraft Edu world is downloadable and supports students to gain knowledge:

Why not make this part of your schools own
Hour of Code for 2023?

Full resources and a certificate are available on the stem.T4L Learning Library - Coding page

Science in farming is underway not only with technology but also with the work in a lab where the modification of the very plants we grow is underway. 

Genetic modification is a process with a long history of ethical debate. It could be an interesting study for older students with not only exploring the impacts but also the ethics.  

What are the pros and cons around this science? 

Pages 10 - 11 

Real World  Experience

Romilly Newman was 12 when she started her food blog. She offered others advice here
Many years later she has made it her career and was even interviewed by Oprah http://www.romillynewman.com/recipes
Diva, as shown in the mag, is doing her own cooking show.

Kick starting the idea

A great tool for students to create their own page of recipes is Sway

They can login with their email address and details to create their own.

Sway operates like a toolbelt for any images, words or videos they might want to create.

Hot Tip: If students are recording recipes at home, you would need to have parental permission to show any personal information.
e.g. images voices etc.
Some parents will be OK others not so.

To keep the cookbook consistent, why not get the recordings to show only hands, ingredients  and add the text after using a tool like WeVideo or iMovie (Apple)
See example here and below with the chocolate Syrup recipe. 

Photos as a sequence can do exactly the same thing using a 'Stack' in Sway would be ideal to show the sequence of steps.

Watch this episode of T4L Kids TV to get started with: 

Pages 12 

The processes above with the creation of an instructional resource leads to a whole English writing genre - Procedural Text.

The Green Thumb page could be a way for your class to take the technology examples in the Recipe book and give it another context.

Could be the Green Thumb page experience of growing the tomato from slices, the beans or something else e.g. setting up a class garden.

The technology and even the literacy focus remains the same, but the topic and information is different 

Does this change the audience?
If so, how does the language change?

NSW Syllabus Outcomes

Each edition of the magazine presents students with a challenge using a design thinking process and different ideas around technology use. T4L Kids Issue 11 is generally ICT based media creation and the application of that in this magazine connects with the English Syllabus. 

The NSW English K-10 Syllabus - Defines text as

The communications of meaning produced in any media that incorporates language, including sound, print, film, electronic and multimedia representations. Texts include written, spoken, non-verbal, visual or multimodal communications of meaning.

So many of these activities fit in the English syllabus as contemporary responses to and creation of texts from creating ebooks to designing infographics and visual photo stories. 

English Outcomes Stage 3      

EN3-1A Communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features.

EN3-2A Composes, edits and presents well-structured and coherent texts.

EN3-6B Uses knowledge of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary to respond to and compose clear and cohesive texts in different media and technologies

EN3-7C Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts.

EN3-9E Recognises, reflects on and assesses their strengths as a learner.

Science and Technology Outcomes Stage 3 

ST3-2DP-T Plans and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity..

English Outcomes Stage 4      

EN4-2A Effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies.

EN4-3B Uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts.

EN4-4B Makes effective language choices to creatively shape meaning with accuracy, clarity and coherence.

EN4-7D Demonstrates understanding of how texts can express aspects of their broadening world and their relationships within it.

Design and Technology Outcomes Stage 4   

DT4-1    Identifies and describes a range of design concepts and processes.​​​​​​​

DT4-6 Identifies creative, innovative, and enterprising design ideas and solutions.

DT4-7 Communicates design ideas and solutions using a range of techniques.

Mathematics Syllabus Outcomes 

The NSW Mathematics Syllabus Outcomes - Statistics and Probability
The objective is for students to build the knowledge and skills to collect, represent, analyse, interpret and evaluate data, assign and use probabilities, and make sound judgements.
Challenge activities involving the collection, interpretation and presentation of data may address that a student:

MA2-3WM - checks the accuracy of a statement and explains the reasoning used

MA3-3WM - gives a valid reason for supporting one possible solution over another

MA4-3WM - recognises and explains mathematical relationships using reasoning

MA2-18SP - selects appropriate methods to collect data, and constructs, compares, interprets and evaluates data displays, including tables, picture graphs and column graphs

MA3-18SP - uses appropriate methods to collect data and constructs, interprets and evaluates data displays, including dot plots, line graphs and two-way tables

MA3-18SP - uses appropriate methods to collect data and constructs, interprets and evaluates data displays, including dot plots, line graphs and two-way tables