Design and technology levels 7 and 8

Lesson overview - front of packaging and labelling

This lesson is part of a Level 7 and 8 Design and Technology unit on food packaging. This lesson is focused on how designed solutions have changed over time.

Victorian Curriculum – Design and technologies

Levels 7 and 8

Investigate the ways in which designed solutions evolve locally, nationally, regionally and globally through the creativity, innovation, and enterprise of individuals and groups (VCDSTS044).

Learning intention

We are learning about the changes to food packaging designs that have occurred over time.

Success criteria

I can explain how food packaging has changed over time and identify some of the reasons for these changes.

Extension ideas

Extend the success criteria (outcome):  I can compare food packaging designs from different time periods, identify reasons for changes, and decide if designs from the past would be effective if they were used today.

Lesson sequence

Activity 1

Provide students with a range of modern day packaged food products so students can explore the front-of-package labelling. The products could be themed, such as snacks, cereals, or pre-packaged meals.

Working in small groups, students examine one food product per group.

Each group completes a Y-Chart to describe the following features of their front-of-package label:

  • information and claims (e.g., organic, tasty, quick)
  • look (i.e., colours, images, mascots)
  • feel (e.g., fun, convenient, healthy).

Student groups discuss the following questions:

  • Who is the target market, i.e., adults, teenagers, health-conscious consumers?
  • How are mascots and images used to create a message?
  • Why are certain colours used? Do they portray a message?
  • Do you think any of the claims are misleading?

Students share their findings in a class or small-group discussion.

Extension ideas

High-ability students could be grouped together for this task or could design a consumer Science experiment that would test the effectiveness of the design features on their selected packaging.

Activity 2

Student groups use the internet to research a similar product sold in the past.

Students discuss: What is similar and what is different about this packaging? Why?

Extension ideas

High-ability students could:

  • be grouped together for this task.
  • investigate the time period associated with the product and consider how this is reflected in the packaging design.
  • consider whether the packaging design from the past would be effective today and provide a justification for their decision.


This lesson plan is adapted from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority's unit Food labelling practices.