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KLA/Subject: Food Technology | HSIE

Stage: Stage 3 | Stage 4

Food Needs - Halal


  • CUS 3.3 describes different cultural influences and their contribution to Australian identity.
Food Technology
  • 4.3.2 identifies the factors that influence food habits and relates them to food choices.
  • 4.4.1 collects, interprets and uses information from a variety of sources.


This lesson uses two photographs from Making Multicultural Australia as a stimulus for investigating foods for special needs. In this case the focus is on Islamic dietary requirements and the implications for Muslims wanting to shop for Halal food in Australia.

Material to Download

Worksheet: Halal - Definition

Worksheet: Halal - Worksheet

Archival Images: Inside of the Auburn Mosque

Archival Images: Young Muslim girls at Auburn Mosque

Suggested Activities

Ask students what dietary restrictions some people might have. This can include things such as peanuts (allergies), dairy (lactose intolerance), meat products (beliefs, religious or philosophical), sugars (diabetic), wheat (celiac disease).

View and discuss
As an introduction to discussing the dietary requirements of Muslims, have students view the archival images, 'Young Muslim girls at Auburn Mosque' and 'Inside of the Auburn Mosque'. As part of the discussion, note that Islam is one world religion and followers are required to observe certain things such as particular dress, style of worship and consumption of particular foods. Ask students to consider the following questions:

  1. Which religion do you think these girls follow? (Islam - note that some Muslim women wear a "hijab" or headscarf and not all Muslim women/girls cover their head)
  2. What type of building might this be? (Mosque)
  3. Which religion is followed in this house of worship? (Islam)

Group reading

  1. Divide students into groups of 4 and ask them to read the worksheet 'Halal - Definition'.
  2. Ask groups to discuss the implications for Australian Muslims wanting to select Halal foods when shopping.
  3. Distribute to groups the worksheet, 'Halal' and ask students to:
    • read packaging on various food
    • decide whether the food is Halal or Haram
    • specify how they decided the food is Halal or Haram
    • list each item on the worksheet grid
  4. Have groups swap packages so that each group sees all food packages and labels.
  5. Review completed worksheets with the class.

Many people have particular food requirements according to health, beliefs (religious/philosophical) and other factors. Many Muslim Australians use packaging information to identify Halal and Haram foods and buy accordingly. Note that one type of food may be considered Halal when made by one company/brand but not considered to be Halal when made by another company/brand. This is one of many examples of consumers using the list of ingredients on foods to identify desirable/undesirable items.

Preparation Checklist

You will need to:

  1. Make sufficient copies of the worksheet 'Halal' for each student or one for each group of four students.
  2. Download and make an overhead transparency of archival images 'Young Muslim girls at Auburn Mosque' and 'Inside the Auburn Mosque'. Download these images using the links in the 'Materials to Download' section above or alternatively access these images from the Making Multicultural Australia Library.
  3. Collect, or have students collect, food packaging with and without Halal certification. Food certified Halal is marked with a logo. See 'Halal Definition' worksheet. Examples of food wrappings you might select include:
    • cheese wrappers (e.g. some Coon cheese has Halal certification)
    • ice cream containers with/without halal gelatin and halal emulsifiers listed (e.g. some Streets and some Cadbury ice creams list halal)
    • yoghurt containers with/without halal gelatin listed (e.g. some Bi-Lo yoghurts list halal)
    • selection of wrappers from biscuits and chocolate bars containing gelatin which is/is not listed as halal or vegetable based
    • any packaging from foods containing pork products (e.g. some tinned soups, sausages, spaghetti, etc.)
    • other relevant examples


    Ask students to:

    1. investigate dietary requirements of another religion and the implications for shopping, e.g. Jewish (kosher), Buddhist, Jainism (lacto-vegetarian diet), etc.
    2. plan and prepare meals to meet the religious needs of a particular group.

    Related Resources

    See Religious Diets as an example of a useful website

    Lesson Notes

    Teachers need to ensure that a positive atmosphere is maintained and no negative comments about beliefs are made. Be aware of any Muslim students in the class and ensure they are comfortable with the discussion. Encourage them to contribute information about how they family chooses what foods to eat or not eat.

    Date Added:

    10 December 2004