Food From The Land – Grade 10 Challenge

Teacher packages are now available from Manitoba Pork. Email info@manitobapork.com or call 204-237-7447.

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Contains: hard copy lesson package; CD of complete package; PowerPoint presentation; industry articles; web linked resources; demonstration scripts; class presentation options; and worksheets and class handouts.

This set of lesson plans, which culminates with the Grade 10 CHALLENGE, has been designed with great care to follow the geography unit Food from the Land developed by Manitoba Education and Training.

We have employed the Activate, Acquire, Assess strategy.

The Grade 10 CHALLENGE is delivered over five lessons that are full of curriculum connections and cross curriculum connections.

Lesson 1

Curriculum Connections:

  • Identify the major food production areas on a map of the world and a map of Canada.
  • Identify physical conditions required to produce major food crops.
  • Select information from a variety of oral, visual, material, print or electronic sources, including primary and secondary.
  • Draw conclusions and make decisions based on research and various types of evidence.
  • Express informed and reasoned opinions.

Lesson 2

Curriculum Connections:

  • Identify the stages involved in food production and distribution.
  • Identify the changing nature of farming on the prairies and describe the social and economic implications for communities.
  • Collaborate with others to achieve group goals and responsibilities.
  • Listen to others to understand their perspectives.

Lesson 3

Curriculum Connections:

  • Respect the Earth as a complex environment in which humans have important responsibilities.
  • Describe the impact of various agriculture practices on the physical environment.
  • Be willing to consider the environmental consequences of their food choices.

 

Cross-curricular Connection:

  • Science – Dynamics of Ecosystems
  • Illustrate and explain how carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen are cycled through an ecosystem.
  • Describe the carrying capacity of an ecosystem.
  • Investigate how human activities affect an ecosystem and use the decision-making model to propose a course of action to enhance its sustainability.

Lesson 4

Curriculum Connections:

  • Describe the impact of various agricultural practices on the physical environment.
  • Be willing to consider the environmental consequences of their food choices.
  • Collaborate with others to achieve group goals and responsibilities.
  • Promote actions that reflect principles of sustainability.
  • Select information from a variety of oral, visual, material, print, or electronic sources, including primary and secondary.
  • Draw conclusions and make decisions based on research and various types of evidence.
  • Express informed and reasoned opinions.

Lesson 5 – The Challenge

Curriculum Connections:

  • Describe the impact of various agricultural practices on the physical environment.
  • Identify human factors affecting the production and use of various types of food.
  • Be willing to consider the environmental consequences of their food choices.
  • Collaborate with others to achieve group goals and responsibilities.
  • Promote actions that reflect principles of sustainability.
  • Select information from a variety of oral, visual, material, print, or electronic sources, including primary and secondary.
  • Draw conclusions and make decisions based on research and various types of evidence.
  • Express informed and reasoned opinions
  • Present information and ideas in a variety of formats appropriate for audience and purpose

Getting started

The lessons begin with the basics, a discussion about agriculture in Manitoba and Canada. What foods and/or other products are grown, raised and produced in Canada and here in Manitoba. Agricultural production and climatic maps are provided within the PowerPoint presentation tools, providing teachers with the visual aids to begin the discussions on the role different regions, landscapes and climate conditions have in determining what is produced where.

The students have to do a little research for homework. They will be asked to determine which are the three most economically important agricultural industries in Manitoba. (Here’s a hint: They are wheat, canola and pigs.) The students have to employ their English skills to write a short report on what factors contribute to their answer. The class can later discuss their findings as a group. Teacher tip: We will supply the web addresses for all the statistics and detail to help get you started.

Fun and games

Now that you’ve handled the introduction and the students have a basic idea of Manitoba’s agricultural products, it’s time to shake things up. Broken into groups, the students participate in a game where they are the game pieces themselves. They must arrange a group of images of the stages of food production into the correct order. It gets them up and moving, gets everyone involved and stimulates thinking – and hopefully gets them asking questions. This is designed to teach about how crops and animals are raised, transported and processed.

Agriculture in your life

How does living in Manitoba, right in the centre of all this food production affect your students’ lives? They may not have done much thinking around this before. Considering the stages of food production they just learned about, which of these aspects has some impact on them?

Brainstorm some positives and negatives. Do they live in a rural area where they are surrounded by agriculture? Or does a parent work in some aspect of the agri-food industry? Can they access safe, healthy food? Has their water supply ever been affected by an agricultural source? Does the air just plain stink some days?

This will involve class discussion and some personal reflection for each student.

Introduction to soil, nutrients and the nutrient cycle

Whether their lists were positive or negative, students will find it very interesting just how little of the earth is capable of supporting agricultural food production. An apple can be used to demonstrate that all of the world’s food production takes place on just a fraction of the planet – and even then only in the thin layer of topsoil! Do the simple demo yourself or use the short web-based video available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA78nPn41F4

Next, they can discover how plants take up nutrients from the soil by conducting a simple hands-on experiment using carnations and coloured water.

Why do these things matter? Because if we think of the top three ag industries in our province, we know that two of them are crops, which require nutrients from the soil in order to grow, and the third both consumes those nutrients in the final product (as animal feed) and can provide those nutrients back to the soil in fertilizer (poop). Et voila – the nutrient cycle!

Guest speaker

Stumped as to what more you’re going to say about the nutrient cycle? We have some ideas for guest speakers, or you can come up with one or two on your own. Following a question and answer session, help the class come up with the pros and cons of chemical and organic fertilizers. It’s a great place to talk about sustainable food production. This can also serve as an introduction to the role of the pork industry.

Your students can research and identify controversies regarding the impact of the pork industry on the environment. We will supply some news clippings, but this is a good place to encourage some investigation on the Internet.

Critical thinking from all sides

With the whole class back together, discuss their findings. What are the different sides of each controversy? Considering these diverse opinions, can your students identify ways that pork producers work to protect the environment, and the importance that environmental sustainability plays in the overall sustainability of the industry?

The Challenge

Divide the class into small groups (pairs, trios, quartets …) for the final project. Not only is this a great way to assess all that they’ve learned and provide a final mark, but this is also where the groups compete to become your class’s entry in the Food from the Land Grade 10 CHALLENGE. With all that they’ve learned in mind, they must make a statement on how pork production in Manitoba impacts the environment.

They can make this statement as either an audio or visual project. For example: a PowerPoint presentation or a documentary-style report.

Submit your class’s top work for judging by a panel of industry experts. The top three entries will be awarded monetary prizes, and it will be recognized in public.

1st prize – $2,000 – $1,000 for the school, $1,000 for the winning group
2nd prize – $1,000 – $500 for the school, $500 for the winning group
3rd prize – $500 – $250 for the school, $250 for the winning group

To register and receive the materials package, email info@manitobapork.com or call 204-237-7447.

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