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Current Food Issues

Secondary, Middle

Description

The Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) has produced these materials to help learners explore the challenges and advantages of local food production.  The resource also involves students in the preparation of tasty dishes based on  local, organic products. The lesson plans were developed to support modules from Saskatchewan's Food Studies 10/30 Programme but have application in all jurisdictions.

The resource is divided into 8 units.

 1. What are the Issues?- A warm-up webbing exercise to create a “big picture” image of food issues

 2.The Right to Food- Includes activities to explore the meaning of food security and help understand that diet depends in part on where a person lives

3. The Globalization of Food- Students assess consumer connections to the globalization of food and examine some of the inequities that exist in terms of rights and access to food around  the world.  Students act on ways to address food issues in our schools, communities, regions and the world

4. Assuring Healthy Food Production- Students examine the principles of organic production in Saskatchewan and assess the usefulness of these principles for consumers.  Students will also assess the relationships between industrial/conventional agriculture and local, organic food production. 

5. Sustainable Food Choices: an exploration- Lessons help students to understand the link between organic agriculture and the consumer and to encourage a local perspective regarding food production and consumption.

6. Fighting Disease with Low-cost Pulses-Addresses the need for low-cost, healthy and tasty alternatives. Students assess the value of pulses for health and are provided practical opportunities to develop a food palate for pulses

7.The True Cost of Cheap Food!  Activities identify costs associated with mass food production, processing and transportation.  Students draw tentative conclusions about the true cost of food grown organically and close to home in comparison to foods of the global marketplace.

8. Action Planning - Provides ideas to students for taking their learning into the community

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This module teaches the learner analytic skills relating to the challenges and advantages of local food production. Others skills include presenting, Powerpoint development, comparing data sets, speaking and listening.

Strengths

  • The resource is very interesting.
  • The opening lesson will capture the attention of most students.
  • Some of the activities are amusing and will be of interest to most students.
  • There is an abundance of support material available both for the teacher and the student with additional information on-line.
  • The modules are easy to use and up to date.

Weaknesses

The module would benefit from even more locally-based learning.

Links to the Falls Brook Centre (http://www.fallsbrookcentre.ca/) need to be updated.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 10
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      • Social Studies
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        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Canadian Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Identity?
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 6
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      • Physical Education & Health
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        • Physical and Health Education: Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being
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        • Physical and Health Education: Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being
    • Grade 8
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      • Physical Education & Health
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        • Physical and Health Education: Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 12: Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.
        • Environmental Science 12: Sustainable land use is essential to meet the needs of a growing population
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geographic Issues of the 21 st Century: Food from the Land
    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Food Supply: Production and Distribution
  • New Brunswick
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Advanced Environmental Science 120: Earth Systems
        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Sustainable Development
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        • Canadian Geography 120:Continental and Global Linkages
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        • World Issues 120: Geopolitics
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      • Health Education
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        • Health: Environmental Health
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        • Canadian Geography 1202: Global Issues n Canadian Geography
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        • Environmental Science 3205: Land Use & the Environment
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  • Ontario
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    • Grade 9
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        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Interactions in the Physical Environment
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        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Reducing and Managing Waste
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      • Geography
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        • Forces of Nature: Physical Processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.): The Physical Environment: Sustainability and Stewardship
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        • Travel & Tourism: A Geographic Perspective (Open): Sustainability, Stewardship, and Tourism
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      • Geography
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        • Global Connections
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        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship of Natural Resources
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Preparation): Human-Environment Interactions
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Preparation): Methods of Geographic Inquiry and Communication
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Prfeparation)
        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Populations (Univ. / College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis(Univ. Prep.): Interactions and Interdependence: Globalization
      • Technological Education
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        • Health Care (College Prep.) : Health Care,The Environment and Society
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        • Geography of Canada 421A: Canada’s Global Connections
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        • Environmental Science 621A: Human Population and Carrying Capacity
        • Environmental Science 621A: Natural Resources
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        • What can I do?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues
        • Geography 621A Global Issues : Inquiry- What are the issues?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues: Introduction- What is a global issue?
        • Geography 631A Global Issues: What are the issues?
        • Geography 631A Global Issues: Introduction - What Is a Global Issue
        • Geography 631A Global Issues: What Can I Do?
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physical Education & Health
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical and Health Education: Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physical Education & Health
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical and Health Education: Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physical Education & Health
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical and Health Education: Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.
        • Environmental Science 12: Sustainable land use is essential to meet the needs of a growing population

Themes Addressed

  • Economics (1)

    • Globalization
  • Food & Agriculture (5)

    • Conventional Farming
    • Food Security
    • Local Food
    • Organic Farming
    • Subsistence Farming
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Hunger and Malnutrition

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

This module does an excellent job of presenting the many different points of view about current food issues.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The module does a good job addressing the multiple dimensions of the problem. It is covers the effects of pesticides on humans but ignores the effects on wildlife.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good

The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

Action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered

The module does not directly encourage a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

Some locally-focused learning is encouraged.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Poor/Not considered

This aspect is not covered in this module.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

There are very good opportunities for learning in a number of traditional subject areas such as math, computer science, language arts and food science.  However, these the opportunities are not specifically addressed.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & they make some of  their own decisions on how to find answers.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory

The module does address a range of learning styles/different intelligences but does not include specific suggestions for accommodation.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

Authentic experiences related to the primary goal of the lesson are included.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Very Good

Several tools are provided for assessment and evaluation.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

Students are not explicitly reliant on their peers for learning. Incidental teaching arises from presentations.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

Relevant case studies are used.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.