Search for Resources

Global Food Security: How can we feed a growing population?

Elementary, Middle

Description

Students conduct 3 activities that explore agricultural inputs and outputs in an effort to better understand some of the challenges involved in producing enough food to meet a growing human population while protecting the environment. General descriptions of two additional ‘cross curricular’ activities have been included to encourage students to connect with schools in other jurisdictions.

Activity 1. Students conduct their own research to determine the types of crops and livestock raised in their region as well as the various farming methods used.  In doing so, students will also explore the role of “inputs” and  “limiting factors” (climate, altitude, water) in determining agricultural outputs in food production.  They can share and compare their findings with students from other parts of the world by connecting with the publisher’s facebook page, Schools Online.

Activity 2.  Students conduct an experiment to demonstrate the effect of soil salinity on seed germination to better understand the impact of arid climates and irrigation on productivity.  The activity also provides students with insight into hypothesis testing and controlling variables in an experimental setting.

Activity 3. In this experiential activity, students build floating gardens to test their effectiveness as a solution to growing food in landscapes prone to flooding made more frequent due to climate change.

Students are provided with a list of materials and instructions required to carry out the experimental procedures in activities 2 and 3. The resource also includes background information to provide an overview of the problem of food security, the challenges it presents,  and some possible solutions.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Conducting a controlled experiment.

Strengths

  • The resource introduces students to an important issue.
  • The resource provides excellent background to the challenges and solutions surrounding food security.
  • The resource offers experiential activities that include guided inquiry.
  • The information accompanying the resource does a good job in introducing the role of science and technology in achieving food security.

Weaknesses

  • Additional efforts to help students connect the results of their activities to the broader issues pertaining to food security (as laid out in the introduction) should be included.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would prove appropriate in helping students participate in World Food Day.  It has application in those courses that include outcomes addressing food security, world hunger, climate change, interactions in ecosystems, agriculture and population growth. 

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.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: Properties and Uses of Earth Materials:Scientific Literacy
        • Science 4:Properties and Uses of Earth Materials:Science Technology Society and Environment (STSE)
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interaction of Ecosystems
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: Habitats
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Environmental Action
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions in the Environment
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Food & Agriculture (2)

    • Conventional Farming
    • Food Security

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Students conduct their own research and investigations to answer questions and establish a context for further discussion of food security.

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 Satisfactory

While the background information provided to introduce this resource and its activities effectively describes the issue of food security in the multidimensional framework of sustainable development, the activities themselves are focused on very specific aspects of growing food.  Connecting student findings to the broader discussion of food security will require support not included in the activities themselves.

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 Good

The complexity of the challenges relating to food security with a growing human population is effectively presented in the background to the student activities.  Teachers will need to include or incorporate this information in the discussion following completion of the activities.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered

This criterion is not addressed.

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 Satisfactory

This is not a strength of this resource.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory

Opportunities exist for students to discuss the plight of those individuals living in regions of the world without food security.  Teachers will need to highlight and act on these opportunities.

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 Good

The activities and suggested extensions do a good job in connecting students to the natural world through the lens of agriculture and producing enough food to feed a growing population.

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

All three of the core learning activities address relevant issues. Suggested activities extend the learning into the community.

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 Good

Again, it is the background information to the student activities that presents the chronology of events significant in the past, present and future challenges relating to food security.

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

Students conduct their own research and investigations.  They are not steered in any particular direction.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

The resource offers opportunities to address outcomes in science, geography, social studies and health.

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 Satisfactory

The 3 core activities involve students in guided inquiry.

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

Students carry out research, hypothesis testing, hands-on activities, as well as oral, written and on-line communication.

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

The core activities are experiential and relevant to the lives of the students.  Suggested activities take the learning into the community.

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

The activities are structured to accommodate cooperative learning.  Students are encouraged as well to work cooperatively with students from other parts of the world.

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 Poor/Not considered

Assessment tools or suggestions are not included.

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

The activities encourage students to share their findings with classmates and other young people around the world through social media. 

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 Poor/Not considered

Not included.

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

Some general areas and ideas for extension are included but are not well supported.

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.
28 total queries
(query time) (total time) (query)
0.0021 0.0021 (SET NAMES 'utf8')
0.0003 0.0024 ( SELECT issues.issue_id as id, issue_content.title as name FROM issues LEFT JOIN issue_content USING (issue_id) WHERE issue_content.lang_id='1' ORDER BY issue_content.title ASC ) [14 row(s)]
0.0004 0.0028 (SELECT * FROM page_details LEFT JOIN page_content USING (page_id) WHERE page_details.page='resource' AND parent_page=1 AND lang_id='1' AND page_details.live='yes') [1 row(s)]
0.0004 0.0032 (SELECT * FROM page_details LEFT JOIN page_content USING (page_id) WHERE page_details.page='global-food-security-how-can-we-feed-a-growing-population' AND parent_page=5 AND lang_id='1' AND page_details.live='yes') [0 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0035 (SELECT * FROM cms76_languages WHERE lang_id=1) [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0038 (SELECT * FROM cms76_languages WHERE lang_id!=1) [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0041 (SELECT * FROM page_details LEFT JOIN page_content USING (page_id) WHERE page_details.page_id='5' AND lang_id='1' AND page_details.live='yes') [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0044 (SELECT * FROM cms76_modules LEFT JOIN page_includes USING (module_id) WHERE page_id=5 ORDER BY page_order) [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0047 (SELECT * FROM page_details WHERE page_id='5') [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.005 ( SELECT resource_content.title FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_content USING (resource_id) WHERE resources.language_id='1' AND resources.slug='global-food-security-how-can-we-feed-a-growing-population' ) [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0053 ( SELECT resource_content.description FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_content USING (resource_id) WHERE resources.language_id='1' AND resources.slug='global-food-security-how-can-we-feed-a-growing-population' ) [1 row(s)]
0.0002 0.0055 ( SELECT resource_content.title FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_content USING (resource_id) WHERE resources.language_id='1' AND resources.slug='global-food-security-how-can-we-feed-a-growing-population' ) [1 row(s)]
0.0004 0.0059 ( SELECT resources.resource_id, resources.*, resource_content.* FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_content USING (resource_id) LEFT JOIN resource_curriculum ON resource_curriculum.resource_id=resources.resource_id LEFT JOIN curriculum_units ON curriculum_units.curriculum_id=resource_curriculum.curriculum_id WHERE resources.language_id='1' AND resources.slug='global-food-security-how-can-we-feed-a-growing-population' AND resources.live='yes' GROUP BY resource_content.resource_id ) [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0062 ( SELECT resource_supplier_content.organization, resource_supplier.website as organization_website FROM resource_supplier LEFT JOIN resource_supplier_content ON resource_supplier_content.supplier_id=resource_supplier.supplier_id WHERE resource_supplier.supplier_id='1212' AND resource_supplier_content.lang_id = 1 ) [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0065 ( SELECT compilation_content.compilation_id, compilation_content.title as compilation_title FROM resource_compilation LEFT JOIN compilation USING (compilation_id) LEFT JOIN compilation_content USING (compilation_id) WHERE resource_compilation.resource_id='2914' AND compilation.in_sidebar='yes' AND compilation_content.lang_id='1' ) [0 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0068 ( SELECT curriculum_audience_content.name as audience FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_curriculum USING (resource_id) LEFT JOIN curriculum_units ON curriculum_units.curriculum_id=resource_curriculum.curriculum_id LEFT JOIN curriculum_audience_content ON curriculum_audience_content.audience_id=curriculum_units.audience_id WHERE curriculum_audience_content.lang_id='1' AND resource_curriculum.weight>0 AND resource_curriculum.resource_id='2914' AND resources.live='yes' GROUP BY curriculum_units.audience_id ORDER BY audience ) [3 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0071 ( SELECT resource_resource_types.type_id as icon FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_resource_types USING (resource_id) WHERE resource_id='2914' ) [1 row(s)]
0.0004 0.0075 ( SELECT resource_assessment_questions_content.question_field, resource_assessment_questions_content.question_short as question, resource_assessment_questions_content.question as question_long FROM resource_assessment_questions LEFT JOIN resource_assessment_questions_content USING (question_field) WHERE resource_assessment_questions_content.lang_id='1' AND resource_assessment_questions_content.question_field like 'resource_assessment.%' ORDER BY display_order ASC ) [8 row(s)]
0.0004 0.0079 ( SELECT * FROM resource_assessment WHERE resource_id='2914' ) [1 row(s)]
0.0004 0.0083 ( SELECT curriculum_audience_content.name as audience, curriculum_subject_content.name as subject, curriculum_province_content.name as province, GROUP_CONCAT(DISTINCT curriculum_content.title SEPARATOR ';') as units FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_curriculum USING (resource_id) LEFT JOIN curriculum_units ON curriculum_units.curriculum_id=resource_curriculum.curriculum_id LEFT JOIN curriculum_content ON curriculum_content.curriculum_id=resource_curriculum.curriculum_id LEFT JOIN curriculum_audience_content ON curriculum_audience_content.audience_id=curriculum_units.audience_id LEFT JOIN curriculum_subject_content ON curriculum_subject_content.subject_id=curriculum_units.subject_id LEFT JOIN curriculum_province_content ON curriculum_province_content.province_id=curriculum_units.province_id WHERE curriculum_content.lang_id='1' AND curriculum_audience_content.lang_id='1' AND curriculum_subject_content.lang_id='1' AND curriculum_province_content.lang_id='1' AND resource_curriculum.weight>0 AND resource_curriculum.resource_id='2914' AND resources.live='yes' GROUP BY curriculum_units.audience_id,curriculum_units.subject_id,curriculum_units.province_id ORDER BY province, audience, subject ) [23 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0086 ( SELECT issue_content.issue_id, issue_content.title as issue_title, issues_sub_themes_content.title as theme_title FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_theme ON resource_theme.resource_id=resources.resource_id LEFT JOIN issues_sub_themes ON issues_sub_themes.theme_id=resource_theme.theme_id LEFT JOIN issues_sub_themes_content ON issues_sub_themes_content.theme_id=resource_theme.theme_id LEFT JOIN issue_content ON issue_content.issue_id=issues_sub_themes.issue_id WHERE issues_sub_themes_content.lang_id='1' AND issue_content.lang_id='1' AND resource_theme.resource_id='2914' AND resources.live='yes' GROUP BY issues_sub_themes.theme_id ORDER BY issue_title, theme_title ) [3 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0089 (SELECT review_type FROM resources WHERE resources.resource_id='2914') [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0092 ( SELECT resource_assessment_questions_content.question_field, resource_assessment_questions_content.question_short as question, resource_assessment_questions_content.question as question_long FROM resource_assessment_questions LEFT JOIN resource_assessment_questions_content USING (question_field) WHERE resource_assessment_questions_content.lang_id='1' AND resource_assessment_questions_content.question_field like 'resource_assessment_sustainability.%' ORDER BY display_order ASC ) [9 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0095 ( SELECT * FROM resource_assessment_sustainability WHERE resource_id='2914' ) [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0098 (SELECT review_type FROM resources WHERE resources.resource_id='2914') [1 row(s)]
0.0003 0.0101 ( SELECT resource_assessment_questions_content.question_field, resource_assessment_questions_content.question_short as question, resource_assessment_questions_content.question as question_long FROM resource_assessment_questions LEFT JOIN resource_assessment_questions_content USING (question_field) WHERE resource_assessment_questions_content.lang_id='1' AND resource_assessment_questions_content.question_field like 'resource_assessment_pedagogical.%' ORDER BY display_order ASC ) [10 row(s)]
0.0004 0.0105 ( SELECT * FROM resource_assessment_pedagogical WHERE resource_id='2914' ) [1 row(s)]
0.0007 0.0112 ( SELECT issue_content.issue_id, issue_content.title as issue_title, issues_sub_themes_content.title as theme_title FROM resources LEFT JOIN resource_theme ON resource_theme.resource_id=resources.resource_id LEFT JOIN issues_sub_themes ON issues_sub_themes.theme_id=resource_theme.theme_id LEFT JOIN issues_sub_themes_content ON issues_sub_themes_content.theme_id=resource_theme.theme_id LEFT JOIN issue_content ON issue_content.issue_id=issues_sub_themes.issue_id WHERE issues_sub_themes_content.lang_id='1' AND issue_content.lang_id='1' AND resource_theme.resource_id='2914' AND resources.live='yes' GROUP BY issues_sub_themes.issue_id ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 0,5 ) [2 row(s)]