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Agriculture can certainly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, but farms are also threatened by climate change with issues such as severe weather events causing crop losses. Food waste has also become a significant social issue at a time when food insecurity and food costs have greatly increased. This lesson engages students in exploring some of the impacts of global temperature increases while investigating reduced food waste as a strategy to decrease emissions and protect our food supply chain. An inquire, investigate and inspire learning process involves pupils in accomplishing the following tasks:
Identify and describe types of climate change impacts on agriculture
Research how farmers are adjusting and managing the impacts of higher temperatures on crop production
Analyze a table of possible solutions by examining the reduction in emissions for each action item
Describe some of the environmental and social benefits of reduced food waste
Describe how personal action to reduce wasted food can decrease an individual's carbon footprint
This resource supports Grade 7-9 Science outcomes related to carbon emissions, climate change, sustainability and human impacts on the environment. Science and English Language Arts skills are also used to critically examine technical information and develop a synopsis of ideas about climate change impacts on agriculture.
To extend the learning students might complete a community awareness project about food waste. The class could create a book that provides information about the amount and types of food that are often thrown away along with recipes for using items like overripe produce. Copies could be sent home with students and the class might also partner with a local grocery store to distribute the book to customers.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives
Students gather information from a variety of sources to construct independent conclusions about climate change impacts on food production.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions
Learners develop an awareness of how discarded food produces harmful gases, wastes valuable resources and impacts the amount of food available to vulnerable populations. As they explore these connections they will understand the relationship between a more productive and efficient food supply chain and sustainable consumption.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Pupils will recognize that climate change impacts on agriculture reflect the broader environmental concerns related to water resources, land resources and ecosystem changes.
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning
No direct action projects are included in the lesson, but students will be inspired to make more sustainable food choices and reduce their ecological footprint.
|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
Students learn that cumulative small changes can result in significant global change. They will be motivated to examine their own carbon footprint which supports the development of a stewardship ethic.
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans
Learners will understand the connection between climate change impacts on food production and the subsequent effects on farmers, farm workers and populations struggling with food security.
|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
The lesson does not include a direct experience with the natural world but a teacher could strengthen the learning with a visit to a farm that is using sustainable practices to benefit the local environment.
|Personal Affinity with Earth:
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Many Canadian farmers have experienced catastrophic losses from drought, severe weather and shifting seasons. Students will be able to connect this lesson to local issues such as the socioeconomic consequences of poor harvests or higher food costs.
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future
The lesson demonstrates that young people can have a positive effect on the future health of Earth by becoming ambassadors for sustainability.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.
The small group "deep dive" provides an opportunity to select a specific topic related to climate change impacts on agriculture to explore in further detail. Each group also chooses their own strategy for describing their information. This approach fosters independent thinking and thoughtful peer discussions.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Although this lesson is Science based, students also use English Language Arts skills to read, analyze and summarize written information from a range of sources.
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The teacher provides the framework and materials to direct the lesson, but students have many opprtunities to develop new ideas and be actively engaged in posing questions and discovering answers.
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The "teaching tips" section of this resource includes some differentiation suggestions such as assigning level appropriate resources.
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
An authentic problem forms the basis of the lesson and the inquiry process engages students in a meaningful problem solving task that is applicable and relevant to current world issues.
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in small groups to conduct their research and present their information.
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation
There are no specific assessment strategies but standard English Language Arts rubrics could be used to evaluate student writing tasks. There are several opportunities for formative assessment as the teacher questions students about their ideas.
|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.
Each group presents their research information to the class.
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The "Solutions Table" provides information that scientists use to evaluate the amount of carbon dioxide reductions that could occur if various sustainability options were adopted world wide. Students learn that food waste reduction can significantly decrease emissions and is also one of the most achievable action strategies.
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
Active exploration, independent research and self analysis ensure that students are able to define their own ideas and feelings about climate change, agriculture and food waste.
|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.