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Food, Farming, and Climate Change

Secondary

Description

How does climate change affect your food? Watch a video to learn how climate change affects 
farms and what farmers in your area are doing about it. Research different farming techniques, 
and learn how agriculture can affect climate change in both positive and negative ways.

Students investigate the effect of climate change on their food? They watch a video to learn how climate change affects farms and what farmers in their area are doing about it. They research different farming techniques, and learn how agriculture can affect climate change in both positive and negative ways.

Students will realize that climate change is not only happening in the arctic or coastal communities but where they live as well. Students will learn that there are actions that they can take to help with climate change mitigation and adaptation locally. 
Learning Objectives:

 1. Food production is associated to soil health 

2. Weather associated with climate change affects soil productivity 

3. You can make a difference with your food purchases 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Students have an opportunity to strengthen those skills related to effective viewing, and researching and reporting on an issue.

Strengths

The link between climate change and our ability to feed a growing world population is a critical one. The pedagogy used in this particular resource to help students understand that link is effective.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The resource has relevance for those units of study that address climate change, resource management, food production and security, appropriate technology, and responsible consumption.

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 9
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Core
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 11:Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems
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        • Science for Citizenship 11: Scientific understanding enables humans to respond and adapt to changes locally and globally
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
        • Environmental Science 12: Sustainable land use is essential to meet the needs of a growing population
      • Social Studies
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        • Human Geography 12: Human activities alter landscapes in a variety of ways.
        • Physical Geography 12: Interactions between human activities and the atmosphere affect local and global weather and climate
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
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        • Geographic Issues of the 21 st Century: Food from the Land
    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
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        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Food Supply: Production and Distribution
      • Social Studies
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        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 9
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        • Science 9 Ecosystem Dynamics: Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
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        • Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
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        • Advanced Environmental Science 120: Earth Systems
        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
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        • Canadian Geography 120:Managing Natural Resources
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    • Grade 12
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        • Environmental Science 3205: Land Use & the Environment
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        • World Geography 3200/3202: Primary Resource Activities
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        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
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        • Geography of Canada 11: Geography of Risk
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        • AP Environmental Science: Land and Water
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        • AP Human Geography: Agricultural and Rural Land - Use Patterns and Processes
        • Global Geography:Resources and Commodities
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 9
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        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Liveable Communities
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        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry
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        • Forces of Nature: Physical Processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.): The Physical Environment: Sustainability and Stewardship
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      • Geography
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        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Sustainability of Natural Resources
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        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
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        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 621A: Natural Resources
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        • Agriscience 801A: Crop Production
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        • The Contemporary World: Environment
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        • Contemporary World: Environment
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
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        • Geography 10: Climate
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 20: Terrestrial Systems
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 11
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11:Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
        • Environmental Science 12: Sustainable land use is essential to meet the needs of a growing population
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Human Geography 12: Human activities alter landscapes in a variety of ways.
        • Physical Geography 12: Interactions between human activities and the atmosphere affect local and global weather and climate

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Food & Agriculture (1)

    • Food Security

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The lesson recognizes and outlines the threat to agriculture caused by climate change. This is not a point of view but a reality. The opportunity to consider different perspectives with respect to farming methods and technology arises from student investigation of and reporting on these topics.

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 Very Good

The examination of the impact of climate change on farming and how we might respond requires that we examine the environmental consequences of increased drought, flooding, and wind. It also leads to a discussion on the economic cost to both the producer and the consumer attached to damage to or loss of crops. Finally, it requires that we consider social issues such as the future of the farmer and our access to healthy and affordable food.

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

Students may be expected to recognize that the farm is an ecosystem and that any strategy to mitigate the impact of climate change must recognize the interplay among severe weather, technology and sustainable practices. 

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Good

The suggestions for extended learning includes a number of activities that encourage students to act on their learning. These include identifying the carbon footprint of their lunch, calculating the food miles that bring their meals to the table, visiting a farm in the area and acting on the information gained in each instance.

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 Good

In discussing the merits of various agricultural practices, students must consider the values attached to our reliance on industrial farming, global imports and local foods.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

Students may be expected to emerge from the lesson with a greater appreciation of farmers and the struggles they face and the commitment of many to sustainable agriculture.

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 lesson helps students understand the link between the land and the food they eat and how climate change can threaten the agricultural viability of that land.

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

Food and farming are universal issues and the link between the farm, the farmer, and our table is both local and global. The extended learning suggestions also encourage students to visit a local farm to learn that connection first hand.

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

Climate change challenges today's farmers and part of the solution is to return to certain traditional practices as well as incorporating the tools provided by current and future technology.

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 Good

In investigating and reporting on various farms and farm technologies and how they contribute to climate change or help mitigate it, students will have to weigh the merits of and the challenges presented by those strategies they may advocate as part of the solution.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

A study of farming and climate change may be approached through the lens of resource management and the discipline of geography. Economist are interested in our ability to feed a growing world population and the cost of food. The scientist will want to know how technology can help and the environmental consequences of any technological solution. Social Studies is interested in both these elements and also in the role of the farmer and the farm family as we make choices in these matters.

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

The lesson poses a problem - what can be done to mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture. It includes a video that suggest a number of possible responses and it asks student to dig deeper by investigating what other options are available in terms of technology and techniques.

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 Good

Students gain an understanding of the issue by viewing a video and reading a background article. They are then challenged to dig deeper into the issue by investigating what tools or techniques are available to  farmers in their struggle with climate change. In each of these instances, students efforts may be supported by their classmates as they cooperate to enhance their understanding of the issues.

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 Satisfactory

Students acquire an understanding of the issues by viewing and listening but once this is in place, they are asked to visit a local farmers market and talk to the farmers about the issues raised by their study. They also come to an appreciation that they can make a difference by their food choices.

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 Good

Students work in groups to investigate a topic of their choosing related to various agricultural issues and present their findings to the rest of the class.

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 Good

The student completed Viewing Guide and the student report prepared on farming and climate change both provide material for evaluation of student understanding.

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 Good

Students have an opportunity to learn from their classmates as they listen and respond to the presentations made by other students on farming and climate change.

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 Good

The video, Climate Change on the Farm describes the measures taken by a particular farm in Credit Valley to meet the challenges to farming posed by climate change.

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 Good

Once students have been introduced to the link between climate change and farming, they are asked to select a topic of their choosing that will allow them to dig deeper into the effects of and possible responses to climate change as it relates to farming.

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.