Topic 5 Practical Ideas

Topic 5 Practical Ideas

Topic 5 includes several possibilities in terms of soil and food production depending upon the time available. At a minimum, students should have the chance to do some simple soil tests and feel different soils. I find that students get really excited at the prospect of growing their own plants.

5.1 Soil Testing and Analysis

I start by introducing students to some basic soil tests before we proceed to more creative lab exercises. Encourage students to get their hands dirty; feel the soil.For these tests you will need to do...

5.1 Soil Type and Productivity

I recently decided that this would be a good introduction to a full planning lab without being too challenging. In fact, the precursor to this lab was Improving Planning Skills - The Sandwich Challenge,...

5.2 Food Intake Analysis

I've made this activity using data from the UN FAO. Here is the original article. It makes interesting background reading.You can download a copy of the activity here.The data shown below indicates that...

5.2 and 2.3 Impact of Feeding on Different Trophic Levels

This has amazing effects when students complete the exercise and they realise the energy impacts of eating meat. It always stimulates a lot of debate. Sometimes I have used it much earlier in the course...

5.3 Investigating salinisation on plant growth

​This is the sort of topic that I used to encourage for independent planning labs in the pollution topic. I now see it as a good idea for investigation in the IA.There are two basic approaches that...

4.1 and 5.1 Soil Dry Percolation Rate

The dry percolation rate of a soil is a measure of how fast water flows through dry soil. This is important as it will help determine how well a particular soil will cope with heavy or continuous rain...

4.1 and 5.1 Soil Porosity

Porosity is the amount of air space in a soil sample. These air spaces are what facilitate the movement of water, oxygen and nitrogen through the soil. The pore spaces also form an important part of the...

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