2. Food Systems and the Spread of Disease

Lesson Plans for Food Systems and the Spread of Disease

These learning activities cover everything in the IB guide for this topic. Lesson plans include resources to use on an interactive whiteboard and worksheets to print. The pages have full student access to give maximum flexibility to the teacher and the student. There are theoretical notes for extended reading and teacher notes at the top that provide timing information lesson objectives and activity instructions


The merits of a systems approach (inputs, stores, transfers, outputs) to compare energy efficiency and water footprints in food production, and relative sustainability in different places

Food Production, Systems and Sustainability

This page provides resources for two lessons based on the merits of a systems aproach in comparing energy efficiency, water footprint and overall sutainability of food production. It uses a number of exciting resources to introduce the concepts of energy efficiency, water footprint and sustainable agriculture. Including PDF resources, informative well chosen clips, a critical thinking activity on an infographic and a lesson based on nexus thinking and hexagon cut-outs. It is encouraged that you supplement this latter activity with issues relating to your school's local geographical context.


The physical and human processes that can lead to variations in food consumption

Why do some eat less?

This page provides a good introduction to a broad range of factors relating to food secuirty. It examines the environmental, demographic, political, social and economic factors that have caused areas of food deficiency and food insecurity. It does this through a number of interactive resources including a learning walk activity and thought provoking resources linked to a discussion on Food Entitlement and Food Availability Deficiency (FED & FAD).

Why do some eat more?

This page examines the patterns and causes of obesity at both the global and regional scale. It introduces them with a hexagon starter activity based on what students already know and then uses the interactive graphs and maps and PDF resources from the Public Health England website to allow students to investigate the issues at the national scale in England. There are a series of interactive tools and worksheets that students can either use within the site or through the interactive whiteboard.


The importance of diffusion (including adoption/acquisition, expansion, relocation) in the spread of agricultural innovations, and also in the spread of diseases, and the role of geographic factors (including physical, economic and political barriers) in the rate of diffusion

Diffusion and Agricultural Innovations

This page provides a good introduction to the factors that influence the spread of innovation. It begins with a short gallery activity to introduce agricultural innovation. This is then extended through a worksheet on types of innovation. A theoretical context to diffusion is provided through comparing different types of agricultural innovation to Hägerstrand’s innovation curve as well expansion and hierarchical spread. This is developed through examples such as large scale dam construction, pesticide use and GM crops. The lesson concludes with the use of a card sort with students examining the different geographical factors that act like bridges or barriers to innovation.

Diffusion of Disease

Students are introduced to the theory of disease spread. Through visual resources, a variety of maps and videos students are provided with the knowledge to explain how the geographic concepts of diffusion by relocation and by expansion apply to the spread of diseases. A number of case study examples, including Ebola and  H1N1 virus are developed to sow how the spread of disease can be managed. The lesson leads uo to a student simulation of  disease outbreak and they required to manage it.


Geographic factors contributing to the incidence, diffusion and impacts (demographic and socio-economic) of vector-borne and water-borne diseases

  • One detailed example of a vector-borne disease and one detailed example of a water-borne disease

Vector-borne and Water-borne Disease

This page includes two lessons on vector borne and water borne diseases. It examines the zika virus spread in Brazil as well as the cholera outbreak that followed the Haitian earthquake in 2010. A number of imaginative resources, including infographics, animated story telling and more detailed documentaries are provided. In addition a number of excellent PDF worksheets accompany the resourcing.

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