Session 5: Environmental issues facing agrarian society

Geography (Ages 11-14)
Session 5: Environmental issues facing agrarian society
Focus: 
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground
  • Environmental issues facing agrarian society
Key Message: 
  • Fiction can reflect reality but there may not always be a happy ending.
Objectives: 
  • To understand landscape is defined by physical and human geography and can change over time
  • To consider what decisions should be made when faced with conflicting interests
Outcomes: 
  • Students will compare real environmental destruction and human displacement with a fictional view
  • Students will consider what decisions should be made when faced with conflicting interests
  • Students will create visualisations of human impacts on physical landscapes
Plan: 

Starter

  • Feed back from homework task: Summarise Avatar film key points. Collate responses to the question: “What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?” (e.g. different viewpoints, consequences and needs)
  • Watch http://www.survivalinternational.org/films/mine up to 10:57

Activity

  • Split the class into groups and provide each with the overview of either Pandora or Odisha from MV Geography resource 5.1 Niyamgiri v Avatar
  • Working in groups students compare the real life story of Odisha with the fictional story of Pandora from the film Avatar, to organise and sort the information provided to collate similarities and differences
  • Set a time for this work to aid speed comprehension
  • Students use the information and conclusions drawn to explain their reasoning for either agreeing or disagreeing with the statement: “The Avatar film could have been based on the mining conflict of Odisha.”

Plenary

  • Feed back and discuss group responses to the Avatar comparison activity.
  • Remind students of the real life impacts of mining explored last session.  Project MV Geography Resource 3.2 Odisha's Story about Pollution, Mining and the Environment. Debate whether or not the cinematic concept “they all lived happily ever after” is achievable in the real world?
  • Do students have anything else to add to their responses to the question, “What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?”

Homework

  • Find an image of a landscape / cityscape online or from a magazine and stick it onto an A4 sheet of paper then label or annotate the human and physical features within it (label = one word, annotate = a sentence).
  • Extension: Consider how the image might change over time – use your annotations to show how something that is human geography (mining) causes something that is physical geography to change (hillside to pit).

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