Eco Assignment 2 – Grade 01

Grade 1: Eco-assignments

Earth used to be a very clean place. In the beginning there were much fewer people living on our planet. Nature then cycled everything very efficiently. The plants in the rivers were still able to effectively act like a strainer or sieve cleaning the water. The way nature then recycled the water through evaporation (water-particles going up) and precipitation (water/ ice going down) was enough to keep water on earth clean of impurities. The winds were able to easily blow and effectively mix all the smoke from our fires to cook food and from veldt fires with air around the globe. There used to be no cars and factories pumping poisonous smoke into the air way back then. People have not yet produced products like plastic and paper that nowadays pollute the surface of our towns and cities. Way back then everything was very, very clean.

Now there are millions of people on the earth and the ways nature used to clean the environment is no good enough to deal effectively with all the waste that is being produced by so many people. The earth is finding it hard to provide every person on earth with his/her basic needs.

Basic needs are the things that we as humans cannot do without. These are the air that we breathe the water that we drink and the food that we eat – they all come from the natural environment. Other basic needs also include proper shelter or a decent place to stay in. But anything more than this could be called wants. We may want to have a big expensive toy, but in fact we would be able to live well even without it.

So, you can see it is therefore very important for us to look well after our environment. If public areas like public toilets at shopping centres and schools or parks and play-grounds are not in a hygienic condition our health, self-worth and quality of life will suffer. A healthy environment ensures a healthy life.

If we don’t have clean water to our disposal, whether it comes from a spring near our houses or whether it comes from the tap, chances that we will get sick are very real. The reasons for water-pollution are many ranging from industry pumping waste into it or individuals defecating in it or washing their clothes in it with soap. Our health could also suffer when the air is foul or when the surface is polluted with filth and germs. If we are forced to live in these types of conditions our quality of life will be poor.

Other than our basic needs, the environment also provides us with products such as mud and straw that we can use to build houses. We can mine various minerals from the earth – one of them is iron with witch we can manufacture products like IBR roof sheeting to be used as a roof on top of our houses. The ingredients of most materials that we produce use to build houses with (bricks, glass, tiles), are from nature. We refer to things in the environment that are not alive – like soil, air and water, as a-biotic.
As you know, we also share the environment with other living things such as animals and plants. Living things are referred to as the biotic elements of the environment. Like us, their welfare is also dependent on the state of the a-biotic part of the natural world. Like us they need shelter from the elements such as the rain and wind and like us they need to eat and drink to stay healthy. As humans we have a very real connection with the natural world. Their activities are also often regulated like ours by night and day intervals and by the seasons. We have even taken trees and shrubs and flower-plants from the wild and use them to beautify our gardens and homes. However, animals in the wild are unpredictable and dangerous and we therefore need to be careful when confronted with any of them, whether a small insect or spider or a snake or bigger animal.

We have domesticated some animals which sometimes even live with us in our homes. Some of them work for us, like horses and donkeys or provide us with products such as milk (cows and goats) and some are just our pets, like cats and dogs and birds. It is important not to trust strange domesticated animals as they may attack when they feel threatened.
1) Give a public place in your area facelift
2) Build your own house with favourite materials

1) Imagine the South Africa before settlers from Europe arrived. Compare the rich biodiversity that supplied in the simple needs of ancient cultures compared to the sophisticated needs of the family today.
2) Also point out the damaging role that big-scale agricultural and industrial development has had on the natural ecosystems.

Natural Sciences
1) Compare how the body-parts of humans and animals are similar but not the same
2) Explain how you could add living (biotic) components to your class and playground?
3) Explain how co-existence between humans and animals has certain benefits but also presents dangers.
4) Explain how does the sun, moon and stars allow us / don’t allow us to do certain activities
5) Explain how does the weather allow us / don’t allow us to do certain activities
6) Explain how does the type of soil allow us / don’t allow us to do certain activities

Economic Management
1) Tell us which of the chores that you are responsible for in the house impacts on the environment, e.g. watering the pot-plant at your front door. It is a responsible task because:
• if you forget to do it the plant will suffer and eventually die – it will no longer look pretty at your home entrance and in order to replace the plant , it will cost your family money;
• if you forget to turn off the tap, a lot of water will be wasted and some one in the family will need to pay for the wasted water at the end of the month, leaving the family with less money to buy clothes, food and books for school.
2) Paste pictures from an old magazine or newspaper on a poster and identify them as either a ‘need’ or a ‘want’. Also tell us how much you will be willing to pay for each of them and give a reason why – based on popularity or manufacturing effort or something else.
3) Identify various objects in the classroom and categorize them as either plastic, metal, paper or wood or food or other.  Discuss whether they could be recycled or re-purposed once they have been used.

1) Make a simple item, for example a small basket from natural materials. Think from where do the natural materials come from and what other animals might have used it for their own purposes, for example a bird might have used it to build its nest or a rhino or giraffe might have eaten it.
2) Identify various objects in the classroom and categorize them as metal, wood, plastic, paper, fabric, or organic (soil in a pot). Identify ways in which each can be used for another purpose (repurposing).
3) Make various decorative items like wristbands and necklaces from used products like the lids of different kinds of bottles.