Grade 6: Eco-assignments
List the food products that you as a family consume regularly. Research where they are grown and why. Cherries and apples for example needs very cold to be grown effectively, maize is usually grown in summer rainfall regions and wheat in both summer and winter rainfall regions.
• Consider growing your own produce on small scale if they happen to be adapted to your climate instead of importing them from other regions
• If you do not have a patch of land to your disposal, ask various families / friends to cooperate – one of them may a section of their garden that could be set aside for this purpose
• Find ways in which you could protect your crops from frost, birds and other animals.
Explain how the following conditions can lead to loss of biodiversity:
• disappearing wetlands
• soil erosion
• extinction of plants and animals
During the 1400’s, what contributions did trade in gold, iron, ivory and cattle make to the lives of the people of the bigger Southern African kingdoms, Mapungubwe, Thulamela and Great Zimbabwe?
1) Discuss the many different ways in which various animals move over the land. For example a pigeon moves differently to finch, and a crocodile, lion and springbuck all move in their own unique ways. Explain why each of these animals have adapted to their specific method of moving.
2) Owls, bats, flies and spiders are just four examples of animals that perceive the world differently through their eyes than humans do. Discuss why these special capabilities of some animals help them to survive. Also mention other senses that some animals rely on like smell and hearing.
3) Different animal types use various social behaviours to survive in the wild. When it comes to gathering food, some animals hunt on their own, like a chameleon that is able to blend in with the colour of his environment, making it less noticeable. Other animals like the wolf and hyena hunts down a bigger prey than themselves in packs. When it comes to raising their young some animals take care for their siblings for years, while others do so only for a very short while. Compare the various types of social behaviour we find in nature.
4) Some animals take special care to build their homes, like the otter. Others only shelter in crags between rocks like dassies and many types of buck only shelter under trees at night. Some animals spend most of their lives in trees like certain monkeys, while some spend most of their time in water like the hippopotamus and crocodiles. Compare the various habitats animals have in terms of their nutritional needs and in terms of protection from other animals and the elements.
5) Rainfall, temperature, the presence of wind, the length of day and the variety of life are different from one region to the next. Fewer animals can survive in the colder polar region or dryer desert regions than for instance in the warm and humid tropics.
* Compare the abundance of animal and plant life found in different climatic regions across the world.
* Compare the abundance of animal and plant life that in various pre-historic ages of the earth.
6) Explain how humans are/were affected by catastrophic events
* in our present day – like floods, continued dry spells and tornado’s.
* in ages past – like continental drifting, global flooding or temperature changes
In an economy there are producers and consumers. Produces make products and consumers buy products. A basic right of the producer would be to charge a reasonable price to the consumer. In return the consumer would expect that the product is of a certain quality and will do what it is promised to do. However, production and consumption has direct impact on the environment. Producers like power stations that produce electricity, use coal (depleting the fossil-fuel resources from the environment) and generate a lot of CO2, polluting the air. If we wish a healthy environment for our children, it is important to treat it as an equal partner in the economic cycle.
Do you think that someone needs to ‘pay’ to restore the environment? Who should it be? Is it the consumer of electricity or the producer of electricity or both?
Some consumers have a lot of appliances and lights that run regularly during the day. Other consumers use only one light for three hours during the evening and a little one plate stove to cook with. Should they not be charged at a lower rate? Other’s still use only solar products. Should they not be compensated for not harming the environment? Please discuss.
Find a specific need that is plaguing your community, for example regular power cuts. Identify products that could be used that that do not rely on electrical power from the ‘grid’, for example solar heaters or solar lights.
• Conduct a survey to see if people from your community would be eager to acquire such products.
• Investigate to see what solar products are available on the market (small to big) and compare prices from various suppliers.
• Investigate from various suppliers if you could not get these products a discount when you buy them in bulk.
• Research the possibility to manufacture or assemble these products yourself
• Calculate the long-term cost of traditional grid-power to the consumer and consider what environmental effect it may have on your community. Compare it with the cost of solar products and its environmental impact.