Environment 5: Grade 10

Grade 10: Eco Curriculum


B. Atmosphere: weather and climate (Context: The World)
■ The atmosphere
• the impact of weather systems on vegetation and human activities;
• impact of humans on the atmosphere and weather (e.g. the ozone issue, global warming, acid rain, the
greenhouse effect – use case studies from African states);
• deserts: formation, distribution, arid processes and resultant landforms.

E. People and their organizations (Context: The World and Africa)
This section emphasises human interactions with the environment that promote democratic processes, social justice, economic sustainability and peace. It provides opportunities for learners to develop a critical understanding of unequal distribution patterns and processes over space and time, and the resultant uneven development. It also introduces learners to processes of democratic dialogue and collaborative action for the attainment of shared values. Learners are encouraged to develop a common purpose in seeking viable solutions and appropriate management strategies for addressing inequalities in society and the environment. People
organise themselves for action in different ways.
■ Civic organisations (e.g. local pressure groups, non-governmental organisations).
■ National organisations (e.g. political organisations).
■ Continental organisations (e.g. SADC, NEPAD, AU).
■ Global organisations (e.g. United Nations, multinationals, Oxfam, World Bank).




Cell Structure

Discuss the history of the invention of microscopes
Discuss the history of the discovery of cells

Describe the use of microscope in different fields of study
List the different parts of the light microscope and state the function of each part
Discuss magnification of the different lenses of the microscope
Describe the steps involved in the use and care of the microscope

Microscopic skills
Set up and use a light microscope
Prepare a wet mount of plant or animal cells
Draw the cell as observed under the light microscope
State the rules to be followed when making biological drawings and representations

Structure of the cell
Describe the structure, functions and structural adaptations to their functions, of the following organelles:-

• cell wall
• cell membrane
• cytoplasm
• nucleus
• endoplasmic reticulum
• ribosome • nuclear membrane
• chromatin material
• chloroplast
• mitochondrion
• vacuole

Tabulate differences between plant and animal cells

Diffusion and osmosis
Demonstrate how the processes of diffusion and osmosis take place
Explain the processes of diffusion and osmosis

Food Production

Revise the definitions of producers, consumers and decomposers
Using models, prepared microscope slides or charts, list the various parts of the leaf and state the functions and adaptations to functions of each part
Using prepared microscope slides, 35mm slides or electron micrographs, revise the structure, functions and adaptations to function, of chloroplasts
Define photosynthesis
List the requirements and products of photosynthesis
Explain how the leaf and its tissues play a role in meeting the requirements of photosynthesis

The importance of photosynthesis
Discuss importance of photosynthesis in terms of
 provision of energy for all living organisms
 maintaining the correct balance of O2 and CO2 in the atmosphere
Discuss consequences of large scale removal of vegetation such as in deforestation

The process photosynthesis
Carry out the basic starch test on leaves
Conduct one or more practical investigations in photosynthesis such as the following:
 chlorophyll is essential for photosynthesis
 sunlight is essential for photosynthesis
 CO2 is essential for photosynthesis
 O2 is evolved / formed during photosynthesis
Briefly describe the process of photosynthesis as the following (no further biochemical details):
1) Light Phase – chlorophyll traps light energy from the sun and uses this energy to split water molecules to form energised hydrogen and oxygen. The energised hydrogen atoms are released and then passed on to the dark phase. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere. Some energy trapped by the chlorophyll is used to form the energy carrier, ATP
2) Dark phase – use of the energised hydrogen from the light phase and CO2 to form hydrocarbons, ultimately to form sugars like glucose and later starch. Energy for this formation comes from ATP from the light phase
Discuss the factors that could affect the rate of photosynthesis



Biosphere, biomes and ecosystems

Define the terms biosphere, biome and ecosystem
Explain biosphere as hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere
Describe examples of biomes found in South Africa with reference to:
 climate
 organisms found there

Practical study of one ecosystem
(At least one hypothesis testing practical should be done in this section)
Discuss the biotic components of an ecosystem e.g.:
 plants (e.g.  number of plants, adaptations to environment, muti plants, invader plants)
 animals (e.g. number of carnivores, herbivores, invaders/pests)
 decomposers (fungi and bacteria;  biodegradable and non-biodegradable substances)
Discuss the following abiotic components
 temperature
 water
 light
 soil
 physiographic factors
 Conduct an investigation involving one or more of the abiotic components listed above

Interaction between biotic and abiotic components
Discuss the interaction between biotic and abiotic components in an ecosystem selected from one of the biomes in South Africa (e.g. effect of light/water, etc. on the growth of plants and activity of animals)
Energy flow within an environment

Explain what is meant by energy flow.
List major components of the pathway of energy flow as: producers, consumers (herbivores and carnivores), decomposers

Food chains and food webs
Use the organisms found in the selected ecosystem to explain how the following will be formed
 food chains
 food webs
Describe the impact of human activities on the existence of food chains and food webs

Biodiversity of plants and animals and their conservation

Define the terms biodiversity and conservation
Outline the biodiversity that exists with regard to:
 habitats
 modes of nutrition
 structural adaptations

Classification of organisms
Explain the need for classification
Briefly mention different systems of classification of life forms
State the 5 kingdom classification of living organisms
Using examples, state the general characteristics of each kingdom

Study of a biome
Define a biome
Review the variety of biomes that exist (from Environmental Studies)
Briefly describe the selected biome and list the challenges that face organisms that live here
Describe the diversity of organisms that exist in a selected biome
Compare, through a practical study,  the similarities and differences that organisms show in order to survive in water and on land (using at least one example of an aquatic and a terrestrial plant and animal)
Highlight the advantages of structural adaptations of organisms to the environment for survival, in contributing to biodiversity

Significance and value of biodiversity to ecosystem function and human survival

Energy flow and energy relationships
Review energy flow through an ecosystem (from environmental studies)
Use data to briefly describe the effect of environmental imbalances (eg. drought, disease) on food chains, food webs, energy flow and biodiversity
Explain the influence of biodiversity on the number of food chains in an ecosystem
Explain how the number of food chains increases the complexity of the food web in an ecosystem
Explain how the complexity of a food web contributes to ecosystem survival

Adaptations for survival
Define the term adaptation
Explain why it is necessary for organisms to adapt in the environment
Explain how increased survival of the species contributes to biodiversity

Provision of living and non living resources for humans
Define natural resources
Name the living and non-living resources in an ecosystem near you
Discuss ways that humans utilise these resources
Explain how humans can use these resources in a sustainable way
Investigate how some community uses living and non-living resources for cultural purposes

Threats to Biodiversity

What is meant by loss of biodiversity
List consequences of a loss in biodiversity

Threats to Energy Relationships and continued provision of human resources
Discuss any two natural factors that may lead to loss of biodiversity such as…
• floods
• fires
• cyclones
• tornadoes
• droughts
Discuss any two human activities that may lead to loss of biodiversity such as…
• Habitat Destruction
• Deforestation
• Silviculture/Commercial Forestry
• Poaching and Hunting
• Overfishing
• Traditional medicine/muti-trade
• Introduction of alien species
• Global warming
• Ozone depletion
• Commercial agriculture
• Ranching
• Pollution,
• Dune mining

Preventing threats to biodiversity
Conduct research to find out
• Species that have become extinct
• species that are endangered
• factors that lead to species becoming endangered or becoming extinct
• strategies to prevent extinction (arbor day, world environment day, etc.)
• legislation as a strategy to overcome threats to biodiversity, e.g. legislation controlling fishing, legislation for  protected species, legislation over pollution control