Atlas skills: Choose a country to focus on. Using all the graphical information given, complete a written report on that particular country with details of weather, seasons, population etc.
Research and planning a map: Having completed some research on what foodstuffs are grown in Africa, plan what you would grow on a piece of land large enough to grow fruit and vegetables for the family. Make sure your plan has a key. If you know about crop rotation, you could show how you would change what you grow over two or more years.
Research and experiment:
Soil erosion is a huge problem to many Africans. Firstly, find out what soil erosion is and how it affects successful growing. Get an amount of soil and mix it thoroughly in a container of water – then leave it to settle and observe. Have any layers formed? Any floating matter is called humus and is important organic material. If soil becomes too dry through heat it turns to dust and loses all the goodness plants need to grow. In Africa, the sun is fiercely hot and so much of the soil is eroded making it hard to grow anything. How do you think fruit trees can help with this problem?
You may have already visited the water cycle before but look at it again in relation to hot places such as Africa. Does the water cycle work in the same way? Are there any differences?
Find out how deforestation in places like Sierra Leone has affected people’s lives. In Malawi, the people make their own brick from the earth. They fire them in home - made kilns fuelled by wood from trees which have been cut down leaving huge areas of land bare. What methods could be used to help prevent this? Are there alternative fuels? Are there trees that grow really rapidly are easily replaceable?
Activity 5 (Science)
In the science modules, local sourcing of food was one of the subjects for research and discussion. Work with a small group to present a report on carbon offsetting. How does the planting of trees help? Can you provide any data? (The Carbon Trust website may help). Please include diagrams to show any processes. How many ways can you find to help the carbon footprint of your family or school? Who in society can do the most to help reduce carbon dioxide output? Is it families, businesses or schools?