Collect bean or other seeds. Get a container of reasonable size. Make small holes in the base and fill with loam soil. Plant 5 seeds in the container. Water the seeds daily. Observe and draw the changes in the planted seeds over time. Keep mathematical charts of growth. Try growing seeds without a) light b) water What happens? From your experiment, can you say what seeds need to germinate? You could also experiment with planting seeds at varying depths in the soil to see if this makes any difference.
Research how local farmers germinate their seeds and what kind of things they grow. Are the foodstuffs they grow used locally or are they transported to other areas of the country or the world? Why does this happen? Do you think this is a good or a bad thing? Give reasons why.
Research the problems local farmers have with pests that damage their crops. What methods do they use to stop this damage? Find out about organic farming methods and what is involved. Do you think it is a good idea to farm organically? Can you think why some farmers don’t want to use organic methods?
How do your local farmers keep their crops supplied with water? Do you know what irrigation is? Find out and then set up a simple irrigation system in your science lesson.
Find 3 seeds that combine to help each other grow successfully. You will need one to be tall and strong stemmed so that it can act as a support, one to be a small climbing plant and one to give shade and protection from the elements. If they are planted together at the correct time then you should have 3 foods to eat at the harvest time! Have fun. As a hint – you could try 1) corn 2) pea 3) courgette. Compare everything you have learned about farming in the UK with how African farmers work. What they want to achieve is very much the same but the conditions are extremely different. If you visit the other subject areas, there are ideas for looking further at some of these aspects.