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Growing for a Sustainable Future: Ontario Agriculture and the New Bioeconomy

Secondary

Description

This teaching resource was written to help students explore the ways in which modern agriculture is producing renewable alternatives to many current products and energy sources.  By completing these lessons, students will gain an understanding of the types of products that Canada's farmers are now producing to help reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources.  These three lessons can be completed individually, or together as a project.

In the first lesson, students learn the basic terminology needed to understand how bioproducts are developed.

The second lesson is the research component of the project and is designed to help students understand how specific bioproducts can help reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources.

Finally, during the third lesson, students pull together all the information they have learned about bioproducts and create a presentation for a specific audience, such as a community group.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Although students are expected to work in groups and develop a presentation for a community group, the skills required to accomplish these tasks are not explicitly taught.

Strengths

A good amount of background information is included for the teacher as well as detailed assessment rubrics for all phases of the project. Templates are included to guide student research. Students construct their own learning through co-operative learning and team work. The topic is extremely relevant to today's communities.

Weaknesses

There could be more information about the socio-economic issues that surround bioproducts.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4( Knowledge and Employability Science): Investigating Matter and Energy in Living Systems
        • Science 14: Investigating Matter and Energy in Living Systems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Chemistry
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Chemistry 20: Forms of matter: Gases
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 24:Applications of Matter and Chemical Change
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: Chemistry and the Environment
        • Science 30: : Energy and the Environment
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Dynamics of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Current Topics in the Sciences 30S: Nature of Science and Technology
        • Current Topics in the Sciences 30S: Science, Technology, Society & the Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Resources, Energy, and Environment
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdisciplinary Topics in Science 40S: Science, Technology, Society and the Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Area of Inquiry: Health and Biotechnology
        • Global Issues
        • Global Issues: Citizenship and Sustainability
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
        • Science 10 Science for Sustainable Societies
        • Science 10 Science for Sustainable Societies: The Nature of Science
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 120:Managing Natural Resources
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 1202: Natural and Human Systems
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1206: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2200: Ecosytems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography 3200/3202: Primary Resource Activities
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4( Knowledge and Employability Science): Investigating Matter and Energy in Living Systems
        • Science 14:Investigating Matter and Energy in the Environment
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Chemistry
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Chemistry 20: Forms of matter: Gases
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 20-4:Applications of Matter and Chemical Change
        • Science 24: Applications of Matter and Chemical Change
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: Chemistry and the Environment
        • Science 30: Energy and the Environment
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • AP Environmental Science: Land and Water
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • AP Human Geography: Agricultural and Rural Land - Use Patterns and Processes
        • Global Geography: Planet Earth
        • Global Geography:Resources and Commodities
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4( Knowledge and Employability Science): Investigating Matter and Energy in Living Systems
        • Science 14: Investigating Matter and Energy in the Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: Chemistry and the Environment
        • Science 30: Energy and the Environment
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • :Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 11(Univer.Prep.) Plants: Anatomy, Growth, and Functions
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Conservation of Energy
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Energy Conservation
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Natural Resource Science and Management
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Chemistry
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • (College Prep.) Chemistry in the Environment
        • (Univ. Prep.) Energy Changes and Rates of Reaction
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship of Natural Resources
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Univ./College Prep.) Biotechnology
        • Science (Workplace Preparation): Chemicals in Consumer Products
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 431A: Life Science, Sustainability of Ecosystems
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science & Technology:The Living World
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics

Themes Addressed

Citizenship (1)

  • Sustainable Consumption

Energy (1)

  • Alternative Energy

Food & Agriculture (1)

  • Biotechnology

Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

  • Rural Issues

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory

The resource does not present any point of view as students must do their own research into the issue. Not included in the resource are present-day fossil fuels and the issues & impacts surrounding their use.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

The activities explore environmental impacts explicitly. Throughout the activity, students must also identify two issues or challenges associated with producing the selected bioproduct, but economic and social issues are not addressed directly in the activities. However, it is highly probable that students will explore these issues through their research.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Satisfactory
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered

The cumulative activity is to be presented to a mock community group such as the town council (the rest of the class is to act as that group).

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Poor/Not considered
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Satisfactory

The third phase of the project includes a presentation to a community group.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory

The resource definitely promotes a positive vision for the future. Past and present issues in agriculture are not mentioned in the resource although students will undoubtedly uncover some of them through their research and discussion.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

Students are to do their own research and come up with their own conclusions regarding the topic.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

The presentation portion of the project will touch on some of the outcomes from an English Language Arts program. The use of media and technology also incorporates skills taught in technology-based courses.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory

The third activity offers students a choice as to what medium they will use to present their findings.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

The third phase of the project (presentation to mock community group) allows for an authentic learning experience.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Co-operative learning and team work is included in the lesson plan; however, the skills required to effectively work in groups is not explicitely taught.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

Background information and website resources are provided for both teachers and students. Rubrics are provided for each phase of the project. These can easily be used to give feedback during an activity or in providing a final assessment. Templates are also included for the first two activities to help students identify what is expected.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

Students present their work to a mock community group in order to bring about a deeper understanding of bioproducts.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory

Students can choose the medium in which they will present to a community group.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.