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Database Provider

Author

ClimateScience

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

English Language Arts, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 60 minutes
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

Global

Format

PDF

Making Space for Food

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Synopsis
  • This activity helps students visualize the area of land needed to grow or raise specific foods. 
  • While practicing geometry, the students gain some insight into the disproportionate land requirements of livestock compared to plant-based protein sources.

Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This lesson is a practical and engaging way to practice mathematical concepts.
  • The worksheet for the students is very detailed, with clear instructions on how to record and analyze dimensions measured.

Additional Prerequisites

  • A large open space like a gym or field is needed for this lesson.
  • Teachers will need to provide students with measuring tapes and cones or some other sort of marker.

Differentiation

  • This activity can be used to review conversion from one metric value to another.
  • For students who are not very math-loving, consider creating the groups so that their strengths are emphasized in the analysis/reporting section.
  • Students could select from a wider range of foods using this resource.
  • Other related resources include this SubjectToClimate lesson about the carbon footprints of foods, this video on innovative farming practices to reduce land requirements, and this video on the negative climate impacts of beef.
  • Using this video as background, students could do similar calculations to those from this lesson but instead measure the land requirements for different energy sources like solar, wind, nuclear, and fossil fuel.
Scientist Notes
This resource is geared toward older students, 15 years and older, that can do some basic geometry by calculating the actual amount of land needed to produce 100 grams of protein from different sources. All of the facts and percentages in the resource are accurate and verifiable, and the sources offer additional resources for those interested. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • English Language Arts
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.9-10.3 Create writing that utilizes: a) Organization: introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, analysis, information, and claims to make important connections and distinctions. Establish and maintain a structure and conventions consistent with the mode of writing. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the topic, themes, and experiences presented in the text; b) Transitions: use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts; c) Word Choice (including domain-specific): use culturally-sustaining language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. Use telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
      • W.11-12.3 Create writing that utilizes: a) Organization: introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, analysis, information, and claims so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole. Establish and maintain a structure and conventions consistent with the mode of writing. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the topic, themes, and experiences presented in the text; b) Transitions: use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts; c) Word Choice (including domain-specific): use culturally-sustaining language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. Use techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.
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