I’ve added some resources to the Agriculture page, specific to issues of hunger and waste as well as factory farming. I will continue to build this page to include sources for background information on other issues such as GMOs, pesticide and fertilizer use, traditional farming methods, etc. You’ll find it all at…
GeoKnow.net > Anthroposphere > Resources > Agriculture
I, too, cringe at the title as I am working with my students to stop using the term “3rd world” in favour of “Developing” or “Pre-Industrial”. That being said, the interactive “game” 3rd World Farmer has done more for my students towards creating empathy than anything else I have introduced to them. Suddenly, they realize what life is like for over 2.5 billion people each and every day. And those same students remember the experience for years afterwards.
Players become subsistence farmers with a family, a small plot of land and $50 to start with. They then direct their own destiny by choosing crops to grow and by suffering the hardships subsistence farmers in developing countries endure: civil war, drought, crop failures, ill health, etc. But, they also have an opportunity to invest in increasing the quality of their lives by sending their children to school, upgrading their farm with a shed and livestock, provided they earn the money to do so.
Students quickly realize the odds are stacked against them. However, that doesn’t prevent some from being “successful” in that they earn income and keep their family healthy and educated.
I use this with Grade 7s in my World Studies course along with a spreadsheet to allow them to keep track of how well they meet the goals that any family would expect from life. What is particularly interesting is how quickly they realize how different their goals in the West are from the goals of subsistence farmers.
If you like reality checks and light bulbs going on in students’ minds, then try 3rd World Farmer. I’ve added it to both the Development page on GeoKnow.net and the Agriculture page.
Do you subscribe to NASA’s Earth Observatory Image of the Day? If you are a student of geography, you should; if you are a teacher, you must! Each week you will be sent a synopsis of the images from that week – but it’s not just images! With each image is a well-researched write up providing context and additional links.
As well, they offer feature stories, often about how remote sensing is used to analyse issues here on Earth. One I turn to frequently is “Seeing the Forests for the Trees” which is a look at how satellite technology is used not just to analyse land cover, but also the height of forest canopy. For Geomatics students, they provide a behind-the-scenes look at how satellite data is verified through direct observation.
The article is multifaceted in that’s you learn about studying forests and forestry issues, and also about remote sensing and forests as carbon sinks.
Land, if you need more information about Forests, head over to