Good vs poor catchment management
This activity provides opportunities for students to analyse decisions made about land management and the underlying scientific knowledge used to justify management strategies.
- evaluate scenarios that represent various catchment management issues
- reformulate scenarios that reflect good management practices.
Science and Society
5.3 Students analyse the relationship between social attitudes and decisions about the applications of science.
6.3 Students use scientific concepts to evaluate the costs and benefits of applications of science (including agricultural and industrial practices).
- Resource Sheet 3 - Good Versus Poor Catchment Management (PDF, 113K)* (one per student).
- butcher’s paper or access to electronic presentation software
- Resources (electronic or printed) identified by students from online reseach activity or provided by the teacher.
- Five catchment management issues have been identified (bottom of first page Resource Sheet 3).
- Choose those issues that relate to the local area and to the number of students in the class.
- Adjust the number of students in the groups to match the number of issues that are examined.
- Information for each issue is gathered by students nominated for that issue from an online reseach activity. Alternatively the teacher may access the facts sheets and other materials listed in the 'other sources of information' below.
Time: 60 minutes
- examining and evaluating
- supporting decisions
- preparing scenarios
Individually, students read the statements on Resource Sheet 3. The students decide whether each statement represents good or poor catchment management. They record their decision about each statement and include notes that explain the reasoning they used to make that decision. The students share their ideas with a partner, then contribute ideas to a whole class discussion.
Working in home groups of five (or the number of issues used)
- Each student in the group chooses a different cathment management issue from Resource Sheet 3 which they research based upon an online search task (or information provided by the teacher).
- Each student searches Australian websites using the words of their nominated catchment management issue for fact sheets or web pages most relevant to the issue and Queensland.
- Each student matches the information from their online search to one of the a statements on Resource Sheet 3. Collectively the students use the statement numbers to complete the table at the bottom of the first page of Resource Sheet 3.
- The student that has researched a particular catchment management issue becomes the ‘group specialist’ for that particular issue.
- Students in the class working on the same fact sheet could work together in one or two groups to extract the relevant information.
The ‘group specialists’ report back to their home group. The students then synthesise the information on all topics. To report back to the class, groups choose a scenario (as described in the statements) and:
- create an illustration, story, cartoon or presentation that highlights the main points of the topic; or
- devise a TV advertisement that dramatises important aspects of the topic; or
- conduct a mock interview, which could be staged by the group, or in which the rest of the class could interview the group.
The report should include answers to the following questions:
- What attitudes might be held by that person or those people, leading them to choose particular practices?
- Do these views conflict with views that might be held by the scientific community?
- How might the attitudes of people such as these affect the way in which they apply new scientific knowledge about natural resource management practices? If you identify problems, suggest some solutions.
As a follow-up, students choose one of the statements (1-5 in Resource Sheet 3) that reflects poor management and rewrite it to include strategies that demonstrate good management of the issues concerned.
Other sources of information
Catchment management issue: Soil erosion in cropping lands
Search: ‘DERM Soil erosion’.
Search: ‘Land Fact Series L13’ - Erosion control in cropping land.
Search: ‘Land Fact Series L83’ - Soil conservation planning in cropping lands
Catchment management issue: Blue-green algae in waterways
Search: ‘Water Fact Series W3’ - Blue -green algae - general information
Search: ‘Toxic algal blooms – a sign of rivers under stress’
Catchment management issue: Sediment control in building sites
Search: ‘Water by Design’ or ‘SEQ WSUD Fact Sheets’
Search: ‘Land Fact Series L42’ - Erosion control in school grounds
Catchment management issue: Feedlot waste management
Search: ‘Intensive livestock environmental management products and publications’ -
Catchment management issue: Acid sulfate soils
Search: ‘DERM Acid sulfate soils’
Gathering information about student learning
Sources of information could include:
- group presentations
- anecdotal notes about students’ contributions to discussion
- students’ rewritten statements.
(The activity ‘Good versus poor catchment management’ is adapted from Kelly 1992, Catchment Care Education Kit)
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Last updated 29 July 2010