Farming the Desert: The Science Behind Desertification

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Organization:PBS LearningMedia; The Nature Conservancy
Publication Date:2015
Summary:The purpose of these activities is to introduce students to the factors that contribute to desertification and solutions that have been implemented in the Sahel region of West Africa, corresponding with the video Farming the Desert from the series EARTH A New Wild. The lesson includes an in-depth analysis of NASA data related to rainfall and desertification, an investigation of desertification vulnerability and population density, and a student-led microclimate investigation that relates back to the modifications that Yacouba Sawadogo, the main character of the video, made to his own farmlands.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 4; Big Idea 7
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS3.A; ESS3.C
NGSS Performance Expectations:HS-ESS3-1; HS-ESS3-4; MS-ESS3-1
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Stability and change
Subjects: agriculture; climate change; drought; lesson
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