L a n d L e a r n : Cultivating Variety - A classroom activity

Cultivating Variety

Background
Biodiversity means the natural variety of life forms. Maintaining biodiversity includes keeping different species of plants and animals and genetic varieties of the same species (such as potatoes). It also involves keeping and maintaining a range of ecosystems where plants and animals live, such as grasslands and woodlands.

Victorian Essential Learning Standards Domains and (Levels):

Science (3,4,5)

Humanities - Geography (3,4,5)

Duration:  45 minutes plus depending on the depth of discussion.

Activity
» Download the Cultivating Variety activity sheet [word 28 KB]

In the column on the left is a list of farming activities that might contribute to increasing biodiversity on a farm and in the local area. In the column on the right, are the reasons these activities might be carried out by farmers. This list is all mixed up.

Consider each farming activity. Think about the benefits and how this practice might enhance biodiversity. Find a matching reason in the right side column.

In the answer column write the corresponding letter of your selected reason for each activity.
(Primary levels use the first seven rows.)

Extension
» Which of these activities might save a farmer time and/or money?
» Which activities might increase the amount of food or fibre produced on a farm?
» What additional ways might plants, animals and local environments benefit from the activities and associated reasons? For example, if native grasses produce seed this can feed native birds and animals.
» Play "Meet the Locals" a food web activity. It is available here online in the "Curriculum Activities" section.

Note: Legumes are plants such as beans and lentils that have seeds inside a double-seamed pod. Legumes have a special relationship with soil bacteria that take nitrogen from the air (that plants can't use) and turn it into nitrogen in the soil. This ability to "fix" nitrogen adds fertility to the soil so that crop plants such as wheat can use it.

» Download the Cultivating Variety activity sheet [word 28 KB]
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