Activity for Module VI, Urban Agriculture
Activity for Section B: Real People, Real Farms – Case Study
Activity: Evaluating Sustainability
Purpose: Have students apply a variety of measures of sustainability to real life examples of sustainable farms. Help students develop critical reading skills.
Advance preparation: Review the video and case study websites (see Website and Written Case Studies under Section B). Choose the case studies you want students to use. If there are articles or a background sheet for a case study, make enough copies for each student who needs one. You can have all the students look at the same case study, or you can have small groups of students look at several different case studies. If you choose to have students look at different case studies, the small group presentations will have more meaning and students will be exposed to more examples. However, you will have more material to manage and explain. If you use the video as well as individual case studies, it will take more time but will give students a fuller picture of urban agriculture.
Worksheet for Urban Farm Case Studies
Estimated time: 50 minutes or more. The first two steps relate to the video. If you want to skip the video, begin with step 3.
- Have students watch the video and write down growing methods they are unfamiliar with. Also ask them to write down some of the reasons people are involved in urban agriculture. (25 minutes)
Worksheet for the Food Forward, Pilot: Urban Farming Video
- Ask students what they learned from the video. List some of the growing methods and the motivations of urban farmers on a board or overhead for all students to see. If there are some unfamiliar terms, ask students to take a few minutes to research the terms. If you want to save time, you can simply explain those terms to the class. Invite the students to discuss some of the growers featured in the film. (5 to 10 minutes)
Video Worksheet Key
- Have the students look at their assigned case study. As stated above, all the students can look at one case study, or the class can be divided into small groups of 3-5 students to cover different case studies. Give each student a worksheet. Ask each student/group to answer the questions on the worksheet to the best of their ability, based on the information in the case study and their background knowledge. [If the students are working in small groups and there’s limited time, each student in the group can look for information about a different aspect of sustainability on the website or in the written material.] Be sure to have students explore all the links on the websites thoroughly to fill out the sustainability questions. (10 to 20 minutes)
- Explain that in some cases, the case study will not provide enough information to answer all the questions. The material in future sections of this module will help students figure out answers. It’s okay if students don’t fully understand some questions or topics. They can continue filling in the worksheet over the next few days as you move through the module.
- Invite each group to share information about the case studies. At this point, all the groups should have some answers to question 1, and careful readers or listeners will probably have picked up information that helps answer the other questions. Discuss the findings from the case study or studies as a class. (15 to 20 minutes)