smart AGRICULTURE targets learning in Science 10 Unit D: Energy Flow in Global Systems.

Find student learning sources and competency-based activities by scrolling down to the smart AGRICULTURE banner on the LEARN webpage. This topic can be implemented through a project-based approach or by implementing the learning sources in each carousel slide as one-to-two class activities. The specific learning outcomes listed below are supported in smart AGRICULTURE. Find a correlation of relevant outcomes to each activity in the Project and Activity Teaching Guide.



1. Describe how the relationships among input solar energy, output terrestrial energy and energy flow within the biosphere affect the lives of humans and other species

  • Explain how climate affects the lives of people and other species, and explain the need to investigate climate change (e.g., describe the responses of human and other species to extreme climatic conditions; describe housing designs, animal habitats, clothing and fur in conditions of extreme heat, cold, dryness or humidity, wind)
  • Describe and explain the greenhouse effect, and the role of various gases—including methane, carbon dioxide and water vapour—in determining the scope of the greenhouse effect

3. Relate climate to the characteristics of the world’s major biomes, and compare biomes in different regions of the world

  • Identify the potential effects of climate change on environmentally sensitive biomes (e.g., impact of a reduction in the Arctic ice pack on local species and on Aboriginal societies that rely on traditional lifestyles)

4. Investigate and interpret the role of environmental factors on global energy transfer and climate change

  • Investigate and identify human actions affecting biomes that have a potential to change climate (e.g., emission of greenhouse gases, draining of wetlands, forest fires, deforestation) and critically examine the evidence that these factors play a role in climate change (e.g., global warming, rising sea level(s))
  • Describe and evaluate the role of science in furthering the understanding of climate and climate change through international programs (e.g., World Meteorological Organization, World Weather Watch, Global Atmosphere Watch, Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) project, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the study of paleoclimates and models of future climate scenarios)
  • Describe the role of technology in measuring, modelling and interpreting climate and climate change (e.g., computer models, devices to take measurements of greenhouse gases, satellite imaging technology)
  • Describe the limitations of scientific knowledge and technology in making predictions related to climate and weather (e.g., predicting the direct and indirect impacts on Canada’s agriculture, forestry and oceans of climate change, or from changes in energy transfer systems, such as ocean currents and global wind patterns)
  • Assess, from a variety of perspectives, the risks and benefits of human activity, and its impact on the biosphere and the climate (e.g., compare the Gaia hypothesis with traditional Aboriginal perspectives on the natural world; identify and analyze various perspectives on reducing the impact of human activity on the global climate)

Appreciate that scientific understanding evolves from the interaction of ideas involving people with different views and backgrounds (e.g., appreciate Aboriginal clothing and home designs of the past and present that use locally-available materials to adapt to climate; recognize that science and technology develop in response to global concerns, as well as to local needs; consider more than one factor or perspective when making decisions on Science, Technology and Society [STS] issues)

Seek and apply evidence when evaluating alternative approaches to investigations, problems and issues (e.g., view a situation from different perspectives, propose options and compare them when making decisions or taking action; evaluate inferences and conclusions with a critical mind and without bias, being cognizant of the many factors involved in experimentation)

Work collaboratively in carrying out investigations and in generating and evaluating ideas (e.g., choose a variety of strategies, such as active listening, paraphrasing and questioning, in order to understand other points of view; consider a variety of perspectives and seek consensus before making decisions)

Demonstrate sensitivity and responsibility in pursuing a balance between the needs of humans and a sustainable environment (e.g., recognize that human actions today may affect the sustainability of biomes for future generations; identify, without bias, potential conflicts between responding to human wants and needs and protecting the environment)



Ask questions about observed relationships, and plan investigations of questions, ideas, problems and issues

  • Identify questions to investigate that arise from practical problems and issues (e.g., develop questions related to climate change, such as “How will global warming affect Canada’s northern biomes?”; “How will a species be affected by an increase or decrease in average temperature?”
  • Design an experiment, and identify specific variables (e.g., investigate the heating effect of solar energy, using variables, such as temperature, efficiency and materials used)

Conduct investigations into relationships between and among observable variables, and use a broad range of tools and techniques to gather and record data and information

  • Compile and organize data, using appropriate formats and data treatments to facilitate interpretation of the data (e.g., organize data to prepare climatographs for comparing biomes)
  • Use library and electronic research tools to collect information on a given topic (e.g., research sources of greenhouse gases; research protocols to control human sources of greenhouse gases)
  • Select and integrate information from various print and electronic sources or from several parts of the same source (e.g., collect weather and climate data, both historic and current, from the Internet)

Analyze data and apply mathematical and conceptual models to develop and assess possible solutions

  • Compile and display, by hand or computer, evidence and information in a variety of formats, including diagrams, flow charts, tables, graphs and scatterplots (e.g., construct climate graphs to compare any two of the following biomes: grassland, desert, tundra, taiga, deciduous forest, rain forest)
  • Identify and apply criteria for evaluating evidence and sources of information, including identifying bias (e.g., investigate the issue of global climate change)
  • Interpret patterns and trends in data, and infer or calculate linear and nonlinear relationships among variables (e.g., analyze a graph of mean monthly temperatures for cities that are at similar latitudes but have different climates)
  • Identify limitations of data, evidence or measurement (e.g., list the limitations of data and evidence of past climate changes, evaluate the validity of interpolations and extrapolations, use significant digits appropriately)
  • State a conclusion based on experimental data, and explain how evidence gathered supports or refutes the initial hypothesis (e.g., summarize an analysis of the relationship between human activity and changing biomes)
  • Explain how data support or refute a hypothesis or a prediction (e.g., provide evidence for or against the hypothesis that human activity is responsible for climate change)

Work as members of a team in addressing problems, and apply the skills and conventions of science in communicating information and ideas and in assessing results

  • Synthesize information from multiple sources or from complex and lengthy texts, and make inferences based on this information (e.g., use integrated software effectively and efficiently to produce work that incorporates data, graphics and text)
  • Identify multiple perspectives that influence a science-related decision or issue (e.g., consult a wide variety of electronic sources that reflect varied viewpoints and economic, social, scientific and other perspectives on global warming and climate change)
  • Develop, present and defend a position or course of action, based on findings (e.g., a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by the transportation of people and goods)

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