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Integrated studies at high school

Each year, the Settlers High School in Durbanville runs an inter-disciplinary programme at the Tygerberg Hills Nature Reserve and Altydgedacht Farm for the Grade Nines. During the field trip, learners have

an opportunity to cover aspects of local geography, history and biology in a practical way.

O n a g u i d e d t r a i l t h r o u g h t h e r e s e r v e , t h e y a r e a b l e t o :

  • observe soils and soil processes they learned about in Geography,

  • investigate invasive and indigenous vegetation

  • draw a sketch map and discuss urban development issues from the top of the Tygerberg

  • consider the impact of agricultural and urban development on nature.

This excursion helps learners to make sense of many of the things they learn about in class during Grade Nine.

Daily and weekly newspapers are a cheap, widely available and valuable resource for educators. Environmental and development issues are commonly reported on, and you can use these articles for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Developing reading and comprehension skills

  • Developing environmental literacy and awareness of current affairs

  • Providing up-to-date information for research projects

  • Teaching issue analysis skills

  • Stimulating discussions, debates and role-plays

  • Inspiring environmental action projects and campaigns.

We have included scans of five newspaper articles in this section that you could use in various ways in your classroom:

  • Time to start paying for benefits of Cape’s natural environment. Cape Argus, 19 June 2006

  • R150 million boost for a clean Zeekoevlei. Cape Argus, 13 November 2006

  • Burden of mating can be fatal for the female leopard toad. Cape Times, 29 August 2005

  • ‘Extinct’ fynbos is pride of Cape Flats. Cape Argus, 7 August 2006

  • City in new bid to get rid of pesky crows. Cape Argus, 8 June 2006

We will use the first article to illustrate how you could help learners to analyse an environmental issue.

Analysing an environmental issue

We will use a tool called the Issue Analysis Tree to analyse the issue of the health effects of polluted wetlands in the first story.

Our environment is very complex: it consists not only of our physical surroundings, but also of our human relationships,

ideas and systems – and all the interactions between these parts.

As one of the Critical Outcomes says: the world is a set of related systems, so when we try to solve problems, we cannot look at just one aspect of the environment in isolation; we have to look at the whole.

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