Grade 9 learners at Wynberg Girls’ High conducted an environmental survey in the areas where they live. They compared their findings and evaluated the quality of the environment in the different communities where they come from. Pairs of learners chose particular environmental problems to investigate. They found out more about their issue, wrote a report
and publicised their findings and suggestions to address local environmental issues in their communities.
SOCIAL SCIENCES (GEOGRAPHY)
Learning Outcome 1:
Geographical Enquiry The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate geographical and environmental concepts and processes. Assessment Standards
Carries out independent enquiries about aspects of the interrelationships between people, places and the environment.
Analyses and reaches conclusions about information from sources (e.g. photos, maps, statistics).
Observes and records information in the field.
Uses the above to justify the answer / decision / solution relating to the enquiry.
Reports on knowledge gained by constructing and interpretation and argument based on sources of information;
where possible uses computers in the presentation.
This learning activity was developed by Mrs Meg Wilding of Wynberg Girls’ High School
Learning Activity 1: Conducting an environmental survey
In class, discuss issues that negatively affect the environment in residential areas. Remember that environmental issues are not just about plants and animals – they include social and economic problems too.
Choose the top ten issues you identified. (Note to the educator: These could include air pollution, broken paving, garbage removal, graffiti, homelessness, lack of open space, litter, street parking, untidy yards, vandalism, etc.)
Draw up a table with space for your top ten issues and a 1-5 rating scale. This will enable you to work out an environmental quality score for your environment out of a total of 50 (see table outline on page 71).
In pairs, use this table to conduct an environmental survey in your neighbourhood. Rate each aspect of the environment and work out an overall score. A low score indicates poor environmental quality, while a total above 35 indicates a pleasant environment.
Compare your findings with those of your classmates who live in other areas. What can you say about the environmental quality in different suburbs?
Assessment tasks and tools