Barren Fields Challenge
Peace Corps Challenge GamePrint this Page
- Subject(s): Language Arts & Literature, Social Studies & Geography, Environment & Health, Science
- Grade Level(s): 6–8, 9–12
As a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to the village of Wanzuzu, students playing the Peace Corps Challenge game are faced with many challenges they must solve using realistic solutions. In this challenge students are asked to help find the reason many of the fields in the village are barren. Is it because of the ongoing drought? Is it due to the traditional practice of slash and burn farming? By visiting Gunari's farm in Wanzuzu and interviewing members of the community students will be able to form an idea which can be presented to the mayor on what has caused the fields to become barren, and what the villagers can do to help restore them.
Factoids from the game:
Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Morocco, and Pakistan have all suffered from the effects of drought in recent years. Estimates suggest that tens of millions of people are at risk from persistent droughts worldwide. Source: UNICEF
According to recent estimates, slash and burn agriculture is practiced by 240 million to 500 million people on nearly half the land area in the tropics. Source: College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech.
Peace Corps Volunteers help farmers improve local diets and increase income through farming techniques consistent with environmental conservation. They work with farmers to improve soil quality, conserve water, develop fisheries, keep bees and produce honey, raise organic vegetables, and educate the community about nutrition. Source: Peace Corps
The following WebQuest strengthens concepts learned in the Peace Corps Challenge game. In the WebQuest, students will help those in the village of Wanzuzu determine why most of their crops have failed and what the next steps should be. Is it a result of the weather? Are traditional farming practices to blame? Students along with their team members will weigh the options and together recommend a solution they feel is best for the entire village.
Play the Barren Fields Challenge (Flash)
Coverdell World Wise Schools :
- Story: Girl Farmer
- Lesson Plan: Fighting Soil Erosion (grades 3-8) Students to explore the issue of soil erosion in Guinea through a narrated slide show and experience different strategies Guineans are currently using to address soil erosion.
- Video: The Growing Challenge in Senegal Students explore how Peace Corps Volunteers in Senegal worked alongside farmers to improve their yield and improve their farming techniques.
Framework and Standards
- The choices we make today, can affect us and our environment in positive and negative ways.
- Challenges we face can often times be eased or even avoided by careful planning.
- How do environmental changes affect the way we live?
- How can we strive to adapt and overcome environmental challenges?
Thematic Strand I: Culture
- How culture influences the ways in which human groups solve problems of daily living
- How people from different cultures develop different ways of interpreting experience
- Language, behaviors and beliefs can both contribute and pose barriers to cross-cultural understanding
Thematic Strand III: People, Places, and Environments
- Human modifications of the environment
Thematic Strand IX: Global Connections
- The causes and consequences of various types of global connections
- The actions of people, communities, and nations have both short and long term effects
Essential Element V: Environment and Society
- How human actions modify the physical environment
- How physical systems affect human systems
- Changes in meanings, use, distribution, and importance of resources
Content Standard C: Life Science
- Regulation, behavior, populations, ecosystems
Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Types of resources, environmental changes, environmental quality, natural and human induced hazards