Month: September 2016 (page 1 of 2)

IB12: Biodiversity and Change – Tropical Rainforest Case Study

The Amazon in Graphics

  • Pick a rainforest biome of your choice
  • Explain the concept and importance of biodiversity in the biome
  • Describe an activity that humans are doing in your biome that results in lower biodiversity
  • Examine the causes and consequences of reduced biodiversity in this biome
  • Project must include:
    • a specific location
    • a specific problem
    • a hand drawn map
    • a student made graph
    • proper sourcing and bibliography

Presentation: Essay format (5 – 7 paragraphs)

You will be graded based on the IB Paper 1 markband

My Diigo has a number of sources on the Amazon rainforest, see tags biodiversity and rainforest

Due date: TBD

InS 9: Human Relationships

Create groups with at least one person from each presentation groups from the last lesson:

Using the Law reading on social responsibility, prosocial behaviour and altruism answer the following questions:

  • What factors influence whether a person acts or does not act to help when they see someone in need?
  • Are there cultures that are more helpful than other cultures?
  • What are some of the motivations to help?
  • What is the difference between altruism and prosocial behaviour?
  • Individually think of a situation in which you helped others, and analyse the reason/motivation for why you did it?Are there other reasons why someone might exhibit the same behaviour?

Lastly, we will watch the PBS video on children being naturally altruistic.

Discussion: What are the strengths and limitations of the study?

In your groups:

Brainstorm 2 experiment you could do to answer a question about altruism.

  • Create a research question. What will you try to prove/disprove?
  • Create one experiment with informed consent 
  • Create one experiment without informed consent
    • Have step by step descriptions of your experiments
    • Explain what kind of observations you would record. (quantitative vs qualitative)
    • What kind of conclusion could you draw from your study? How would you know it is reliable?

IB12 – Biodiversity and Change – Part 1

IB outcomes: 

Explain the concept and importance of biodiversity in tropical rainforests. Examine the causes and consequences of reduced biodiversity in this biome.


Part 1: Intro to Biodiversity

World Ecosystems


  • The sun supplies the overwhelming majority of energy
    • The energy is absorbed by plants through photosynthesis
    • It is then redistributed to other species through
      • Decomposition
      • Combustion
      • Consumption
  • The biosphere is the part of the earth where all living thing live.
  • All elements are directly or indirectly interdependent.
  • An ecosystem is an interdependent community of plants and animals together with the habitat to which they have adapted.
  • Organisms can be either producers or consumers:
    • Producers convert energy from the environment into carbon bonds
    • Plants are the most obvious examples of producers; plants take energy from sunlight and use it to convert carbon dioxide into glucose (or other sugars).
    • Another word for producers is autotrophs
    • Energy and nutrients are passed from organism to organism through the food chain as one organism eats another.
    • Decomposers remove the last energy from the remains of organisms.
    • Inorganic nutrients are cycled, energy is not.
  • Biodiversity is the biological diversity of all forms of life on earth: plants, animals and microorganisms. It refers to to species diversity, variations within species, interdependence of species, and habitat diversity.


Exercise: In groups, you will explain one of the following model. Create a (max) one page factsheet to share with the class

  1. Trophic levels
  2. Energy flows within an ecosystem
  3. Pyramid of numbers, biomass and energy
  4. The importance of tropical ecosystems – See also and this

Include a vocabulary and definition list, useful website list and images

We will present 20 minutes before the end of class, or when you are all done.

InS 9: Nature vs Nurture part 2

Introduction to Psychology and the study of human behaviour.

Nature vs nurture discussion

  •  What did your nature vs. nurture activity tell you?
  • Did you disagree with your parents on some parts?
  • Can you come up with a general correlation or rule?
  • Last class, we looked at twin studies and what they tell us.  twin studies nature vs. nurtureWhat conclusion can we make from studying twins? How does this relate to you?

Part 2: 

Watch the following clip on twins separated at birth, then answer the following questions:

  1. What unethical decision was responsible for the situation described in this video?
  2. Can you think of situation when it might be justified to be unethical in the pursuit of scientific knowledge of genetics or evolution?
  3. What is the most powerful evidence in this video that nature is more influential than nurture in explaining, predicting, or understanding human behavior?

Here is a more detailed video of the twin girls separated at birth.  Summarize the findings of twin studies and what they can tell us about the nature vs. nurture debate.

In groups, try to come up with broad generalisations about behaviour associated with nature and nurture. Can you find some kind of pattern?

Exercise: In groups, you will read Law  p251 to 256 and each group will explain their section of the reading and answer these questions:

  1. 253 #1a, b
  2. 253 #1 c, d
  3. 254 #2
  4. 256 #3a, b
  5. 256#3c, d

You will present your answers on this slide show: 9A 9C

IB12 – Water and Change

IB Requirements:

  1. Identify the ways in which water is utilized at the regional scale.
  2. Examine the environmental and human factors affecting patterns and trends in physical water scarcity and economic water scarcity.
  3. Examine the factors affecting access to safe drinking water

Create a google doc titles [IB 12 – Your Name – Water and Change Classwork]

Share it with me

Answer parts 1 & 2  individually

Due: TBD


Part 1: Identify the ways in which water is utilized at the regional scale.

Read If You Think China’s Air is Bad… and Virtual Water

Watch these videos:

  1. Identify the ways in which water is utilized at the regional scale.

2. Write a 2 paragraph answer to this question:

  • Using specific examples, what is the relationship between water scarcity and development? [6]


2.Examine the environmental and human factors affecting patterns and trends in physical water scarcity and economic water scarcity.


Create an essay outline, with thesis statement and three or four supporting arguments answering one of the following question:

Your outline must include the following vocabulary: Potable water, aquifer, evapotranspiration, economic scarcity, physical scarcity, water stressed areas, water scarce areas, water table, groundwater

”Examine the environmental and human factors affecting patterns and trends in economic water scarcity in Ethiopia”


”Examine the environmental and human factors affecting patterns and trends in economic water scarcity in the Ogallala Aquifer”

Or:”Examine the environmental and human factors affecting patterns and trends in economic water scarcity in Turkmenistan”

Use Codrington p. 124 to 129


 Reminder: Examine: Consider an issue or concept in a way that uncovers the interrelationships and assumptions


Part 3: Examine the factors affecting access to safe drinking water

Summative task:

In groups of 2 or 3,  create a 3 minute video answering the following question:

For a specific region, examine the factors affecting access to safe drinking water and suggest a possible solution to the problem.

  • To answer your question, you will focus on at least one of the following themes:
    • Quantity vs Quality
    • Disease
    • Economic benefits of safe water
    • Pollution
    • Desalination
  • Your video must be more than 3 minutes long
  • You will be graded on the IB paper 1 mark band
  • We will continue working on this during class on Thursday.
  • Due Date TBD
  • Useful sources

    Sonaar Luthra demonstrates his quick and simple test to gauge if water is safe.

    Engineer Michael Pritchard demonstrates his Lifesaver Bottle, capable of sterilizing dirty water in seconds. He believes that his invention could easily help meet the Millenium Development Goal of halving the number of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015.

Eliodomestico from gabriele diamanti on Vimeo.

InS 9: Introduction to Psychology, Nature vs Nurture

Introduction to Psychology and the study of human behaviour.

What is Psychology?

What is the nature vs. nurture argument?

What is behaviour?

What part of your Behaviour is based on:

  • your gender?
  • your parents?
  • your culture?
  • your friends?

Watch the BBC clip on gender stereotypes:


Summarize the findings of the Cambridge study in regards to adults and gender stereotyping, and the Hines study on monkeys and toy preferences. 

Watch the BBC short documentary on Eugenics and sport.

What is one possible explanation for the dominance of black athletes in sprint events? Why is this a dangerous and/or erroneous assumption to make?

Write a blogpost explaining your understanding of the Nature VS Nurture debate. Using examples, give your opinion on the theme. Is our behaviour dictated by our genes or our environment? When you write about psychological studies, you must refer them by the name of the read researcher(s).

Post your blogpost link here


Using the Nature vs. Nurture (handout 1 and 2), read the arguments and then fill out the chart on the back, and check with your family tonight on whether or not they agree with you, and please bring your completed sheet for tomorrow’s class , ready to discuss your answers.

InS 10: Coasts – Kamakura Field Trip Write-Up

Now that we have collected all of our data, it is time to put it all together.

First, make sure all of your paper data is inputed here

PART 2 – graphing results, analysis, conclusion and evaluation

Please use clear headings for these sections.


First you will graph your data in order to analyse your findings

* Note – Graphs can be computer generated or done by hand and must have titles, referred to and be integrated into the text, where you talk about them. You should use a variety of suitable graphs to display data. They must be clear, have labelled/numbered axis and titled. Be as creative as you want when illustrating all of your work.

Write your analysis under the headings of each Hypotheses. You will state what we expected with reference to our studies on coastal processes and landforms.( use what we have learned in class! ) You will analyse ( describe and explain ) the data you collected with regard to the expectations of a destructive beach, and state whether or not you have proved or disproved each hypothesis. DO NOT ANSWER THE RESEARCH QUESTION. You will do this in the conclusion. 

  1. The beach gradient is steeper towards the back of the beach
  • Create a beach profile by graphing the angle of slope from each quadrat of your transect and analyse this bearing in mind what we know about a destructive profile (use class averages)
  1. Beach material will be larger and more angular towards the back of the beach
  • Create 1 graph  to illustrate your findings roundness and size and analyse what you found. (use class averages )
  1. The waves will be high ( 1 metre or more ) and frequent ( more than 12 per minute )
  • Using a table to illustrate the data and graph the 2 class averages..
  1. There will be a strong longshore drift
  • Analyse your findings referring to prevailing wind, direction of movement  and time taken for any movement of material over 10m. If it is over 3m per minute then it is considered strong.

         5. There is natural evidence (erosional landforms) and evidence of Mitigation (man-made defences) which illustrate that show            the beach is being destroyed.

  • Using a field sketch and the observational notes you made as well as photographs present any evidence of the above. Use lots of photos and be creative here. Annotate your photographs to show what they illustrate.


Sum up what you found. Are your hypotheses mainly proven or disproven?  Go through each hypothesis and state whether it’s proved or disproved, based on the summary of your findings you will conclude and give your answer to the question: “ Is the beach at Kamakura Inmuragasaki a destructive beach?”



Briefly evaluate (discuss positive and negatives)

  1. the methods and how these might have been improved (not the execution of your peers!)
  2. suggest how the study/methodology might be improved 
  3. how the study might be extended.


TSC for this  A, B, C & D

Due date: Friday October 14

Work for Tuesday, September 20

Hi guys,

I will be absent today. I will be in Kamakura with the grade 10s to conduct some filed research on coastal areas.

Here is the work for today:

Periods 1, 2: Grade 12

  • Period 1:
  • Period 2: Gen will put his computer on the screen and you will watch parts 2 and 3 of the Loess Plateau Case study.
    • Remember to take notes as described on the post: Cause, consequences, management strategies
  • Once the movie is over, complete the written task exercise at the bottom of the post and  email me your answers before the end of class.
  • If you finish early, read Codrington.

Periods 3, 4: Grade 9A

  • 11:05 to 11:30: In your table groups, discuss the H&M CSR presentation you went to yesterday.
    • Guiding questions:
      • Was Ms Ortiz transparent in her comments?
      • What did you learn from the presentation?
      • Were there things you disagreed with?
      • How is H&M fairing in terms of sustainability? Is it enough?
      • Can there be a conflict between environmentalism and human rights? Is H&M capable of doing both?
      • Can you think of way H&M could improve their CSR?
      • What other ideas do you have about Ms Ortiz’s last question? (What can we do?)

IB Geo – Soil and Change

IB requirement: Explain the causes of soil degradation. Discuss the environmental and socio-economic consequences of this process, together with management strategies.

Let’s Talk About Soil – English from IASS Vimeo Channel on Vimeo.

Lecture Sources:

Further reading:

Read one of the following articles and report back to the class. Divide the reading equally and give a section to report per person.

 Loess Plateau CS

As you watch the video, take notes on

  • the reasons for soil degradation
  • the socio-economic consequences of soil degradation
  • Explain and evaluate the management strategies that have been used to control soil degradation
  • Research and suggest 3 other possible management strategies

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Written task: IB style questions: (email me your answers before the end of class)

  • Briefly state the different reasons for soil degradation between LEDCs and MEDCs. [5]
  • Write a thesis statement for these past paper question, including 3 arguments and a case study.
    • Examine the following statement: “Soil is a non-renewable resource” [15]
    • “Of all the environmental challenges we face, soil degradation is the most serious.”Discuss this statement. [15]

Work for Tuesday, September 13th

Hi guys,

I will be in Kamakura today, conducting fieldwork with the grade 10 InS class. Here is your work:

Gr 12:

  • 10 minutes to prepare your presentations
  • Once the presentations are done sit around the table at the centre of the room.
    • You will now have a 15 minute (or longer if the conversation is good) socratic seminar ( open discussion where each comment must be supported by a fact you have researched) answering the following IB-style questions:
      • “The causes of global climatic change are essentially human.” Discuss this statement.
      • “Global climate change will increase disparities in development.” Discuss this statement, referring to examples.
  • When you are done read Codrington p. 100 to 120
      • There are extra textbooks in the cupboards

Gr 9A InS

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