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Soil Solutions: A Medieval Mystery

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Diane Godfrey

on 24 July 2013

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Transcript of Soil Solutions: A Medieval Mystery

Soil Solutions: A Medieval Soil Mystery
Soil Solutions: A Medieval Soil Mystery
August 3, 2013
From the earliest beginnings of civilization, agriculture has played a critical role in the advancement of societies. Without a stable food supply, countries were unable to sustain the people living there. Today, it is the role of the agricultural engineer to continually look for ways to improve farming and land use in order to feed the 7 billion people living on our planet.

Scoring Checklist for Manor Map. Students will score 80% or more for mastery.
Cultivation and Production Improvement Report Scoring Guide
PPT questions for Agriculture Technology and Engineering: From the Middle Ages to Now.

Procedures - Sessions Three and Four
Let students now they will now be conducting investigation into the soil of the manor. (Note: Teacher will need to have pre-mixed the soil samples from the three fields and placed in a bucket labeled A, B, and C – instructions for this provided)
Distribute the Production and Cultivation Improvement Report which students will use as they investigate and report findings.
Complete the sections for calculating acreage and production.
Take time to discuss the idea of “properties” of soil by examining the soils. Give each group three small cups of soil labeled A, B, and C.
Students complete the ASK and IMAGINE section of the report.
Depending on the ability level of the class – the next part can be done independently by dividing class into groups or Option 2: as a teacher demonstration for the water infiltration part and sedimentation computations.
About AzGA and Geo-STEM

The student will be able to:

Map/Feudal Society
Create a map of a medieval manor based on written description of manor.
Analyze a map for spatial organization.


Soil Investigation
Identify differences in soil properties between three different samples of soil.
Conduct an investigation into soil properties.
Report the results of soil property investigation.
Analyze production statistics
Compute ownership and production using percentages.
Propose solution to improve crop production based on investigations.
Speculate on other factors that affect crop production.
Identify ways that agricultural technology and engineering improves the lives of people – past and present
In this lesson, students will be transported back into the year 1100 AD to become serfs sent to solve the problem of poor wheat production on a medieval manor. Students use the engineering design model to carry out investigations of the soil in the manor and report back to the lord. Students will also learn about European feudal society.

Grade Level: 6
Duration: 5 class periods
All teacher notes, background information, scoring guides, and answer keys.
All student handouts needed to complete the lesson. Including ELL adaptations.
Instructions and material list for setting up the soil investigations
Cultivation and Production Improvement Report for students final assessment.
Power Point about Agricultural Technology and Engineering from the Middle Ages to now.
Procedures - Session One and Two
Medieval Manor Map
Inform students they have been transported back into time as serfs on a medieval manor in the year 1100AD. Their task is to investigate causes for poor crop production in parts of the manor’s fields (Engage).
Assign students in groups of three.
Lead a conversation about life on a manor, the problem of wheat production and conduct teacher sedimentation demonstration (Explore).
Distribute student handouts and Task #1: Manor Map instructions. Go over the map of manor task and (Explain)
Allow students time to create the map – attach the scoring sheet to the back of the map for easy scoring (elaborate).
Session Two – note: students my need more time to complete the map. After they are done, display the maps for a gallery walk. Distribute the Manor Map Gallery Walk handout.
Carry out the gallery walk and allow time for discussion and closure (evaluate).
Investigation One:
Investigate the properties of soil by touch
Investigation Two
Investigate soil properties by looking at sedimentation.
Investigation Three
Investigating soil properties of water infiltration. Options: Demonstration or done by students individually
After completing the investigations, students then complete the portion of the report summarizing their findings.
Students independently complete the CREATE portion of the form on a separate sheet of paper (or in their notebooks if notebooking) which will be attached to their final report (Elaborate).
Students complete their self evaluations of their investigation and complete the section of the report for other possible investigations (Improve)
Students then report findings to the lord. The Lord will question the students to check for understanding – Lord Interview Questions provided (Evaluation).
Agriculture and Engineering
Show PPT Agriculture- Technology and Engineering from the Middle Ages to Now
Show the video clip about modern farm technology.
Discuss observations on modern farm technology and the role of agricultural engineers.
How can you see yourself using this material?

Example of Answer Key
Be sure to gather matrials

Diane Godfrey, TC
Arizona Geographic Alliance
Lesson is part of partnership STEM grant.
AzGA was tasked with providing professional development institutes in STEM and Geography integration with the added goal of making lesson accessible for ELLs.
AzGA will create over 100 Geo-STEM, with adaptations for ELLs, lesson plans. These lesson plans will be added to our website over the next 5 years.
Held our first nine-day summer institute this year with 20 participants.
The first part of the grant was to created five model lesson plans for inclusion in the STEMss Institute this summer. This lesson is one of them.
Lesson was piloted last spring in a 6th grade classroom.
Teaching with the Stars
Texas State University
Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education

National Geography Standards:
Element One-World in Spatial Terms
Common Core Standards
Reading and Writing Standars 6-8
Literacy in History/Socials Studies
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Production and Distribution of Writing
Math - Ratios of Proportional Relationships
Arizona Social Studies Standard: World in Spatial Terms, Environment and Society, and Geographic Application
Next Gen Science -
Structure and Properites of Matter
Engineering Design
Full transcript