Session 4: Environmental issues facing agrarian societies

Geography (Ages 11-14)
Session 4: Environmental issues facing agrarian societies
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground
  • Environmental issues facing agrarian societies
Key Messages
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground
  • Environmental issues facing agrarian societies
  • To understand that industry is important for developing countries. The consequences of industrialisation can be categorised as economic, social and environmental.
  • To understand the impact of human actions and processes.
  • Students will be able to identify the impacts of mining in Odisha as economic, social or environmental
  • Students will explore the impact of the changing landscape on the Adivasi people’s cultural, social and economic wellbeing
Links to National Curriculum

Students will begin to understand how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems.



  • Project MV Geography Resource 3.2 Odisha's Story about Pollution, Mining and the Environment. Students feed back and discuss their homework findings as a whole class.
  • Impacts can be categorised into social, economic and environmental.  Elicit / provide examples from the article for each.
  • Review the homework task and discuss the definitions of “discernment” and “compromise”.

Activity 1

  • Split students into mixed ability groups
  • Hand out printed copies of MV Geography Resource 4.1 Impacts of mining card sort (1 copy per group, prepared by cutting into individual cards and separate headings).  Depending on your group you may choose to use a smaller selection of the cards.
  • Students read and sort each card according to whether the impact given is social, economic or environmental.
  • Feed back to the class with a few examples.

Activity 2

  • Students use the prompts in MV Geography Resource 4.2 Dongria Khond tribe and key vocabulary on MV Geography Resource 4.3 Word mat (projected or printed out) to write a geographical report on the mining conflict in Odisha.
  • According to ability, the report should contain:
    • Introduction
    • Main argument. Issues should be organised by importance and supported by facts where available. Causes and consequences of the problem should be described
    • Use of tables / graphs
    • Conclusion


  • Share responses to card sort and discuss any discrepancies
  • Ask students whether they think the impacts of the changing landscape on the Advasi people’s cultural, social and economic well-being are all negative?  Why?


  • The next session explores the wider issues of environmental impact and conflicting interests using a case study of the film Avatar.
  • Watch / find out about the story of the film Avatar and make notes: “What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?” Students could be encouraged to use school computer facilities if they are unable to access internet at home.