Session 5: The Mining Conflict in Odisha: Resolving Conflict [AMENDED JAN 2022]

Geography (Ages 11-14)
Session 5: The Mining Conflict in Odisha: Resolving Conflict [AMENDED JAN 2022]
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground
  • What should we consider when there are conflicting interests?
Key Messages
  • Fiction and reality can reflect each other, but is there always a happy ending?
  • Understand that landscape is defined by physical and human geography, and can change over time
  • To consider what decisions should be made when faced with conflicting interests
  • Compare real environmental destruction and human displacement with a fictional view
  • Consider what decisions should be made when faced with conflicting interests
  • Create visualisations of human impacts on physical landscapes
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 5.1 Avatar v Odisha
  • Slide 2 Feed back from homework task: Summarise Avatar film key points. If helpful, refer to MV Geography 5.2 Avatar summary.
  • Who are the stakeholders in the mining conflict on the planet Pandora? (The RDA corporation, which includes executives, miners and scientists, the Na'vi tribe that lives on Pandora, the people of earth who use products of the mineral unobtanium.)
  • Feed back responses to the question: What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests? (Different viewpoints, needs, consequences, etc.)
  • Slide 3 Before (and after) watching the Survival International film, Mine, ask:
    • What is the title referring to? (Double meaning of the word, "mine".
    • What is Survival International? (A charity that supports the survival of indigenous tribes globally.)
  • Watch Mine: up to 10 minutes 45 seconds.


  • Slide 4 Split the class into pairs. Give each pair a print out of MV Geography resource 5.2 Avatar summary and MV Geography resource 5.3 Odisha summary. Students compare the story of Odisha with the fictional story of Pandora. This could be done by cutting out the paragraphs and matching them, or by annotating the print-outs.
  • Have a vote: “Was the movie Avatar based on the mining conflict in Odisha?”

Activity 2

  • Remind students of the real life impacts of mining. If necessary as a reminder, project MV Geography 3.4 Odisha's story about pollution, mining and the environment.
  • Slide 5 “They all lived happily ever after” is achievable in the real world. Using examples from what they have learned, debate the motion, and have a vote at the end. Again, students can use MV Geography 4.5 Structure your debate
  • Summarise the outcome of the debate.


  • Slide 6 Print out one copy for each student of MV Geography 5.4 Homework
  • “The imposition of industrialism on traditional societies has happened across history and geography. Only the names of the people and locations change.” Do you agree or disagree? Find some examples to support your view.