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Soil erosion

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

Natural Sciences

Grade 5

PLANET EARTH AND THE UNIVERSE

Module 23

SOIL EROSION AND GOOD FARMING METHODS

ACTIVITY:

To be able to discuss soil erosion and good farming methods

[LO 1.3; LO 2.1; lo 2.2]

Soil erosion

  • Have you ever walked on the beach on a windy day and felt how the grains of sand pelt your legs? It is a regular, natural occurrence that the wind picks up and transfers soil particles, and especially grains of sand, to a different area.

Group assignment

You will need: a square wooden block, a hairdryer, coarse and fine sand and an empty ice tray.

Place a little mound of sand on the wooden block.

Place the block and the ice tray next to each other.

Hold the hairdryer close to the sand and blow the sand into the ice tray.

Write down your observation.

Let’s apply what you have just learnt.

  • During a dust storm the finest particles of sand are blown through the air at a relatively high altitude, while the coarser particles move at a height of about one metre. This is how dunes on the coast or in the desert are continually on the move. Unfortunately the wind can also cause soil erosion in this way. If overgrazing takes place, or if plants are destroyed or grasslands are burnt indiscriminately at the wrong time of the year, the top layer of soil becomes exposed and the wind can cause erosion.
  • Water can cause even more serious soil erosion if, for example, there are not enough plants growing against a steep incline.

Good farming methods

Answer the following questions:

1. Why mustn’t natural vegetation simply be destroyed?

2. Why could footpaths be harmful to the veld?

3. Experienced stock farmers like to make many camps for their stock. They also like to lay on water to each camp.

(a) Why?

(b) In the early years, when farmers did not have the necessary materials to make camps, how did they solve the problems they were faced with?

4. Look at the following sketch. It shows that a farmer who wants to establish a vineyard, an orchard or a maize field on a hilly farm, can prepare the soil in two ways.

Figure 1
Figure 1 (graphics1.png)

Which of the two ways would you recommend, and why?

Assessment

LO 1: SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONLearners respond confidently to their desire to learn about natural phenomena; they investigate relationships and solve problems within the context of science, technology and the environment.

We know this when the learner:

1.1 plans investigations;

1.2 takes the lead in investigating and collecting data;

1.3 evaluates data and communicates findings.

LO 2: CONSTRUCTION OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGELearners know, interpret and apply scientific, technological and environmental knowledge.

We know this when the learner:

2.1 recalls significant information;

2.2 categorises information

Memorandum

Farming methods

  1. Erosion, balance of oxygen/carbon dioxide (composition of air, ozone layer), animals depend on plants as food, for protection, etc.
  2. Plants die when trodden on, ground becomes hard, no humus, when it rains heavily the topsoil washes away, erosion begins
  3. Reasons for camps
    1. Prevents overgrazing in certain areas and the formation of footpaths as the animals always have to walk to a water source in another place
    2. Migration to parts where water and grazing are available

4. Method of ploughing obliquely against the rise, as it prevents flooding and erosion.

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