Extra Activities

You may want to use these extra activities to complement this unit.

How do grains change in shape, weight and volume when cooked?
Resources: quinoa, oats, couscous, lentils and rice for pairs of pupils to use; measuring jugs, scales, cooking pans.
In pairs, the class measure out 10g of each grain. Together they examine them, making notes on their worksheet of shape, colour and texture. Investigating one grain at a time, they add 30ml of water and cook it. After it’s been cooked they then complete the rest of the columns and move onto the next grain.

Using the records they have made pupils draw graphs and diagrams to show the similarities and differences between the grains. 

N.B. If unable to carry out cooking of grains in school, provide pre-cooked examples and omit question 3 from worksheet.
To shorten the activity, divide the class into 5 groups, each taking a different grain. They then share their results.


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Why won’t my quinoa grow?
Resources: Quinoa seeds, pots, different types of soil, propagator. 
N.B. This activity links to The Pasta Process and Farming on the Ash
The class plans an investigation to test how different environmental factors affect the rate of growth and quality of the quinoa. For example, too much water to reflect the effect of flooding, no water to reflect droughts, intense sunlight (perhaps use a propagator), nutrient rich soil, soil lacking in nutrients. Pupils can make predictions, carry out the experiment and then measure the plants and describe their appearance on a weekly basis. The class then analyses results and evaluate what the experiment teaches them about the cultivation of quinoa.

Pupils consider the impact of different environmental conditions on the quinoa farmers in Bolivia. In small groups, pupils consider and then role play the impact of these conditions on the farmer and their family. How would a bad crop affect the children in the family? Each group performs their role play for the rest of the class, and the class then discusses how realistic they feel the reaction of the producer and family is.

How does Fairtrade help farmers overcome the problems of their environment? Think of ideas as a class
e.g. Working in a co-operative means that farmers have support, can access loans and credit, have access to knowledge about what causes environmental problems, receive training.