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Fitting ‘Alien Plant Control’ into the new curriculum. Who is fighting alien plant spread? WESSA ‘Stop the Spread’ – KZN Botanical Society (BotSoc) Government e.g. Working for Water, Working for Wetlands, Dept of Water and Environment Eco-Schools. Subjects: Natural Science Social Science

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Who is fighting alien plant spread?
  • ‘Stop the Spread’ – KZN
  • Botanical Society (BotSoc)
  • Government e.g. Working for Water, Working for Wetlands, Dept of Water and Environment
  • Eco-Schools
  • Natural Science
  • Social Science
  • Life Skills?

a) Theoryb) Practice

What does the new curriculum say?


Four knowledge areas are used as organizers of the Natural Sciences content framework. Each knowledge area is developed across all three years of the Intermediate Phase:

 matter and materials (strand 1)

 life and living (strand 2)

 energy and change (strand 3)

 Earth and beyond (strand 4).

TECHNOLOGY Two knowledge strands are used as organizers of the Technology content framework. Each knowledge strand is developed across all three years of the Intermediate Phase. The knowledge strands are placed in ascending order, size and complexity as a framing device. These knowledge strands are:

 structures (strand 1)

 systems and control (strand 2)

What is Geography? Geography is the study of:

 spatial patterns and trends: the location of people and places in the world,

 similarity and difference: how environments and lifestyles compare and the reasons for similarities and differences,

 movement: how and why people, goods, water, land and air move and change,

 Planet Earth: land, water and air,

 human settlement: where people live and why,

 human activities: what people do, how the environment affects them and how they affect the environment,

 interdependence: the links between climate, vegetation, wildlife, resource distribution, and human settlement and activity,

 change: the changing nature of people and places.

The Knowledge Areas focus on the ideas, skills, concepts and connections between them, rather than a listing of the facts and procedures that need to be learned. They do not prescribe particular instructional strategiesor methodologies. Teachers have the freedom to expand conceptsand to design and organize learning experiences according to their local circumstances.
  • A variety of different kinds of observation
  • is possible and observations can be recorded in different ways, such as:
  •  drawings.
  •  descriptions.
  •  grouping of materials or examples based on observable similarities and/or differences.
  •  measurements.
  •  comparing materials before and after treatment.
  •  observing results of an experimental investigation which will involve recording information in an appropriate way.
  •  counting.


  • Learners should know what to measure, how to measure it and have a sense of the degree of accuracy that is required. A variety of things could be measured, including length, volume, temperature, weight or mass, numbers (counting), etcetera. Measuring is a way of quantifying observations and in this process learners should learn to make estimations.
AREA 2: LIFE AND LIVING TIME TOPIC CONTENT PRACTICAL WORK 8 weeks (28 hours) Interactions within environment
  •  Ecosystems: terrestrial, aquatic, marine, the diversity of life in these ecosystems.
  •  Energy flow through or in an ecosystem (links to Grades 7 and 10).  Photosynthesis: producers.  Consumers: herbivores, carnivores, omnivores.  Decomposers, microorganisms.  Food chains.  Food webs.  Interdependence of organisms.  Plants used by humans as food.
  •  Value of balanced ecosystems: survival of plants and animals.
  •  Disruption of the ecosystem by, for instance, alien plants.
  •  Current environmental issue in the community, for instance, use of pesticides, herbicides, detergents, disposal of wastes, availability of clean water.
  •  Sustainable use of resources, for instance plants or animals used in alternative medicine and as food sources.
  •  Investigate a local ecosystem: Identify producers, consumers, decomposers. Identify food chains and food webs. Record observations as flow diagrams. (Learners will need assistance.)  Identify and report on plants in the ecosystem that people use as food. or
  •  Research plants in the local area (outside of a specific ecosystem) that people use as food. Access information by interviewing people and consulting reference books. Produce written report.  Identify the alien plants in the neighborhood.
There are two main branches of Geography:

A. Physical Geography

Physical geographers study natural systems such as climate and weather patterns, landforms and soils, vegetation and the distribution of water resources. They also study events such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.

B. Human Geography

Human geographers study patterns of human development and behaviour. These include settlement, trade and population trends. They also study the link between human activity and natural systems. Geographers are particularly interested in the impact of human activity on the environment and on planet Earth in general. Geographers actively investigate issues such as sustainable development, global warming, pollution, deforestation and access to food and water.

  • Term, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6
  • 1 Places where People live (settlements), Map skills (focus: Africa), Map skills (focus: the world)
  • 2 Map skills, Physical features of South Africa, Trade
  • 3 Food and farming in South Africa, Weather, climate and vegetation of South Africa, Climate and vegetation around the world
  • 4 Water in South Africa, Mining and minerals in South Africa, Population - why people live where they do
Links to other topics…
  • Climate change (tends to encourage alien growth)
  • Water availability
  • Human rights/ environmental rights
  • Social responsibility
  • …leads to reduced ecosystem goods and services
  • Also affects marine ecosystems
  • Political/ legislative issues…e.g. importing alien plants, permits, the illegal wildlife trade etc
In Practice…

Grade 4-7:

  • Conyza
  • Blackjacks
  • Small Wattle and Pine trees
Grade 8-10
  • Bugweed
  • Wattle
  • Pine
  • Lantana
  • …but not American Bramble – too thorny
  • Tree poppers
  • Saws
  • Axes
  • Ring barking
  • Cutting down small trees
  • Poison?...rather not
  • Invite speakers…Working for Water, WESSA, BotSoc