Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 World Food Prize Awarded to Irrigation Scientist

Unlocking Word Meanings(5 minutes)
Let your student read the items below. Confirm that he/she understood each word. Use additional info/definition/question only when necessary.

1. irrigation (n.) – the act of providing water for plants to grow
Example: In the desert, a good irrigation system is necessary to keep plants alive.

2. crop (n.) – plants that are used for food or the creation of clothing and other products for humans
Example: The young farmer learned how to take better care of his rice crop.

3. channel (n.) – a narrow pathway for water to flow
Example: The farmer dug several channels that brought water from the river to the rice fields.

4. liken (v.) – to present the similarities between two things
Example:  Plants can be likened to animals which need food to survive.

5. scarcity (n.) – a situation of not having enough, a lack
Example: There is a scarcity of water in most parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Article(10 minutes)
Let the student read the article aloud. For the Comprehension Questions, you may:
     (a) Ask the questions in between. Tell the student ahead of time when to pause from reading.
     (b) Ask the questions after he or she finishes reading everything. 
For words difficult to pronounce, pronunciation guides are provided beside the word.

An Israeli scientist, Dr. Daniel Hillel, was awarded the World Food Prize for inventing the drip irrigation system. The system greatly lessens the amount of water needed to grow crops.

For over fifty years, Dr. Hillel has travelled to many parts of the world promoting the method. Today, the drip irrigation system is used in watering plants in areas that receive very little rainfall like Israel and Africa.

The efficiency of Dr. Hillel’s drip irrigation system can also be seen in farms in California. Despite being mostly desert area, California produces 50% of fruits and vegetables in the United States.

Traditionally, farmers would let water flow via open channels toward crops. However, this traditional method wastes a lot of water and is therefore not a good option in areas that do not have enough water.

In a drip irrigation system, water flows through plastic tubes with small holes. The tubes carry the water to the plants that need to be watered. The water then drips from the holes onto the base of plants.

Dr. Hillel likens drip irrigation to how one would feed a baby little bits of food at a time. He says drip irrigation delivers the needed amount of water at the right place on the ground, without wasting a single drop.

With the world’s growing worries over population growth, food scarcity, and climate change, innovations like the Dr. Hillel’s drip irrigation system are very important.

Viewpoint Discussion(7-8 minutes)
Lead the discussion using the questions below.

Discussion A

·          Do you think we should care about the farming problems in other countries? Why or why not?
·         How can sharing food-growing techniques and knowledge help solve food scarcity in the world?

Discussion B

·         What are common ways in which people waste water?
·         What can people do to save or conserve water?


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