All people depend on natural resources, the materials that people take from the natural environment, for food, water, tools, and other needs. Renewable resources are those that the environment replaces. Sunlight, water, and soil are renewable resources. Nonrenewable resources cannot be replaced once they are used. Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, are nonrenewable. Many metals and other minerals cannot be replaced once they are used up. But objects made of them can be recycled so that the minerals can be used again. Modern countries depend on energy from fossil fuels. Oil and natural gas are not spread out evenly around the world. Over half the world’s known oil supply is in Southwest Asia. Coal is found in more places than oil or natural gas. But burning coal can cause air pollution. Nuclear energy is produced by split- ting uranium atoms to release their stored energy. Many people worry about leaks, explosions, and wastes from nuclear plants. Many experts believe that countries must find renewable sources of energy. Water power uses the energy of falling water to create energy. Geothermal energy comes from the heat inside the earth. Solar energy is energy produced by the sun. It is not used much today, but it may provide the best source of energy for the future.


1- How can recycling help with the problem of some nonrenewable resources?

2- Diagram Skills: Why might a manufacturer prefer to depend on water power instead of oil


People acquire things needed to survive and luxuries they desire by earning a liv- ing. Geographers and economists classify these economic activities into four cate- gories. Primary economic activities rely directly upon natural resources, such as farming and mining. (See chart below.) Farming methods differ around the world. In less prosper- ous countries, farmers practice subsistence farming. They grow only enough for their own family or village. In countries with more advanced economies, farmers practice commercial farming. These farmers raise crops and animals to be sold for profit. When people use raw materials to pro- duce new products, such as processing wheat into flour, they are engaging in secondary economic activities. Ter- tiary activities refer to service industries, such as health care. Quaternary economic activities focus on the acqui- sition, processing, and sharing of infor- mation, as in education. Nations establish trading networks when they do not have the resources and goods they want. The goods that are sent out of a country are called exports. The goods that are brought into a country are called imports.Economic activities and trade patterns influence a country’s level of develop- ment. Modern industrial societies are con- sidered developed countries, whereas countries with lower levels of prosperity are considered underdeveloped. Nations showing evidence of progress are consid- ered developing. One way to measure a country’s level of development is to look at the per capita gross domestic product (GDP), the total value of goods and ser- vices produced in a country within a year divided by the total population.


3- How does subsistence farming differ from commercial farming?

4- Diagram Skills: What type of economic activity is firefighting?

Assignment – Natural Resource Unit

We have looked at the various ways that people use the Earth’s natural materials. We have also discovered that using natural resources may have positive and/or negative effects on both people and the environment. Because of this, people may have different opinions on how resources might best be used. They want to ensure that future generations will be able to meet their needs and live in a healthy environment. Sometimes, people or groups of people hold conflicting points of view or disagree on how natural resources should be used. Your task will be to examine a controversy related to the use of natural resources. You will then propose your most reasonable solution to the problem.


1. Locate an article from the newspaper, a magazine or the Internet. Your article must be about an issue related to the use of natural resources. Have your article checked by your teacher to ensure it is appropriate before you begin. You must include a link to the original article on your wiki page.

Some sample topics are:

The use of pesticides or fertilizers to help crops grow
The use of genetically modified food
Selling fresh water to other areas
Logging old growth forests
fossil fuel issues

2. Read your article and answer the following questions on your wiki. Be sure you have complete answers

a) What is the main issue or problem related to natural resources
b) Who is involved in the controversy? Controversy arises when two or more people or groups of people have conflicting ideas about the same issue. List all the people or groups who have a different opinion on the issue
c) What are the arguments? Briefly describe each person or group’s point of view
d) What are the benefits or advantages to each group’s point of view? Briefly explain
e) What are the drawbacks or problems for each point of view? Briefly explain
f) What are some other possible solutions, or ways of dealing with this issue
g) In your opinion, what is the best solution to this problem? Keep in mind both future availability of this resource and the importance of a healthy environment. Remember to give support for your answer

3. Use Google Earth; locate, colour, and label the relevant resource areas discussed in your article. Copy the .kmz file to your wiki and include a link

4. Present your analysis and opinion neatly on a four slide keynote/google presents. Use the following general format to help organize your information.


Grade Criteria

Demonstrates understanding of how human activity affects people and the environment
Demonstrates understanding of the concept of sustainable development and its implications for the environment
Constructs a map to organize information
Communicates results of inquiries
Presents and defends a point of view on how a resource should be used.