AP Human Geography students discuss the ins and outs of agriculture

Jessica Kelly’s class talked about concepts relating to plants or animal domestication.

Students in Jessica Kelly’s AP Human Geography class engaged in a discussion based on the knowledge they acquired in their agriculture unit on Mar. 2nd. In a socratic seminar like format, students talked about crops, types of farming, animal domestication and more. “We’ve been doing agriculture for a month now so we’ll be discussing any aspect of it, it’s fully student driven. I don’t say anything, they just talk. Its to show your knowledge and to see what your deficiencies are so you can ask your classmates questions,” Kelly said.
Art Credit: Monserrat Mendieta

Students in Jessica Kelly’s AP Human Geography class engaged in a discussion based on the knowledge they acquired in their agriculture unit on Mar. 2nd. In a socratic seminar like format, students talked about crops, types of farming, animal domestication and more. “We’ve been doing agriculture for a month now so we’ll be discussing any aspect of it, it’s fully student driven. I don’t say anything, they just talk. It’s to show your knowledge and to see what your deficiencies are so you can ask your classmates questions,” Kelly said. Art Credit: Monserrat Mendieta

Monserrat Mendieta

With AP exams coming up soon, students in Jessica Kelly’s AP Human Geography class had a twenty-five minute virtual live discussion to assess their knowledge and understanding of the world of farming. 

“It’s completely teacher hands-off, the students are supposed to be guiding and driving the discussion,” Kelly said. “Usually I ask someone to be the leader of the discussion to make sure everybody talks.”

Students had a wide range of topics to discuss and were encouraged to ask questions, debate, and explain. Many planned what they were going to be talking about beforehand.

“I think that the agricultural discussion is a great way to strengthen our knowledge. I’m assuming that it will refresh my memory on some topics I may have forgotten about, and I might even learn something new,” sophomore Malorie Schwartz said. “I plan on talking about the different agricultural revolutions, the Von Thunen Model, subsistence and commercial farming, and how agriculture differs in different climates and parts of the world.” 

In order to prepare for the discussion that took place on Mar. 2, students were expected to utilize the resources Kelly had given, such as slideshows and notes.

“The discussion went very well,” sophomore Anika Aller said “I learned that the US tends to prioritize profit over human benefit, especially in agriculture, that while technology has improved agriculture it has degraded the environment, and that the future of agriculture will most likely include more chemicals and environmental degradation.”

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Kelly’s main objective was to provide students a way to measure their expertise and learn more about agriculture so that they can understand how food is obtained. This discussion was used as a verbal study guide for students to prepare for their unit test.

“I hope that they come out of it with a better understanding of where everybody is at as far as their knowledge,” Kelly said. “I hope they come out of it with new ideas and that they might want to go look at an article, documentary to be inspired and more well-rounded and educated on the topic.”