S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Coastal Heritage Curriculum Connection

Explore Curriculum Connection guides, which are written to accompany each issue of Coastal Heritage, a quarterly publication of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Coastal Heritage, Summer 2006 issue: African Roots, Carolina Gold

Focus Questions

  • Why is rice so popular in South Carolina? Is it as popular in other places? If so, where?

Use the Curriculum Connection to address these South Carolina Curriculum Standards

1st Grade

Science – Classify plants according to their characteristics (including what specific type of environment they live in, whether they have edible parts, and what particular kinds of physical traits they have).

Science – Summarize the life cycle of plants (including germination, growth, and the production of flowers and seeds).

4th Grade

Social Studies – Summarize the introduction and establishment of slavery in the American colonies, including the role of the slave trade; the nature of the Middle Passage; and the types of goods—rice, indigo, sugar, tobacco, and rum, for example—that were exchanged among the West Indies, Europe, and the Americas.

Social Studies – Explain the impact of indentured servitude and slavery on life in the New World and the contributions of African slaves to the development of the American colonies, including farming techniques, cooking styles, and languages.

6th Grade

Science – Explain the influence of global winds and the jet stream on weather and climatic conditions.

8th Grade

Social Studies – Explain how South Carolinians used natural, human, and political resources to gain economic prosperity, including trade with Barbados, rice planting, Eliza Lucas Pinckney and indigo planting, the slave trade, and the practice of mercantilism.

9th-12th Grade

Science – Summarize the overall process by which photosynthesis converts solar energy into chemical energy and interpret the chemical equation for the process.

Lesson Links

Elementary Lesson Ideas

1. Making Observations: Build rice planters and grow rice at your school to connect science instruction with an important historical context to South Carolina. Visit http://www.kidsregen.org/howTo.php?section=inGarden&ID=4 to access details about the growing cycles of rice and the plant’s parts. Make observations about the growing cycles of the plant and see how many parts you can identify.

Additional information is available at http://www.riceromp.com/teachers/lessonContent.cfm?pId=216.

2. Collecting and Organizing Data: Develop a map showing the African countries and American states where rice has been grown from the 1500’s to the present. Construct a timeline identifying rice production, distribution, and consumption.

Middle and High School Grades Lesson Ideas

3. Designing Experiments

A. Predicting Outcomes and Manipulating Variables: Follow Lesson Link #1 and brainstorm biotic and abiotic factors that may affect the plant’s growth. Develop questions about if and how your plant will be affected by changing variables then make predictions. Design an experiment to test your predictions…be sure to include a control in your experimentation. Consider testing how changing the amount of sunlight, fresh and salt water, nutrients, etc. the plant receives affects the plants growth and health.

B. Make Conclusions: Discuss your findings with the class. How do your findings compare to real examples in South Carolina? What happens to rice fields in times of drought, floods, and hurricanes? Why does rice need sunlight?

4. Evaluate the Evidence: Cost-Benefit Analysis

What are the benefits of maintaining the rice fields in the Lowcountry?  What are the costs?  Divide your class into two groups. Assign one group to research and present the pro’s of maintaining the impoundments and assign the other side to the con’s of continuing to produce rice in the state’s rice fields. Engage your students in a class debate.

Research the Topics

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Rice