[Ocean Oasis - Teacher's Guide]  Imágen Satelital de la Península de Baja California y el golfo de California See Spanish version
human icon [Activity 12]
[Human Needs and Resources: Comparing Lifestyles]

What resources do you need to survive?
What is the source for these items?

In the Film

The Baja California peninsula and its surrounding water is depicted as an area that provides resources and shelter for living creatures from near and far. Resources such as food and water are also basic needs of humans. An area of abundant resources is often described as an oasis. Two themes of the film are that this land and its surrounding sea create an oasis, and that people have lived here for thousands of years.


Natural resources are the source of our basic survival needs: food, water, shelter, and space.


To explore the sources of basic needs today and 500 years ago


Science, history/social studies, language arts


Over the years, basic survival needs have not changed. Food, water, shelter, and space are as necessary now as they were thousands of years ago. However, modern technology has created a gap between the product and the source. It is difficult to recognize the source of many of the things we use. For instance, breakfast cereal bears little resemblance to its parent grains. Not much in a modern house looks like the plant or earthen material from which it originated. For urban dwellers even the connection between rain, rivers, and tap water may be lost. It is important to keep in mind that natural resources still supply all of our needs. These resources are limited—some are recycled either naturally or artificially, while others are nonrenewable.


Paper, pencil, activity sheet (drawing)


(individuals) Small version of drawing for activity. Click
here for the larger version.

  • Discuss the concept of basic needs—what they are and where they come from.
  • Use the picture to the right. (Click on it to go to a full-size version.) Find a shelter, locate a source for water, and plan a menu for three days that would be appropriate for residents in Baja California 500 years ago. The menu should consist of food items found in the picture.

Local Connection

  • Find out about life in the area of your town about 500 years ago. What items were used for food? Where was the water source? What materials were used for shelter? Draw pictures, write a report, or make a diorama to illustrate your findings.
  • List items you use in your everyday life. Trace the sources of these items. Where do they come from? How do they reach you? What do you do with items you no longer use?
  • Compare your lifestyle with that of people in your area 500 years ago.

Key Words
natural resources

Continue to Activity 13: Art with Natural Materials

Teacher's Guide Contents
Field Guide | Site Index | Ocean Oasis: The Film

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