A key theme is the relationship between people and their environment (5 a-b), part of GCSE and A-level specifications.
* Record key weather conditions (air pressure, wind speeddirection, temperature and rainfall) for your area (www.bbc.co.ukweather) and compare these with the pollen count. How do conditions affect pollen counts? Why? What is the impact on human activity? Investigate the increasing incidence of hay fever (http:health.yahoo.comhealthcentersasthma_allergy_49.html). Note the growth of housing on the rural-urban fringe and changes in agriculture, eg the increase in oil-seed rape production.
* Change in the countryside is also a key theme. Organise a role-play to examine GM crops from different points of view and include information about contamination of non-GM crops through cross-pollination (www.foodfuture.org.uk gmcropstherisks3.htm or www.defra.gov.uknews2002020118d.htm
* Pollen preserved in soil, peat and lake sediments is evidence of environmental change. Give students pollen profiles from different periods and ask them to sketch and label the corresponding landscapes.