Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 1 month 1 week ago

This is currently Phase 1, where I will be focusing on plants and insect life. Back in Phase 0, I had carefully chosen my topic that I will be working with for a month. My plan is to investigate information about the environment and insects that lived with the villagers in Yunnan Province. The purpose of this plan and the topic is to learn about the people in China and how they rely on the environment to form their village and their culture.

What do I already know (or think you know) about the topic?

There is already an abundance of information I knew about the background. I already know that there is a lot of vegetation, a lot of insect life, and rarely, animals. I assume that there is a lot of plants because the village depends on them. There is a special type of cacti that are common in Yunnan Province and are used frequently for the village. For insects, I believe that they are common because there will be a lot of vegetations like I had said before. From my background knowledge, insects inhabit all seven continents, and Antartica included. What I am trying to say is that insects are common everywhere, so it will not be a surprise if Yunnan Province has different species of insects. Finally, we have animals. I am certain that there is not a lot of wild animals because this topic name had changed from 'Domestic Plants and Animals' to 'Plants and Insect Life'. Also, an Alumni had said that there was not a lot of animals and not much to focus on.

Where did I learn these things?

This knowledge that I learned came from different places. I learn these things and noticed minor details from the Microcampus website when I was doing research for Phase 0. I know that there is a lot of vegetation because Mr. Tafel had told me about the common cacti that only inhabit in Yunnan Province. In other words, this cacti species is unique to the world. I know that there will be insect life because of my background knowledge. As a person who is a big fan of nature, I know a lot of trivia about biology and living species. This is where I got the insect-inhabits-all-seven-continents facts. I actually forgot where I had learned this information. Finally, I learned that there is not a lot of animals from Laura L. from Alumni-S. She had said, "The reason for this change is that when I was gathering information, most of it that I received was related to plants instead of animals."

What do I want to know about this topic?

As I did my research, I do have some questions and information to ponder about. What I want to know about this topic is the climate and the actual surroundings of the village we will be living and discovering information with. China's landscape is unpredictable. It can be large mountains next to the village or great plains. It can be a big forest or a river nearby. These different landscapes will affect what I will be learning with. If there is a large forest, I will mainly be focusing on trees. If it was a great plain, I will focus more on the flowers or the grass. This is what I want to know when I get to Yunnan Province.

Supporting Questions

Now, I add the ten major questions that will help me on my progress during Microcampus. The purpose of these ten questions is to help guide and support me in my quest to gather information. I will first be talking about the environment in Yunnan Province and slowly transition to the people, along with the harms of human activity. Then, I will be talking about how these people are trying to prevent this and what actions they must take. I will later be talking about the homes and the residence of the people, and how they fit with nature.

1. Does the vegetation affect the people's living standards? If it does, how?
The vegetation is what the people depend on because of the resources. The citizens use these flowers and herbs for cooking and for medical care.

2 What is Yunnan like in the nighttime?
Yunnan has stars that fill up the night. There are also many fireflies. The children usually go outside and play in the dark.

3. Is the Erhai Lake important to the people, and if it is, why?
The Erhai Lake is home to many fishes that the people depend on. One of the many stable foods for the people who live in Xizhou is fish.

4. Does wildlife affect the environment that the people live in?
There are often many pests including insects and rodents that will harm the crops the people depend on.

5. What is some other well known invasive species that are brought to Yunnan? (And how is Xizhou affected by this?)
There are multiple well known invasive species such as the Morning Glory and the Kudzu. Xizhou is affected by these plants from the occupying the water. In other words, these plants take away the native plants' water source, leaving them to wither.

6. Does human activity affect the environment? If it does, what are some physically noticeable problems?
There is not a lot of noticeable problems, however, it is said that forest-fires occur quite often.

7. What are some actions these people made to maintain the beauty and the relationship of Yunnan's environment? 
The citizens garden and take care of unhealthy plants. They also have a community service where they pick up litter in rural areas.

8. Are there any nearby urban cities in Xizhou that the people who we will be living with go often?
Yes, these people often go to these urban cities when they yearn for medical needs.

9. What are the houses that the people live in like?
The houses are small cottages that are scattered around the rural environment. Some are also in the mountains.

10. What are the citizens' reactions to their home?
The people all believe that Yunnan is a beautiful place to live in and satisfy all their needs.

With these helpful ten supporting questions at hand, I will be moving onto Phase 2 where I will be finding helpful resources so that I can enhance the information I will be collecting. 

Hello! I am Josie and I enjoy learning new things and spending time outside, alone and with friends. I am a big fan of animals and nature and that is why my inquiry project topic is about local plants and insect life. Currently, I am in Xizhou completing my inquiry project.