- What is ESD?
- Review Process
- Take Action
- Professional Development
- A project of
The Big Picture Project provides a unique perspective on the changing earth through the eyes of an astronaut and empowers students to take small actions in their everyday lives that will have major impact on the planet. Students watch the trailer of “A Beautiful Planet and receive a message from astronauts aboard the International Space Station prompting them to conduct research and scientific experiments into water use, waste production and carbon footprints.
Using Power Point presentations as guides, groups of students choose a theme (water use, waste production, and transportation methods), complete a research report and perform a number of hands-on activities at home that demonstrate the environmental impacts of their behaviors. In conclusion, students share their findings and use mathematical scalars to represent how small individual action can have big effects.
Lesson One: Clarity
After watching and discussing a video clip students examine case studies involving water use, waste production and the carbon footprint impacts of various modes of transportation. They then complete a research report on one of these themes.
Lesson Two: Detail
Students are assigned homework tasks which involve completing hands-on activities over a 24- hour period. Using a variety of measuring techniques students determine the volume of water wasted during teeth brushing, the mass of non-recyclable garbage collected and the carbon footprint of transportation methods to and from school. After calculating 'means' for their data students form initial conclusions about the impact of their behaviors on the planet.
Lesson Three: Size
Students apply mathematical concepts and the 'Imax Size Tool' to extrapolate their individual and class data to a larger scale to emphasize the how micro-changes can be made which support macro-changes globally. They then share their reports and results with others to promote awareness and change.
This resource supports instruction in late elementary and middle level science programs to address outcomes involving resource management, water issues, greenhouse gas production and waste source reduction. It can also be used in social studies classes to examine the impact of human activity on the environment. It is a a good resource to use as a lead up to Earth Day as the the personal audits bring local focus, and encourage planet stewardship.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Satisfactory|
Students gather facts, examine case studies, and perform personal audits on water use, and waste production and calculate carbon footprints on their transportation modes. They make their own conclusions on the sustainability of these choices going forward.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
The resource explores how human activity, lifestyle choices and consumption of resources affects the sustainability of the planet.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
This resource emphasizes how the interactions between humans and the environment have impacts on the environment. It provides some thought-provoking questions and activities that encourage discussion,
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Students will be encouraged to continue to move towards positive change after their own personal water, travel, and waste audits.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Classroom discussions and reflections are encouraged. Students gain an appreciation of the importance and worth of individual action.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The personal audits bring relevance and have local focus.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The resource has a very positive vision for the future if people continue to make small changes in their water consumption, waster production and pursue greener transportation modes. The homework activity gives a clear picture of present habits and choices.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students collect data, and draw their own conclusions. The teacher acts as a facilitator prompting and guiding reflection, experimentation, and analysis.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Although primarily a science resource, there are opportunities to address outcomes in math, language arts, and social studies.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students brainstorm, complete a research report and perform first-hand experimentation. The investigations are the focal point of group discussions.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The resource does not offer suggestions for differentiation or provide accommodations for learners who made need them.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The personal audit takes place in a real world context and provides hands-on learning opportunities.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Guiding questions are provided, but no there are no checklists or rubrics given to help assess students.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
Students are given case study cards on each of the eco-themes to read and discuss.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
Students have choice in the eco-theme that they research. They have opportunities to respond and reflect on what they discover.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|