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Canada’s Forest & Wetlands: Our Natural Water Filters, Volume 6 is a K to 12 teaching kit that explores the role our forests play in sustaining freshwater resources. The final five of the eight lessons in the kit are appropriate for use in high school.
The resource begins with a brief introduction to the ecological relationship between forests and freshwater. In addition to providing teachers and students some key facts and figures, an extensive list of teaching resources is included. In the lessons that follow students use this background information as context to explore the larger issue of sustainable forest development as they complete a range of activities including role play, simulation and research. Each lesson consists of a set induction, student activities, reproducible worksheets and suggestions for extended learning. The resource also contains a glossary.
Lesson four simulates a town hall meeting to demonstrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions to forest development. Students are assigned roles of the various stakeholders who will be affected by a planned highway project that will result in the loss of much of the town’s forested area. Each student must prepare an appropriate point of view based on the perspective of the stakeholder he/she is representing and present it during the class’s town hall meeting. Following the presentations, a decision on whether or not to proceed with the project is made by the class.
In lesson five, students explore the impact of individual choices and actions on the environment. Using examples of existing codes that govern human interaction with the environment and their understanding of forest ecology, students come up with a set of rules and actions to protect our forest that they present to others as a Forest Code of Conduct.
Lesson six addresses the importance of sustainable forest development. Students read and analyze the acceptance speech of Wangari Maathai whose Greenbelt Movement resulted in the planting of over 30 million trees in Africa and earned her the 2004 Nobel Prize for Peace. By looking for the reasons why planting trees could earn a Nobel Prize, students explore the connection between sustainable forestry, sustainable freshwater and quality of life.
In lesson seven students participate in a simulation that examines strengths and weaknessnes surrounding different sources of water. Pupils take on the role of field engineers to research and make recommendations on where to locate a newly-planned community based on the preferred source of its water.
In the final lesson students are guided through an action project designed to inform others about the importance of forests in relation to freshwater conservation. Each student researches a specific topic relating to forests and water, reviews the key elements of successful short story composition and presents their findings in story/picture book form. The books are then read to groups of younger students.
While these skills are not explicitly taught in this resource, it provides teachers with activities to involve students in:
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||Good|
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Town hall meetings address conservation from environmental, social and economic perspectives.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Two of the core lessons and several of the extended learning activities provide students with opportunities for action. Few details for implementation of the suggestions are included.
|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
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
More attention could be paid to the opportunities the activities provide to acknowledge the contribution and role of Canada's Aboriginal peoples.
|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||Poor/Not considered|
While several of the activities encourage reflection on the relationship between human and non-human life, this resource does not get students outdoors.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The set inductions that introduce each lesson are especially effective in relating issues to student experience.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
|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: |
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||Satisfactory|
|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.|