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This resource challenges students to think about the effects of a warming climate on sea ice and sea levels in the Arctic. It emphasizes how climate patterns cause physical changes in the environment and how these physical changes can effect the conditions necessary for life.
After brainstorming words associated with “the arctic” students view a presentation that features a Native Alaskan talking about the importance of ice to his life and culture. They then watch and discuss a slide show of arctic images and carry out an online search for newspaper articles on melting sea ice.
A math-based lesson asks students to graph data on sea ice over time. They also complete an experiment to simulate the melting of sea ice and assemble a flip book of images of changing sea ice over time. Finally students complete an experiential activity that demonstrates how the thermal expansion of sea water contributes to a rise in sea levels.
An extension activity includes a video describing the black guillemot, an ice-dependent, arctic-nesting sea bird, whose changing habitat has resulted in dwindling populations.
Students reflect on the concept that physical changes in climate and ice affect specific animals, their habitat, and their ecological relationships.
This resource could be used in middle level science classes to meet outcomes addressing ecosystems, loss of habitat, and the link between fossil fuels, climate patterns, and the changes in the physical environment. Math teachers will appreciate the opportunity to practice data management outcomes in an authentic context.
Geography and social studies classes could use this package to study the relationship between human activity, negative environmental impacts, and the effect of these impacts on the sustainability of traditional societies. (specifically, in Northern communities)
As well, this would be a good math/science/geography cross-curricular enrichment package
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|
Students are exposed to indigenous perspectives in the video. They interpret and analyze real-life data and conduct an internet search for various news stories on the effect of climate change on sea ice. A number of perspectives are examined in these activities.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The resource effectively links human activity (burning of fossil fuels) to the environmental consequences of global warming and it explores these effects on the culture of indigenous peoples and traditional societies.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The resource provides thought-provoking questions and activities that encourage discussion and promote empathy.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
|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
Group discussions and open-ended questions provide opportunities for values clarification.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Very Good|
The video of the Native Alaskan discussing cultural and livelihood impacts is very powerful. The slide show contains a series of visuals that also build empathy for the people of all Northern communities affected by melting sea ice.
|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.
Students will relate global warming to their own energy and consumption choices. Students may be motivated to promote energy conservation and greener energy initiatives in their community.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The graphing of real-life data and the background information give a good sense of the historical trends and the relationship between human activity and melting sea ice. Present day situations are discussed and students may be motivated to take a role to implement solutions.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Through open-ended questions, students are encouraged to consider, develop and share their own thoughts and opinions.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This is primarily a science resource, but there are opportunities to address outcomes in social studies, math and geography.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Student-led inquiry is present with brainstorming activities, the learning ladder, group investigations and discussions.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
A variety of instructional approaches are included- brainstorming, learning ladders, internet searches, experiential learning activities, creating a flip book and class discussions.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Two hands-on learning opportunities are provided which include simulations of how melting ice and thermal expansion increase sea levels.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Worksheets with discussion questions, some of which are open-ended are provided, but there are no rubrics suggested to evaluate student work or for peer or self evaluation.
|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.
The two videos offer very good case studies on the far-reaching effect of global warming on Northern communities.
|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.|