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Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup: K to 3

Curriculum Guide

Elementary

Description

This comprehensive resource focuses on educating students about the importance of removing shoreline litter to help create healthy waters for everyone, including the wildlife and the communities that depend on them. Through a variety of practical, hands-on activities and a shoreline 'clean up', students make connections to the natural world and learn how to be active stewards of animal, plant and human communities. These activities allow students to engage with nature and experience how they can bring positive change to their environment.

Students will:

  • participate in a variety of water stewardship activities which include constructing a shoreline, exploring play puddles, locating water in their local environments and discussing ways humans impact water
  • learn how the local shoreline is an important habitat for animals, plants and people by identifying a variety of shoreline animals and plants                                           
  • discuss different ways litter appears on the shoreline and how they can reduce it.
  • in preparation for the shoreline clean up day, identify materials that harm or do not harm the aquatic environment, perform a trash audit and identify what a healthy environment looks like
  • participate in a shoreline cleanup day, identify, tally and classify objects found during the cleanup into needs and wants and study their own individual consumption patterns
  •  use recycled materials and items collected during the cleanup to re-purpose their trash into treasure to celebrate their accomplishments of completing the cleanup.

As a culminating activity, students will reflect on their actions and the positive impact they have made as a result of taking part in the Shoreline Cleanup. 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Students learn to classify objects according to their properties and characteristics. They sort and classify items found in the shoreline cleanup based on the needs of living things and human health

Strengths

  • The lesson plans are detailed and easy to use
  • The activities promote group dialogue and individual expression
  • The activities employ a number of strategies to
    help pupils make their own discoveries, determine the causes and consequences of these problems and issues, and try to find solutions.
  • Activities provided to enhance the learning
  • Activities are age-appropriate and interesting

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Interdependence
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Habitat Restoration
  • Waste Management (2)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
    • Solid Waste Disposal
  • Water (2)

    • Water Use
    • Watershed Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The resource allows the students to reflect on their individual role in shoreline litter. The activities show the students how they can make a difference in the world while learning about the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation. Students are not influenced to any particular point of view.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good

The hands-on activities allow the students ample opportunity to discuss and brainstorm solutions to shoreline litter. They become more aware of the harmful effects of shoreline litter on both aquatic ecosystems and people.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The activities demonstrate effectively the complexity of shoreline litter issues. The activities present the many problems and implications which affect the inhabitants of the shoreline.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good

The shoreline cleanup is a great opportunity for the students to get outside and reconnect with nature. They learn how they can make a difference by participating in a shoreline clean up.

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

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good

The students are provided with age appropriate questions to reflect upon their own values such as: How it felt to have their shoreline littered. What sort of responsibility do humans have to protect plants and animals from harm? How can we help the shoreline? 

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

Not considered in this resource.

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 Very Good

The activities develop students’ personal connections to the natural world. On the shoreline journey, students will discover that they are active stewards of animal, plant and human communities.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

The shoreline clean up allows students to make positive and dramatic contributions in their community.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

Students compare items people wasted in the past and the properties of these materials. Ex: trash “past and present”, what source materials were used? How do they degrade over time? What are the environmental impacts of trash in the past vs. now?

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

The learning activities provide students with opportunities to engage in scientific inquiry. Students raise questions about the issues and gather evidence through many types of investigations including observing and doing experiments.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

The resource integrates many different subjects through hands-on learning activities connected to the Arts, Science, Mathematics, Language Arts.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Students become material scientists and experiment with items found in their schoolyard and their classroom environment. They collect, make observations, analyze, sort and count waste materials into recyclables, non-recyclables and compost. The students will then use the data they collected to design bar graphs or pictographs to represent their findings and then reflect on what they have learned.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The hands-on activities do address a variety of learning styles, but no accommodations are suggested for students with learning difficulties.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Very Good

The resource provides the students with the opportunity to appreciate and explore the shoreline before they participate in the shoreline clean up.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

Each section lists opportunities for assessment contained within the lesson. Brainstorming and discussion portions of lessons may be used as formative assessment tools for comprehension and interpretation of supporting photographs, illustrations and oral readings. Students may be assessed on their choice of relevant animals or plants, on their willingness to participate in class discussions and on their contributions to the shoreline design and development.

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 Satisfactory

Activities such as 'Think Pair Share' are provided as well as opportunities to share their reflections with the group.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Good

Students are introduced to the Shoreline Cleanup’s Dirty Dozen. It's a list of the twelve items most commonly found during shoreline cleanups across Canada.

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

Suggestions to extend the learning are provided in the resource. The students are given ample opportunities to extend their learning in areas that interest them.

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.