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This comprehensive set of nine activities is centered on the award-winning film, “Happy Feet Two”. Popular characters like Mumble and Erik are used to inspire students to become concerned about human impacts on Antarctic marine ecosystems and the remarkable species that inhabit them. Just as the voices of actors like Elijah Wood and Sofia Vergara bring life to the on screen characters of the movie, this resource will engage students in dynamic learning through a series of fun activities in which they will:
This resource can be used to support learning about the characteristics of living things, ecosystems and adaptations. The activities also reinforce Social Studies outcomes related to world issues, exploration and sustainability. There is a strong English Language Arts component in which students reflect and communicate through writing.
The final activity “What You Can Do to Help” provides the framework for a classroom action project that focuses on energy conservation. A class could campaign to reduce the school heating temperature by 1-2 degrees and chart how much energy is conserved. Students could also write letters to establish a “no idle” zone at the school or work with a local power company to organize a community event where residents learn about energy conservation at home.
An interesting aspect of this unit is the use of an animated film to provide information about Antarctica. A compare and contrast project that blends English Language Arts and Science outcomes could have students examine a documentary feature such as “March of the Penguins” relative to “Happy Feet Two”. The class could discuss how aspects like storyline and character are used to capture audience attention about environmental issues facing this unspoiled wilderness.
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||Very Good|
Self expression through writing and dialogue is a key component of this unit and students are able to make connections between personal choices and environmental sustainability.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Students learn about predator-prey relationships to develop an understanding of interdependence in biological systems. This supports deeper thinking about the fragility of the Antarctic marine environment and potential human impacts on this sensitive ecosystem.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Global concerns surrounding Antarctica are complicated by politics and limited research. However, most scientists are in agreement that ocean warming is s the key factor affecting Antarctic marine species. This resource focuses on the issue of climate change from the perspective of individual action making the content relevant to students’ lives.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
A class is encouraged to implement and measure the collective impact of personal conservation strategies like unplugging electronic devices that are infrequently used. This approach demonstrates that individual change can lead to sustainable communities which support large global conservation initiatives.
|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
A key strength of this resource is that students are able to express and define their own thoughts about conservation and significant environmental issues like rising sea levels. The characters in the film are also highly relatable and encourage action like reducing plastic waste which can end up in oceans.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|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||Satisfactory|
Although there is not an outdoor experience included in this resource there are many links to videos and information about penguins. The subject matter in combination with the appeal of the “Happy Feet Two” movie will actively engage students in caring about these animals and their habitat.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The subject matter is distant and remote but there is a strong link between local conservation initiatives and reduced global impacts on greenhouse gas emissions.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The film and this resource both present a positive vision for the future which is important in encouraging a conservation ethic in students as they recognize they can make a difference.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Although the activities are structured there are many opportunities for self expression and autonomous learning. This means students are able to analyze and interpret information using strategies such as peer to peer dialogue
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The resource provides scientific information about Antarctic ecosystems and animal adaptations. Social Studies concepts related to globes and maps are included in the “What I Know About Antarctica” lesson. English Language Arts outcomes for writing and responding to media are also an important feature of the resource.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are able to use reasoning skills to synthesize and apply information to describe concepts related to sustainability and global citizenship.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Each activity suggests modifications for younger and older students which could also be used for differentiation strategies since they are connected to the main lesson.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
In the “Feet Are Neat” activity students create models of different bird feet. A teacher could add to this experience by taking a class outside to view birds in natural habitats where they can make connections between adaptations like beak shape and environment.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Most of the activities involve individual and small group work. However active listening to other opinions are a key component of discussions surrounding personal views about conservation.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
There are limited assessment tools consisting of written responses to some questions.
|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||Poor/Not considered|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The animated film is used to motivate students to learn more about the fascinating organisms that inhabit Antarctica. This ensures that the content is pertinent and meaningful given that the area is so distant and remote.
|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|
Included with each activity are options for enhancing the learning experience for younger and older students. This information supports expanded investigations where students explore topics such as energy conservation from a personal perspective.
|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.|