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Hole In The 'Zone

Secondary, Middle

Description

This two-lesson ESD resource explores the ozone layer, issues surrounding its depletion, the dangers related to  sun tanning/exposure to UV radiation, and the effectiveness of sunscreen products. 

Lesson One- Is Your Sun Screen Working? (3X60minutes)

Students visit the "Hole In The Zone" website and answer guiding questions concerning the ozone layer, UV radiation, and the causes and dangers of sunburn. They perform an experiment using UV sensitive bacteria to determine the effectiveness of different types of sunscreens. Students then write a summary of their results. Extension activities include creating information pamphlets explaining the dangers of tanning, tips on sun-safety and the different types of skin cancer & treatments.

Lesson Two- Creating a UV Warning Scale (3X60minutes)

After collecting information on the website, students answer questions relating to the ozone layer, its depletion and the problems that UV radiation can cause. They then use a variety of links to explore UV levels in their own area, the minutes of exposure required to cause skin damage, and the dangers of sun tanning. Students create colorful posters to inform the community of daily UV levels, the dangers of each level, and precautions to take to avoid excessive exposure. Students return to the website each day to find UV values and update their posters. Posters are displayed at school and in various locations in the community. They also keep journals to track these values and daily weather conditions. Suggested extension activities include investigating UV levels in other parts of Canada & the world and comparing them to conditions at home.  Students can also create informational pamphlets to encourage "ozone-healthy" behaviors.

General Assessment

Strengths

  • There is a good quantity of background information for the teacher and the student
  • The information on the website is written in student-friendly language
  • The package is up-to-date and a very important topic 
  • Animated images in the readings are educational and fun to watch
  • "Science and You" mini-links are informative
  • The resource includes a glossary of scientific terms (age-appropriate), and a "question and answer" section for each lesson
  • Information is supplied on ordering the bacteria
  • Gives students a chance to practice real science and obtain results that are relevant to their lives
  • Promotes community awareness
  • Group work allows for shared dialogue and incidental peer teaching
  • Extension activities will allow students to go deeper into chosen issues

Weaknesses

  • Assessments tools must be developed by the teacher
  • No authentic case studies
  • Needs to be opportunities for students to clarify, identify, and express their values
  • No accommodations suggested for struggling students

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Controlling variables
  • Making and testing an hypothesis
  • Organizing and correctly using apparatus and materials to collect experimental data
  • Communicating the findings of an investigative procedure
  • Interpreting data and trends in data
  • Reading and viewing of different text
  • Engaging in oral presentations

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Ozone Depletion
  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory

An explanation of the science behind ozone depletion and the negative effects of high UV levels on humans are highlighted in this resource. The points of view of the various levels of government, those industries whose release ozone-depleting products, and cancer organizations are not included.

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 Good

 The resource emphasizes that natural hazards which are amplified by human activities can present personal health, and societal challenges.

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 Satisfactory

The resource promotes dialogue and discussion within groups of students. Activities relate environmental, health and social issues.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected

Acting on Learning Good

The UV warning poster, which is updated daily in the community could result in some positive changes with regards to sun safety.

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 Satisfactory
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.  

  •  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
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

A brief description of the history of ozone depletion is given. Present day situations are examined and an investigation on the effectiveness of sunscreens is performed. The future would be seen as positive if the students continue to contribute and volunteer their time in promoting and modelling sun safety and ozone-friendly practices.

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 Satisfactory

Students are encouraged to discover some of the answers on their own, A combination of structured and guided inquiry is used.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

Although primarily a health and science resource, opportunities for learning in social studies, art and language arts are also present.

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
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 Satisfactory

A variety of activities including scientific inquiry, group and individual research, poster making, modelling and presentations are provided to address both cognitive and affective domains. There are no accommodations or suggestions 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
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  •  Satisfactory: learning is made concrete. Working with real objects,  using real sources of information
  • Good: learning takes place in a real-world context. Simulation, mentorship
  • Very good: learning provides experience beyond the classroom.  Addressing real world issues and problems 
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 Poor/Not considered

Poor- The resource suggests assessing participation in activities, and evaluating summaries for each lesson. There are no instruments, rubrics, or answer keys provided.

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
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 Poor/Not considered

There are no case studies included.

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

Extension activities provide opportunities for students to go deeper into chosen issues.

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.