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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

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
Bias Minimization 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.

Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).
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:

The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

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 problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.
Action Experience Good

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

Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
  • Poor = action activities poorly developed
  • Satisfactory = action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity
Action Skills Satisfactory

Students learn to work cooperatively, research a topic, and collaborate on the results of an investigation. They are then motivated to inform and warn their community of the health risks associated with UV exposure.

Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).
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: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.
Locally-Focused Very Good
Locally-Focused: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.
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.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning Satisfactory

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

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.
Discovery Learning Good
Discovery Learning:

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event
  • Good = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.
Values Clarification Satisfactory
Values Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
  • Poor = Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited, therefore, students do not have an appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.
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 learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
Experiential Learning Very Good
Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson
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 used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine 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.