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Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Weather Perspectives

Lessons to Support Science 10

Secondary, Middle

Description

This four lesson resource was designed to support the Science 10 weather unit.  Lessons examine cultural perspectives on weather and weather predictions with an emphasis on the aboriginal oral history of weather translating. Four activities are included to explore the idea that weather patterns can be identified using both traditional ecological knowledge as well as today's technology. Students review an oral history document summarizing First Nations weather translations, research and present other cultural weather sayings and complete a five-day homework project that involves making weather predictions based on the collection of personal weather data and the meteorological forecast of the day.

Lesson One: Introduction

After reviewing the terms weather and climate, students discuss  questions which ask them to reflect on how sensory perceptions help to establish a knowledge base of the local environment so as to adequately prepare for the weather. They then make notes on First Nation's oral history which involves predicting weather using animal behavior and appearance, plant orientation, wind direction and astronomy.

Lesson Two: Cultural Weather Sayings Research

Students find the answers to guided questions on cultural weather sayings.  They supplement computer research with information gathered from friends and family.

Lesson Three: Cultural Weather Sayings Sharing

After sharing the research gathered in lesson two, students work on a performance task for testing their comprehension of the cultural teachings.

Lesson Four: Weather Forecasting Journal

Students collect personal weather data (temperature, wind, cloud, plants, animals, astronomy) to predict weather.  They compare their predictions to the meteorological forecast of the day.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Interpreting trends and patterns in data
  • Critical thinking
  • Selecting and integrating information from electronic sources
  • Using various types of information to formulate predictions

Strengths

  • Lesson are unique, sequential and easy to understand
  • Excellent appendices and background information on traditional ecological knowledge and First Nations perspectives are provided
  • Promotes an awareness and appreciation of the natural world
  • Connects people and groups in the community
  • Websites are included for research activities
  • A list of extension activities are provided from Nelson Science 10
  • Answer keys are provided for assessment/ research questions and a rubric is suggested for the weather journals
  • The purpose of each activity is clearly stated

Weaknesses

  • No authentic action project
  • No authentic case studies
  • No hands-on learning opportunities explicitly provided
  • Students need more time to reflect and discuss their values and opinions

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource can be used to address outcomes in high school science courses associated with the study of weather and the art of weather forecasting. It could also be used as an enrichment project to emphasize the cultural importance of oral history, traditional ecological knowledge, and the use of both traditional and technological methods in dealing with the challenges of the 21st century.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Studies 10: Aboriginal Worldviews
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physical Education & Health
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical and Health Education - Outdoor Education: Spending time outdoors allows us to develop an understanding of the natural environment and ourselves
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Science 11: The transfer of energy through the atmosphere creates weather and is affected by climate change
        • Earth Science 11:The distribution of water has a major influence on weather and climate.
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physical Education & Health
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical and Health Education - Outdoor Education: Spending time outdoors allows us to develop an understanding of the natural environment and ourselves
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • B.C. First Peoples: The identities, worldviews, and languages of B.C. First Peoples are renewed, sustained, and transformed through their connection to the land
        • Comparative Cultures 12: Understanding the diversity and complexity of cultural expressions in one culture enhances our understanding of other cultures.
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: The identities, worldviews, and languages of indigenous peoples are renewed, sustained, and transformed through their connection to the land.
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Weather Dynamics
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Weather Dynamics
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1206: Weather Dynamics
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Mi'Kmaq Studies: Culture
        • Mi’Kmaq: Education
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Weather Dynamics
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies: Expressing Aboriginal Cultures: Relationships
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Earth and Space Science: Climate Change
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Beliefs,Values, and Aspirations in Contemporary Society (College Prep.) Relationships
        • Current Aboriginal Issues in Canada (Univ./College Prep.) Relationships
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 421A: Weather Dynamics
        • Science 431A: Earth and Space Science, Weather Systems
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 10: Community and Kinship: Aboriginal Perspectives
        • Native Studies 10: Identity and Worldviews, Aboriginal Perspectives
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physical Education & Health
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical and Health Education - Outdoor Education: Spending time outdoors allows us to develop an understanding of the natural environment and ourselves
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Science 11: The transfer of energy through the atmosphere creates weather and is affected by climate change
        • Earth Science 11:The distribution of water has a major influence on weather and climate.
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physical Education & Health
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical and Health Education - Outdoor Education: Spending time outdoors allows us to develop an understanding of the natural environment and ourselves
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • B.C. First Peoples: The identities, worldviews, and languages of B.C. First Peoples are renewed, sustained, and transformed through their connection to the land
        • Comparative Cultures 12: Understanding the diversity and complexity of cultural expressions in one culture enhances our understanding of other cultures.
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: The identities, worldviews, and languages of indigenous peoples are renewed, sustained, and transformed through their connection to the land.

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Weather
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • TEK -- Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Science and Technology (1)

    • Alternative Ways of Doing Science

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Although there is an emphasis on First Nations oral history, the resource explores the use of different types of cultural perspectives on weather and weather predictions. The resource also recognizes the merits of combining these with current technologies.

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 Satisfactory

This resource introduces the use of indigenous knowledge to predict weather patterns and in doing so emphasizes the interconnections of society and the environment.

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

This resource has thought-provoking activities which promote dialogue and discussion.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered

There is no authentic action plan.

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

The resource fosters respect for Indigenous knowledge and the emphasizes the importance of oral history in any culture.

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

The tracking of weather easily accommodates out-of doors experience. The resource certainly promotes the value of the natural world and the importance of preserving it.

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 completion of the weather journal brings relevance to the lives of the learner.

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

This resource promotes both past and present methods for weather prediction. 

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

A combination of structured and guided inquiry is used. Students apply what they have learned to make their own predictions.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

This is primarily a science resource, but there are opportunities for addressing outcomes in language arts, and social studies.

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 Satisfactory
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

Activities teach to both the cognitive and affective domains. There are no accommodations suggested for people with learning difficulties but appropriate groupings could help address this.

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 Satisfactory

The weather journal does involve the collection of weather data, but most information is accessed via the internet and other media.

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 Satisfactory

Answer keys for reflection questions and the performance assessment tools are provided.  There is also a rubric for the weather journal.

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 thorough descriptions characteristic of case studies. The oral history of weather prediction is described in general terms only.

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

The students are given choices and options to explore in their weather journals.

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.