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Respect the Water #1

Elementary, Middle

Description

In this four part lesson plan, teachers will lead the students in discussions and explore Aboriginal perspectives on respecting the environment; how individual and collective behavior affects the environment; and the role of community engagement in maintaining healthy and sustainable ecosystems.  

Activity #1 - Students will read the dual language poem "Water/El Agua" and participate in a whole group discussion about the work.

Activity #2 - Students will watch the online video "The Story of Bottled Water" and then create a group summary of the video in a format of their choosing.

Activity #3 - Students will organize a school wide screening of "The Story of Bottled Water" video and then create an action plan to reduce the amount of bottled water used in their school.

The final activity has the students participating in a simulated group interview of a bottled water corporation executive.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Explicitly teaching a skill is not the focus of this resource.  Rather, it focuses on the development of an appreciation of the Aboriginal views of the importance of water as well as the necessity to protect our environment.

Strengths

This resource is easy to implement with prompting questions and some background information for the teacher when leading the whole group discussions.  It also does not require a considerable amount of instructional time; therefore, the outcomes can easily be adapted into an existing curriculum or plan without requiring a large time commitment.

Weaknesses

The resource does not provide concrete assessment strategies; rather a list of suggestions.  It also provides an article that is referenced in the resource list but is not used in any of the activities. 

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource could easily be added to an existing unit on water as a method of including the perspective of the Aboriginal people to help broaden the students' understanding of the issue.

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 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Other Cultures: Connections and Influences
        • Language Use in Context: Outside the Community
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Other Cultures: Connections and Influences
        • Language Use in Context: Outside the Community
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity::Other Cultures: Connections and Influences
        • Language Use in Context: Outside the Community
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity::Other Cultures: Connections and Influences
        • Language Use in Context: Outside the Community
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interaction of Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth's Surface
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Conservation of Energy & Resources
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions in the Environment
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Inequalities: Economic Development and Quality of Life
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • TEK -- Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Water (4)

    • Privatization & Sale of Water
    • Water Cycle
    • Water Quality
    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Students are presented with the Aboriginal perspectives with regards to the importance of water as well as the cooperate perspective for selling bottled water and the environmental impact of the commodity.

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

All three dimensions of the water issue are examined within the four activities in the lesson plan.

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 Very Good
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Good

In the third activity the students work on a campaign to reduce/eliminate the amount of bottled water used in their school.

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 Very Good

Within the class discussions and activities the students will be able to develop their own values and beliefs with regards to the issue of the importance of water.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This resource does not focus on this outcome.

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 Satisfactory

The resource has a broad and general focus that is not specific to a local learning.

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
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 Good

Throughout the activities, students are encouraged to develop and share their thoughts by discussing the topic in class discussions or as reflective questions

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • Science
  • 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 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
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 Poor/Not considered

The lesson plan activities in this resource are not structured for hands-on experiences.

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

The resource suggests a number of assessment ideas without any support other than a list.

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

This resource does not contain a case study but does suggest teachers can find information about water quality on First Nations reserves via the Canadian Dimension article on the Council of Canadians at http://canadians.org/water/issues/First_Nations/index.html

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 activities present opportunities for the students to discuss and explore the topic of the importance of water and how the Aboriginal culture values water; however, there is not a lot of flexibility for the students in terms of choice of topic or content.

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.