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Respect the Water #2

Elementary, Middle

Description

In this three part lesson plan, teachers will lead the students in discussions and explore Aboriginal perspectives on respecting the environment; Aboriginal cultural teachings on women's responsibility for water; how individual and collective behavior affects the environment; and the relationship between all living things.

Activity #1 - Students will view an image of Josephine Madamin, a Mother Earth Water Walker, and make predictions as to what is occurring in the photo.

Activity #2 - Students will read a text that explains Josephine Madamin's efforts to protect the water.

Activity #3 - Students view a video of Josephine Madamin discussing her Water Walk journeys among other issues.

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 simple to implement with prompting questions and background information for the teacher when leading the whole group discussions.  It also does not require an access amount of instructional time; therefore, the outcomes can easily be adapted into an existing curriculum or plan without requiring a large time commitment. The extension activities are interesting and engaging.

Weaknesses

The resource does not provide concrete assessment strategies; rather a list of suggestions.  

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.  The storybook "The Water Walker" could also be used as another resource for the younger grades as well as a visit to the website Mother Earth Water Walk

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.

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  • Alberta
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        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
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        • Global Issues and Governance: Economic self-interest can be a significant cause of conflict among peoples and governments.
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        • Peoples and Stories of Canada to 1867: First Peoples
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        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Other Cultures: Connections and Influences
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        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity::Other Cultures: Connections and Influences
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        • Water Systems on Earth
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        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
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        • Interactions in Our Environment
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        • Heritage & Identity: Interactions of Indigenous Peoples and Europeans Prior to 1713, in What Would Eventually Become Canada
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        • Social Studies 6: Canada & Our Atlantic Neighbours -Resources and Wealth
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        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
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        • Global Issues and Governance: Media sources can both positively and negatively affect our understanding of important events and issues.

Themes Addressed

  • Human Health & Environment (2)

    • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards
    • Quality of Life
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Poverty
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

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

    • Water Quality
    • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Water Use
    • Watershed Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

This resource presents the students with the Aboriginal view of interconnection of all living things and the importance of clean water for the sustainability of life.  

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 implications of the lack of clean water and the need to protect our water sources are the main focus of this resource.  The social and economic aspects of the problem are explored from the Aboriginal point of view.

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 Satisfactory

The extension activities included in the lesson plan allow the students to explore the issue on a deeper level.

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 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 Good

The perspectives presented in the lesson plan's activities help to develop a respect for the Aboriginal peoples and their knowledge.

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
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 Poor/Not considered

The resource has a broad and general focus that is not specific to a local learning.  There are extension activities that are focused on the Toronto area.

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 Satisfactory
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
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
  • 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 Good

The variety of activities within the lesson plan, reading and predicting, creating a video and making a newsletter, do address a variety of learning styles.

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 Good

In the extension activities, the students examine the efforts of other groups to protect and clean up various waterways.

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 extension activities do allow for some exploration by the students on the topic of water protection with some flexibility on the elements of the research.

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.