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Salmonids in the Classroom is a comprehensive, year-long program in which students learn about the life-cycle of salmon, how they interact with their environment and the relationship (both positive and negative) between salmon and humans. Students engage in a variety of hands-on activities both in the classroom and the field. The lessons reflect sound instruction and assessment practices. Students are encouraged to practice an ethic of care.
Unit 1: The Salmon Life Cycle - students examine the life-stages and related needs of salmon
Unit 2: Water Cycle, Watershed and Salmon - students examine a salmon incubator and build a watershed model
Unit 3: Salmon Habitat - students select a site for on-site studies and begin field research using journal activities and formal research assessment rubrics
Unit 4: Salmon Spawning - these lessons focus on why salmon spawn, a spawning simulation experience, salmon as fertilizer, genetic diversity, water quality
Unit 5: Salmon Eggs - students are introduced to the concept of water quality and practice testing using measurement up to parts per million
Unit 6: Salmon Alevins - students examine how temperature affects yeast rates of growth and relate that to salmon respiration, students also consider how human activities affect water temperature (including creating a model landfill).
Unit 7: Salmon Fry - students classify various aquatic species and their place in the aquatic web, complete a hands-on activity to study buoyancy and discuss water runoff pollution
Unit 8: Salmon Smolts - students create a mock-estuary, examine the role of smoltification and play a predator-prey game that explores food-chain relationships
Unit 9: Adult Salmon - this unit considers natural and human stresses on salmon and examines how salmon navigate without landmarks
The resource teaches a wide variety of skills including:
This cross-curricular resource is linked to the Curriculum Learning Outcomes in an easy to use chart. Activities are clearly defined and explained for both first-time and veteran teachers. The extension activities allow students to pursue a wide-range of interests. As well, many opportunities are provided to turn awareness and understanding into action. The activities will work well as part of the entire program or on a one-off basis.
Limited attention is given to historical aspects of, and First Nations perspectives, on salmon. The resource does not emphasize some key human-related stresses on salmon populations such as development, forestry, mining, commercial and sports-fishing, fish-farming, etc. More attention could be given to implications of climate change for salmon.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good||Project rationale is presented and includes the background philosophy of both the educational resource and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.|
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good||Problems and solutions are explored at many levels and from a variety of perspectives. The resource also encourages students to reflect and act upon the complexity of solutions to problems.|
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good||The resource assists learners to understand issues conceptually. The complexity of problems is respected and perspective-taking is encouraged.|
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Very Good||Students are taught various aspects of environmental stewardship (including stream enhancement) and are encouraged to become involved in educating their communities and stewarding their local environments.|
|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
|Values Education||Good||Students are encouraged to understand how both salmon and the health of the environment relates to individuals and societies. Some attention is given to exploring biases and assumptions - a variety of activities encourage students to research issues, draw their own conclusions and where appropriate, act.|
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory||Limited attention is given to First Nations’ relationship to salmon. Consultation with First Nations is relevant to the topic but is not indicated as having occurred.|
|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||Very Good||An ethic of care and affinity is encouraged, both directly and indirectly. Many lessons involve out-of-doors experiences either directly or as part of the extension activities.|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good||Learners are encouraged to assess their own local aquatic environments and establish plans for enhancement and stewardship.|
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good||Limited attention is given to past events and human activities that have contributed to current realities/issues for salmon health and populations. Emphasis is on existing problems and challenges and how to address them towards a positive tomorrow. More attention could be given to species at-risk as well as to the implications for salmon populations related to climate change.|
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good||Many of the lessons and extension activities encourage students to explore areas of personal interest or completing activities in a personalized manner.|
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good||The resource explores various aspects of the interrelationships between salmon, their environment and other species, including humans.|
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Very Good||A wide-range of activities respect and support diverse learning styles in both the cognitive and affective domains. Activities include: role-plays, individual and group research, games, simulations, presentations, experiments, etc.|
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good||Direct experiences include field-trips to local streams and rivers while simulations and experiments encourage the understanding of the deeper connections between humans, salmon and other species.|
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Good||Although cooperative strategies are not discussed, many activities are group-orientated.|
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good||A variety of assessment practices are presented. All are pedagogically sound and readily completed. Emphasis is placed on teacher and not student self-assessment. The guide would benefit from reference to the performance standards and assessment rubrics, although this may serve to more readily “date” the resource.|
|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||Good||The resource encourages students to share their learning with classmates, parents and community members. Specific mentoring/teaching opportunities are not described.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Poor/Not considered||Case studies are not provided but role-plays are presented. Modeling is used to help students understand concepts regarding stream pollution, run-off, etc.|
|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||Good||Some activities are more structured and directive (such as how to dissect a salmon) but most units include a variety of extension activities that support individual interest and 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.|