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Sciences First People

Elementary, Middle

Description

This teacher resource guide provides educators with resources to support increased integration of First Peoples knowledge and perspectives into classrooms and schools. The resource can be used in conjunction with locally based resources that are developed by, or in collaboration with local communities. It is intended to be a starting place for educators.

The resource guide includes eight engaging multi-grade thematic units:

  • Unit 1 – Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Unit 2 – Plants and Connection to Place
  • Unit 3 – Power from the Land
  • Unit 4 – Bear and Body Systems
  • Unit 5 – Climate Change
  • Unit 6 – Shaking and Flooding
  • Unit 7 – Interconnectedness of the Spheres
  • Unit 8 – Ocean Connections

Each unit contains a brief intro, essential questions, enduring understandings, curriculum connections, cross-curricular links, suggested activities, resources, assessment activities, and suggested additional resources.

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The teaching of specific skills is not the focus of this resource.

Strengths

  • an abundance of materials and activities that allow the teacher to choose a learning path that can be tailored to their students
  • a wealth of background information and tips such as how to host an elder for a school visit
  • all materials and links necessary for the completion of activities
  • detailed assessment suggestions and strategies
  • well laid out and easy to use materials

Weaknesses

  • the amount of material may be daunting to some

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource is so flexible in its composition that it could be used in a multitude of classes.  Each unit is meant to be a starting point and the activities can be easily tailored.  

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
        • Plants for Food and Fibre
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 5: Machines are devices that transfer force and energy
        • Science 5: Multicellular organisms have organ systems that enable them to survive and interact within their environment.
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Newton’s three laws of motion describe the relationship between force and motion.
        • Science 6: The solar system is part of the Milky Way, which is one of billions of galaxies.
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Issues and Governance: Economic self-interest can be a significant cause of conflict among peoples and governments.
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: The theory of plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains Earth’s geological processes
  • 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
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Specific Aboriginal Culture
        • Language Use in Context: Outside the Community
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Forces and Simple Machines
        • Maintaining a Healthy Body
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Other Cultures: Connections and Influences
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Specific Aboriginal Culture
        • Language Use in Context: Outside the Community
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Solar System
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Specific Aboriginal Culture
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity::Other Cultures: Connections and Influences
        • Language Use in Context: Outside the Community
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth's Crust
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • People & Places in the World: Human Impact in Europe or the Americas
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Specific Aboriginal Culture
        • 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 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Forces and Simple Machines
        • Meeting Basic Needs and Maintaining a Healthy Body
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Investigating Past Societies: Interactions
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Space
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth's Crust
        • 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 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Body Ststems
        • Forces & Simple Machines
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Societies: Interactions
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Space
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth's Crust
        • 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 5
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Human Organ Systems
        • Structures and Mechanisms: Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Our Northern Land and Its People: The North's Resources
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Systems: Space
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
        • Planet Earth
        • Plants for Food and Fibre
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 5: Healthy Body
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Societies: Interactions
        • Social Studies 5
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Space
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth's Crust
        • 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 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Human Organ Systems
        • Structures and Mechanisms: Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Our Northern Land and Its People: The North's Resources
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Systems: Space
        • Structure & Mechanisms: Motion
    • Grade 7
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions in Our Environment
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Forces and Simple Machines
        • Meeting Basic Needs and Maintaining a Healthy Body
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Investigating Past Societies: Interaction
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Space
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth's Crust
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Forces and Simple Machines
        • Human Body Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada: Interaction and Interdependence of Nations
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Earth and Space Science: Our Solar System
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth and Space Science: Earth’s Crust and Resources
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 5: Machines are devices that transfer force and energy
        • Science 5: Multicellular organisms have organ systems that enable them to survive and interact within their environment.
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Newton’s three laws of motion describe the relationship between force and motion.
        • Science 6: The solar system is part of the Milky Way, which is one of billions of galaxies.
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Issues and Governance: Economic self-interest can be a significant cause of conflict among peoples and governments.
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
        • Science 7: Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: The theory of plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains Earth’s geological processes

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

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

    • Alternative Ways of Doing Science
  • Water (2)

    • Marine Environments
    • Watershed Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The resource does a very good job of allowing the students to explore various points of view, in particular, the traditional First Nations view as well as the more conventional scientific approach to topics.

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

The resource is reliant heavily on the environmental and social dimensions of the topics discussed.  The teacher can supplement this will by making sure to address the economic dimension.

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

The complexity of the issues discussed is respected by the provision of additional materials, the suggestion of activities and the depth of advice that is given for things like hosting an elder from the community and making connections with the community.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

The focus of this resource is to ensure that knowledge that is being taught in schools is also taught in a manner that is respectful and includes First Peoples' perspectives; therefore, acting on learning occurs more in an attitudinal sense than in concrete actions.

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
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
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

A goal of the resource is to encourage and support the respectful development of local resources.

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 Good

It is indicated in the resource that the teacher will have to make changes to the resource in order to include a local focus as the resource is centred around the British Columbia area. With the diversity of activity suggestions, the teacher should be able to do this relatively easily. 

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 Very Good

The activities suggested provided a clear sense of the past and the present while also giving the students knowledge that can be applicable to the future. 

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

The resource contains many activities that allow the students to explore questions and also allow the students to make decisions and take responsibility for their learning.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good
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 Good

The resource has a section that describes Inquiry Learning for the teacher and how best to approach it with the resource.

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 Very Good

There is a wide breadth of activities that address a variety of learning styles; however, learners with difficulties are not addressed.

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 Good

The activities presented allow for students to experience a variety of learning opportunities within a real-world context.  The visits by a community elder are one example of how the traditional ecological knowledge can be shared in an authentic manner.

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 Good
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 Very Good

The resource provided detailed assessment strategies and suggestions for the teacher as well as questioning suggestions.

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

Unit 8 provides a case study.

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 Very Good

The activities in the resource are not meant to be used in order; therefore, the teacher and students have the flexibility to go deeper into an issue if they so choose.  The units are meant to be a starting point for learning and not used as a comprehensive unit.

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.