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The Big Picture on Biodiversity and Climate Change

An Environmental Education Program for Secondary Science Students

Secondary

Description

This is a highly experiential learning resource that explores the relationship among biodiversity, climate change and human health. In addition to drawing attention to the importance of species diversity the resource provides both ideas and support  for students to take action in their community

Program elements include:

• Exploring and sharing how students and others value, use and impact local ecosystems.  Students view an on-line video and discuss the issues raised.

• Examining connections between biodiversity, climate change, and human health and well-being. Students participate in a game and an Envirothon-type activity

• Enjoying a local ecosystem in a low-impact manner. Students visit a local ecosystem.

• Taking seasonally appropriate action to mitigate against these impacts. Students build nesting boxes and/or remove invasive species from a local ecosystem.

• Connecting international conventions to individual action, and individual action to international impact.

 

Both pre and post-program educator resource materials have been provided.

 

 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • Many of the activities high school students would find interesting- especially the tipping point;
  • Strong attention is given to experiential learning;
  • Action expereinces are prominent and well supported;
  • The appendix is extremely rich in resource materials;
  • The activities fit together
  • Additional resources are available on line.
  • Information provided is up to date.

Weaknesses

  • The unit could relate more to the lives of the students-especially in the beginning.
  • The video is amusing but more suited to younger than older high school students.
  • Some of the activities require considerable preparation time- especially for those with no background in climate change.

What important ideas are implied by the resource, but not taught explicitly?

Biodiversity is important.

Climate change is having a serious impact on biodiversity.

Individual actions can help mitigate climate change.

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 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Commitment to Action
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Outdoor Expeditions
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biological Diversity
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Technological Education
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Wildlife - WLD1050: People, Culture and Wildlife Heritage
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 20: Ecosystems and Population Change
      • Technological Education
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Wildlife - WLD2040:Wildlife Spaces & Species
        • Wildlife - WLD2090:Issues in Wildlife
        • Wildlife - WLD2130:Outdoor Experiences
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 11: Ecology
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Dynamics of Ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 11: Biodiversity
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 120: An Overview of Environmental Science
        • Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1206: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 2201: Biodiversity
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2200: Ecosytems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
        • Environmental Science 3205:Recreation & the Environment
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biological Diversity
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 20: Ecosystems and Population Change
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 11: Biodiversity
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biological Diversity
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 20: Ecosystems and Population Change
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Interactions in the Physical Environment
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
        • Science (Applied): Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Health and the Environment
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geographics: The Geographer’s Toolkit (Workplace Prep) Human-Environment Interactions
        • Physical Geography: Patterns, Processes, and Interactions(Univ./College Prep.) Human-Environment Interactions
        • The Americas: Geographic Patterns and Issues (Univ./College Prep.) Human-Environment Interactions
        • Travel & Tourism: A Regional Geographic Perspective (Open) Human-Environment Interactions
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 421A: Sustainability of Ecosystems
        • Science 431A: Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 521A: Biodiversity
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 621A: Ecological Principles
        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 20: The Diversity of Life
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Ecology

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Ecosystems (5)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Biodiversity
    • Endangered Species
    • Habitat Loss
    • Invasive Species
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Recreation

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Bias Minimization Satisfactory

 Information presented is factual in nature.

Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

Not always explicit in the activity but present in the available resources. Less attention is paid to the economic dimension.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

Respects Complexity Very Good

A complete range of activities is provided for biodiversity education from simple awareness to action.

Respects Complexity: The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.
Action Experience Very Good

There are hands-on experiences where students can make positive changes such as removing invasive species and building bird houses.

Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
  • Poor = action activities poorly developed
  • Satisfactory = action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity
Action Skills Good

Action ideas are supported with skill training including:

  • building bird houses
  • identification of mitigation measures to reduce the effects of climate change
  • identification of invasive species and common native plants.
Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).
Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

Respect is fostered for First Nations in the resource but is not a part of the main activities.

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

This is explicit throughout the activities.

Personal Affinity with Earth: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.
Locally-Focused Good

The lead questions don't explicitly relate to the student's personal experiences but  the activities provided are highly engaging.

Locally-Focused: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.
Past, Present & Future Good

A sense of time is present but could be developed further.  For example attention could be paid to how ecosystems in the past could adapt more effectively with slow changes in climate vs the more rapid changes occurring now.

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

Most of the activities involve actions with fixed outcomes.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning Good

While the activity is geared primarily to science and geography outcomes there are connection made for agriculture, health, and economics.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.
Discovery Learning Good

Students are provided with unique and intriguing situations and must come up with their own answers.

Discovery Learning:

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event
  • Good = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.
Values Clarification Good

Most of the issues are presented in a scientific terms but students are given some opportunities to clarify their own values.

Values Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
  • Poor = Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited, therefore, students do not have an appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.
Differentiated Instruction Good

All of the activities provide a range of different learning styles either through physical activity, group work or by building something themselves.

Differentiated Instruction: Activities address a range of learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
Experiential Learning Very Good

A variety of authentic, hands-on activities are provided.

Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Student work in groups but cooperative skills are not explicitly taught.

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 Poor/Not considered

There is a program evaluation form but it is a feedback form about the program itself. It does not assess student learning.

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

Some peer teaching occurs during group work. Students take on action projects on their own. However they are not empowered  to teach others.

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

Students built bird house that will be used to restore swallow populations. Students are involved in removal of a harmful invasive species.

Case Studies: Relevant case studies are used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine concepts in an authentic context.
Locus of Control Poor/Not considered

Students do not choose their program 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.