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The Big Thaw

Secondary

Description

The Arctic has become the canary in the coal mine as an indicator of the impact of climate change. Some reports suggest that the North Pole is melting faster than ever; that the Northwest Passage will soon be an international shipping lane; and that change in the Arctic is happening at warp speed. In The Big Thaw, the Water Brothers visit the Arctic to get the facts and find answers.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The video provides an opportunity for students to enhance those skills related to critical viewing of media - identification of main idea(s), of supporting evidence, effectiveness of visual images and production values.

Strengths

The Arctic is seen as the front line of climate change and thus serves as both a lab and classroom for investigating the rate of climate change and the potential impacts. The video uses an effective combination of visual and narrative to introduce students to this unique bio-region and what the changes there tell us about climate change.

A number of related videos in the Water Brothers series allow for further student investigation of related issues.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The Big Thaw is a useful addition to those resources that help students investigate climate change. It should be used after the students have studied the causes of climate change and may serve to introduce students to the potential effects of climate change or as a case study of the impact of climate change in a specific bio-region. It may also be used in combination with other videos in the Water Brothers series to support units of study dealing with water in general, marine systems or oceanography.

The Big Thaw also may be used in certain units dealing with Aboriginal Studies with a focus on challenges faced by First Nations or Traditional Indigenous Knowledge.

A Teacher's Guide is available to support the teaching of The Big Thaw. Other relevant teaching activities in the series include, Glacial Retreat, Sea Ice and Ocean Currents.

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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    • Grade 10
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      • Aboriginal Studies
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        • Aboriginal Studies 10: Origin and Settlement Patterns
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        • Social Studies 11: Human Geography
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        • First Nation Studies 12: Land and Relationships
      • Geography
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        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Specific Aboriginal Culture
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        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
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    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Advanced Environmental Science 120:Introduction to the human sphere
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        • Canadian Geography 120:A Geographic Perspective on a Current Canadian Issue
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    • Grade 12
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        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
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        • Earth Systems 3209: The Earth Through Time
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        • Norther Studies 10: Module 3: Northern Economy
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        • Experiential Science 20, Marine Systems: Introduction to Oceanography
        • Experiential Science 20, Marine Systems: Ocean Ecology
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        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
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        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
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        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Ecosystems and Human Activity
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        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Populations (Univ./College Prep.) Spacial Organizations of Ecumenes
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        • Earth and Space Science (Univ. Prep) Recording Earth's History
        • Earth and Space Science(Univ. Prep.) Recording Earth's Geological Processes
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        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
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        • Geography of Canada 421A: Physical Connections: Canada’s Ecozones
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        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
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        • Geography 621A Global Issues : Inquiry- What are the issues?
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  • Saskatchewan
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        • Geography 10: Climatic Regions and their Effect on Man
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        • Environmental Science 20: Atmospheric Systems
  • Yukon Territory
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        • Earth Sciences :Surface Processes and the Hydrosphere
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      • Science
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        • Geology 12: Surface Processes and the Hydrosphere

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Bioregionalism
  • Water (1)

    • Marine Environments