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This resource effectively illustrates the ways in which animals are important to the health and future of the planet. Four lessons demonstrate how human activities, including those related to climate change can result in habitat fragmentation and threaten the viability of entire ecosystems. The resource includes a teacher's guide, background information, student activity pages, videos and extension ideas for individual, group and community action.
Activity One: What’s your View? (1 x 60 minutes)
Teachers set up a 'four corners' activity in which students read a variety of statements concerning animal welfare and decide if they agree or disagree. The class then discusses as a group the importance of animals in sustaining healthy ecosystems and the value of their relationships with humans.
Activity Two: Video (1 x 60 minutes)
Students watch a video called “Why Animals Matter” and complete a short quiz to check their understanding of key concepts raised in the video. A discussion follows on what can be done to make the world a better place for animals. Suggestions for extension activities are included.
Activity Three: Eco-investigation (3 x 60 minutes)
Students go outside to study local biodiversity. Working in groups, they select a 2m square sample site near the school yard and determine the variety of plant, fungi and animal life found. The inventory includes the abiotic characteristics of soil, rocks, water sources as well as any evidence of human disturbance. Students are also asked to take notice of the resources that species need to survive (food, water, cover and space) and how humans have impacted these resources.
Activity Four: Understanding Habitat (3 X 60 minutes)
After a discussion on the inter-dependency of the four core elements of a habitat, the class is invited to brainstorm ideas as to the causes and effects of habitat fragmentation and the importance of wildlife corridors. Students then review a newspaper article describing how habitat fragmentation due to road construction in parts of India has impacted elephant populations. Four groups of students take on the role of stakeholders in a wildlife corridor project for the benefit of these elephants. Groups must develop a persuasive statement to reflect their point of view. Peer evaluation and class discussion follow.
An extension activity suggests students research the habitat requirements of a wild animal, how these needs can be threatened by human disturbance and what solutions should be considered.
This resource will enhance and support the teaching of sustainable ecosystems, habitat loss, biodiversity and an appreciation of the natural world. It could also be used in geography classes to address outcomes related to how human activity has affected the natural environment. The video included could serve as an excellent tool to 'kick-off' Earth Day activities.
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|
This resource aims to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of habitat preservation and to build positive attitudes towards animal welfare. A number of different activities are presented and students reach their own conclusions.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The resource highlights the link between human activity, economic development and the threat to animal welfare.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The resource helps students understand some of the causes and consequences of human impact on the environment and vice-versa. The world is promoted as an integrated whole.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Action opportunities are suggested as lesson extensions.
|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||Very Good|
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
Included in the activities is a discussion of the role companion animals play to help humans deal with social, physical, emotional, and psychologial problems.
|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|
The resource does a wonderful job illustrating 'why animals matter'.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The students complete an eco-investigation in their own neighborhood to witness "first-hand" the effect of human activity on local ecosystems and (possibly) examples of habitat fragmentation.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local 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.|
Students are encouraged to consider and develop their own thoughts and opinions. There are opportunities to link information and issues to their own experiences.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This is primarily a science resource but there are opportunities to address outcomes in geography, language arts, art and social studies.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Both cognitive and affective domains are addressed. The activities are varied and include student-led brainstorming, research projects, role plays and first hand experimentation. There are no specific accommodations for struggling students.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The eco-investigation provides both hands-on learning and local focus.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Although there are some summative discussion questions provided in most lessons and a quiz to wrap up activity two, it is up to the teacher to design assessment tools and rubrics.
|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: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|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|
|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.|