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Watershed Connection Guidebook

Secondary

Description

 

Watersheds are considered through five comprehensive modules that address knowledge, skills and action.  Focus is on watersheds of British Columbia.

  • Module 1, Watershed Works! explores how we define watersheds, the biological, geological and climatic conditions which influence and, in turn,are influenced by our watersheds, and the diversity of life within British Columbia's watersheds.
  • Module 2, Watersheds and Culture, investigates the relationships that exist between watersheds and human beings. From First Nations to early European explorers and settlers to present day inhabitants, the watersheds of British Columbia have shaped, and likewise been shaped by, human beings.
  • Module 3, Going Global, shares with us the big picture of watersheds - on a global scale. Using activities that focus on a different country, students will gain insight into other cultures and the different ways in which people globally interact with, rely on, and modify their own watersheds - and the potential repercussions of doing so.
  • Module 4, Watershed Worries, examines the challenges surrounding watersheds within British Columbia, such as polluted drinking water, disappearing habitat and deforestation, as well as viable solutions to these issues.
  • Module 5, Watershed Stewardship, teaches action skills and supports student action in their own communities on behalf of local watersheds.

General Assessment

Strengths

  • Background is provided in the resource and through web links.
  • The beginning of each module is correlated to curriculum topics.
  • There are many innovative teaching ideas which are well developed with explicit instructions.
  • The guide book is thorough and the activities would be easy to use.
  • Very balanced, objective approach.
  • Action skills are explicitly taught.

Weaknesses

  • Lack of teacher assessment and evaluation strategies.
  • Lack of student self assessment suggestions.
  • Need for student values clarification which would be very appropriate after many of the activities.

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Mind mapping, debating, checking for bias in news reports, job/career exploration, letter writing, calling radio shows, organizing public events, writing an effective press release, media relations, Nature Scaping, stream clean up.

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Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (4)

    • Carrying Capacity
    • Habitat Loss
    • Interdependence
    • Invasive Species
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • TEK -- Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (2)

    • Habitat Restoration
    • Planting Native Species
  • Water (3)

    • Water Quality
    • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Watershed Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good
  • Points of view of current British Columbia citizens, settlers, Aboriginal Peoples of British Columbia and citizens of El Salvador are presented.
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 Good
  • Ecological, cultural, health issues presented.
  • Solutions suggested or to be determined by participants.
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 Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected

Acting on Learning Very Good
  • In Module 5, Watershed Stewardship, students are given information about  writing letters and developing press releases as part of an action project in Activity 1:  Get Active!
  • In Activity 3: Nature Scaping 101, students are instructed in planning a stream clean up or naturalizing an area near their school.
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 Satisfactory
  • Module 4 debate- students have stake holders perspectives.
  • Module 3 Activity 2- students consider the perspective of someone in El Salvador.
  • Don't actually commit to detemining their own view point on water use and water shed protection.
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good
  • Students consider current and past Aboriginal people, settlers and present day citizens of British Columbia and people of El Salvador.
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
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
  • For British Columbia students.
  • Could be adapted for use in other jurisdictions.
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 Good
  • The past in B. C. is considered.
  • Present issues are addressed both in British Columbia and El Salvador.
  • The future of treating water in El Salvador so that it is potable is illustrated.
  • Students are given an opportunity to create their own positive vision of the future of watersheds in British Columbia with action projects in Module 5.
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 Very Good
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Very Good
  • Module 1:  students map, examine nutrient cycle diagrams, research, create brochures and relate weather to biogeographic zones.
  • Module 2:  students research and write including poetry and skits.
  • Module 3:  students read case studies, interview, work with numbers, role play.
  • Module 4:  students read, listen to and record news items, evaluate bias, report to class.
  • Module 5:  students consider water distribution systems, water quantity, letter writing, communication, planning and action.
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
  • Particularly good with mind map in Module 3.
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
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 Very Good
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  •  Satisfactory: learning is made concrete. Working with real objects,  using real sources of information
  • Good: learning takes place in a real-world context. Simulation, mentorship
  • Very good: learning provides experience beyond the classroom.  Addressing real world issues and problems 
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
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
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
  • Opportunities provided through reports on media issues in Module 4 and Nature Scaping in Module 5
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 Very Good
  • Module 2 Activity 3 - Fraser River
  • Module 3 - El Salvador:  The GAIA Project partnership between the Sierra Club of B. C. and Salvadorian Center For Appropriate Technology.
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
  • Following a media issue of choice in Module 4.
  • Stewardship project of choice in Module 5.
  • Ethnobotany research of plant of choice in Module 2.
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.