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A Piece of Land

Elementary, Middle

Description

This activity asks students to take on the role of a land manager and consider the needs of multiple stakeholders such as forest and mining companies, ranch operators, a general store, leisure activity groups and a conservation group. It is designed to be given to students to work on individually with minimal instructions. It can be used digitally via google documents or in paper format.

In this activity, the students will fill in a map of a forested area with different colours representing the various stakeholders and their requests for land.  On the map, a lake and a river have already been placed.  After making their decisions and allotting the land, the students will answer the reflection questions provided.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The focus of this lesson is less on the development of skills and more on the development of awareness of land use and issues related to development.

Strengths

  • an interesting and hands on activity
  • ready to use with all necessary materials
  • extension activity provided

Weaknesses

  • lack of background information for teachers
  • lack of assessment tools

Recommendation of how and where to use it

"A Piece of Land" is a novel, short duration activity that would easily fit into any study of ecosystems and the impact development has on them. The activity could be completed by each student, discussions could be held and then the map could be completed again to demonstrate the student learning that occurred. 

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 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life.
        • Investigating matter and energy facilitates understandings of natural phenomena and can inspire discovery and innovation.
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Wetland Ecosystems
    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Trees and Forests
    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interaction of Ecosystems
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: Habitats
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 4: Humans and the Physical Environment
    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Interactions Within Ecosystem
        • Science 7: Environmental Action
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Saskatchewan: Resources and Wealth
    • Grade 5
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada: Resources and Wealth
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 5: Multicellular organisms have organ systems that enable them to survive and interact within their environment.

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (3)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Habitat Loss
    • Wildlife Protection
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (3)

    • Forests
    • Recreation
    • Rural Issues

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The goal of the activity is for the student to manage the wants of various stakeholders all the while considering the needs of the environment and the wildlife species who inhabit the area in question.

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 Very Good

In completing the activity, the students need to consider all dimensions of the problem of the use of the land by various stakeholders.

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
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered

Although an awareness of the issue is developed while completing this activity, there are no opportunities for change on a larger scale to occur.

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 Very Good

This activity provides ample opportunities for the students to reflect, clarify and express their values via the allotment of territory to each stakeholder. The questions afterwards also provide an opportunity for the students to explain their choices.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

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 Satisfactory
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 Satisfactory
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

This resource does a good job of giving the students a sense of the present and a positive way to influence the future; however, the teacher will have to supplement the resource to give students an understanding of the past in this context.

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

This activity allows for all student answers to be considered.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • Social Studies
  • Science
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 Very Good

This activity asks students to take on the role of a land manager and consider the needs of multiple stakeholders of our forest landscapes. It is designed to be given to students to work on individually with minimal instructions. 

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 Poor/Not considered

As this is a single activity, a variety of instructional approaches is not possible.  However, the activity does allow for independence and it is a different type of pen and paper exercise.

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 Satisfactory
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 Satisfactory

This is an activity to be completed individually but could easily be adapted for group work.

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

Reflection questions are provided but there are no tools for the assessment of 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 Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

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 Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

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 Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

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.