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Sila Alangotok- Inuit Observations on Climate Change is a teacher’s guide to the video of the same name that chronicles the work of Canadian researchers who spent a year in Sach’s Harbour learning about the effects of climate change from the Inuit people. The guide helps students explore climate change issues raised in the video including the value of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in understanding climate change. While the video is not an essential component of this resource, its use is highly recommended. It is available on line or can be purchased at www.iisd.org for $16.00.
The teacher’s guide consists of background information on climate change and TEK, eight suggested learning activities and a comprehensive set of resource materials that includes blackline masters, supplementary articles and a bibliography. Students are not expected to complete all eight activities. Teachers should select those activities that are most appropriate for their students. The activities include:
A. Activating Prior Knowledge. Students read an Environment Canada bulletin on the role of TEK in environmental management, watch the video and answer a series of questions. These questions emphasize the value of traditional knowledge in describing the effects of climate change in the Arctic and highlight individual actions that can be taken to address the problem.
B. Concept Map and Debate. Students view the video, chart climate change observations made by local residents and create a concept map that summarizes the ways in which climate change is affecting life in northern Canada. Students are then divided into two groups to debate the value of traditional knowledge in the study of global climate change.
C. Trip Reports Jigsaw. After watching the video, students form ‘home groups’ to review the evidence of climate change in the Arctic and the role played by traditional knowledge in documenting its effects. Students then form ‘expert groups’ and read detailed reports on four different components of the Sach’s Harbour study to evaluate the effectiveness of the various research methods used by the scientists.
D. The Impact of Climate Change. Students view the video and record observations on climate change made by community members and Inuit elders. These findings are then compared in chart form with the results of a scientific study carried out by Environment Canada researchers that students read and analyze. The activity concludes by having students answer a series of questions to summarize the similarities and differences between the two approaches and the importance of including both in the study of climate change.
E. Examining the Environmental, Economic and Social Consequences of Climate Change in the North. After brainstorming possible effects of climate change for northern communities, students view the video and add any additional social, economic and environmental consequences to their list. Working in small groups the students prepare a poster, poem, song (rap), illustration or article to present their findings to the rest of the class.
F. The Arctic Ecosystem and Climate Change Observations. Working in groups, each student selects a different Arctic plant or animal, researches its habitat using Environment Canada’s website and hypothesizes about how climate change might impact the species. Students then view the video and record any observations scientists and community members make about the species they have selected. With the information collected, each group creates a food web composed of the each member’s species and presents it to the class in the form of a poster.
G. Development Project: A Decision-Making Activity. Students take on the roles of various stakeholders in a northern community that has been targeted by a large oil and gas company for a major drilling project. After researching the perspectives that they are representing and preparing arguments students participate in a ‘town-hall meeting’ to decide on a course of action.
H. Creating a Community Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Students view the video and record the effects of climate change on the local community. After reviewing the causes and effects of climate change, students determine what measures their own community has taken in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Students then brainstorm other steps their community could take to combat climate change and to develop a community action plan for implementing these initiatives.
Students are required to practice/demonstrate the following skills.
Resources for teaching this skills are identified.
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|
The resource does an excellent job in incorporating the strengths and limitations of both TEK and scientific investigation.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Students consider environmental, social and economic dimensions of climate change.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
One activity asks students to develop an instrument to document climate change observations from within their own communities but offers little support. Another activity helps students develop a community action plan to fight climate change.
|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
Activities within the resource
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Very Good|
|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|
There is potential for out-of-doors experience but it is not put into practice.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
This would be especially applicable to the use of this resource in northern communities. Some effort is made through activities that involve role play, debate and action experience to make the learning relevant to students in the rest of Canada as well.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Very Good|
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|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.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
|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||Very Good|
|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|
Two activities encourage students to choose the medium in which to work. Some control over content/topic two of the activities is given to students
|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.|