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Building awareness of climate sensitive infectious diseases in Canada

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Description

The lessons in the following toolkit are designed to guide students towards an early understanding of climate change, and the impact it is having on all living things. One of the consequences of these changes is the increasing presence of climate sensitive infectious diseases within Canadian communities. Climate sensitive infectious diseases include many zoonotic, water-borne and food-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, West Nile virus, hantavirus, E. coli, giardiasis and salmonellosis.

Lesson 1: The purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate the impact of climate change on the Earth. Using two plastic bottles, students will be simulating two atmospheres. One with higher levels of carbon dioxide and one with normal air. Students will see a parallel between the experiment and how greenhouse gases are causing the temperature of the Earth to rise.

Lesson 2: This lesson is focused on how much the Canadian climate has changed over the past 20 years. Students will be using a data set of Canada’s climate changes over the past 20 years to graph the change.

Lesson 3: This lesson will highlight the impact climate change has had on different regions in Canada by examining how the habitat range of different animals has changed. Understanding the concept of habitat change will allow students to understand why many climate sensitive infectious diseases are becoming more common in Canada. The students conclude the lesson by researching a few infectious diseases that are becoming more common in Canada.

Lesson 4: This lesson highlights the impact that climate change is having on the geographic range of certain species, using the tick as an example. The activity will demonstrate how a growing habitat range of an animal increases the potential for human encounters with these animals, and can increase the risk of these animals spreading an infectious disease to humans.

Lesson 5: This lesson is based on a narrative from the perspective of an Algonquin boy who is learning about ticks and mosquitoes carrying Lyme disease and West Nile virus. The book provides practical safety tips for people looking to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors.

This resource is designed to be used in order and will take approximately five 40-minute lesson blocks to complete. By following the sequence, your students will be able to develop an understanding of how climate change works, how it impacts ecosystems, and why climate sensitive infectious diseases are a growing concern in Canada.

General Assessment

Strengths

  • The lesson has students doing a multitude of different activities in different formats which lends itself well to different learning styles.
  • This resource is available in both official languages
  • Lessons in this toolkit are well explained and are easy to follow for teachers and students
  • Printables are available of all the activities in the appendices
  • This resource is accompanied with learning resources to help teachers with the lesson.
  • Students will design a poster to educate their community on an infectious disease 

Weaknesses

  • This resource does not include adaptations for students with learning difficulties
  • Evaluations are not provided in this resource

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The Canadian Public Health Association, in consultation with experts in health research, climate change and education, have created this toolkit to provide students with an enriching learning experience. It will allow students to develop an understanding of how climate change is influencing the spread of infectious diseases in Canada, and learn prevention strategies that will protect them from climate sensitive infectious diseases.

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 6
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        • Statistics and Probability
        • Statistics: The science of collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data can inform understanding and decision making.
      • Science
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        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
        • Living Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions
        • Students investigate climate and describe the interactions between the Sun, water, air, and land.
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
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        • Knowledge and Employability: Statistics and Probability
        • Statistics and probability
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        • Data from the results of an experiment can be used to predict the theoretical probability of an event and to compare and interpret
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      • Science
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        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
        • Science 7: Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.
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        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
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        • Statistics and Probability
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        • Scince 6 Wayfinding: Making sense of your world: Nature of Science
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        • Science 7 Earth Surface Processes: Nature of Science
        • Science 7 Earth Surface Processes:Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
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      • Math
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        • Statistics and Probability
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        • Science 8 Beyond Earth: Human presence in the solar system: Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
        • Science 8 Beyond Earth: Human presence in the solar system:: Nature of Science
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        • Statistics & Probability
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        • Diversity of Life
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        • Interaction of Ecosystems
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        • Statistics & Probability
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        • Life Systems: Diversity of Living Things
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      • Science
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
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        • Statistics & Probability
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        • Science 7: Environmental Action
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        • Science 8: Climate Change
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
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        • Interactions in Our Environment
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        • Earth and Space Systems: Heat in the Environment
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        • Data
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        • Diversity of Life
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        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
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      • Math
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        • Statistics & Probability
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        • Living Things
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        • Statistics and probability
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        • The Earth and Space
        • The Living World
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        • Statistics and probability
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        • The Earth and Space
        • The Living World
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 6
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      • Math
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        • Mathematics 6: Statistics and Probability
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        • Science 6: Life Science: Diversity of Living Things
    • Grade 7
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      • Science
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        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
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      • Math
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        • Mathematics 8: Statistics and Probability
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data from the results of an experiment can be used to predict the theoretical probability of an event and to compare and interpret
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
        • Science 7: Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Invasive Species
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Students will be introduced to the effects of climate change. One of the consequences of these changes is the increasing presence of climate sensitive infectious diseases within Canadian communities. Students will participate in open discussions and will have the chance to form their own opinion and take informed positions on the subject. 

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

This resource uses a wide variety of learning activities. In these activities, students will get to look at how these dimensions interplay in the issue of climate change and its effects on sensitive infectious diseases within Canadian communities. 

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 Satisfactory

After completing the lessons, students will be asked to consolidate their learning in the form of a poster to share with their communities on the risk of climate change and its effects on infectious diseases within Canada. 

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

Students’ opinions and beliefs are at the center of this resource. Students have many opportunities to express themselves and there is no right answer. 

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 Good

By completing this resource, students will be able to develop an understanding of how climate change works, how it impacts ecosystems, and why climate sensitive infectious diseases are a growing concern in Canada therefore fostering concern for the natural world. An activity in lesson 4 that will help students understand the impact that climate change is having on the geographic range of certain species, using the tick as an example can be completed outdoors. 

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

The resource focuses on Canadian data that is entirely related to the lives of the learners. In addition, students will share their opinion throughout the resource in the form of discussions and reflexion questions. 

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 Very Good
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 toolkit consists of five lessons, arranged in a sequence that encourages students to ask questions and develop their knowledge on the topic before integrating it in a poster project. Throughout this resource, students are asked to share their opinion and beliefs on the subject. 

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

While this toolkit is mainly addressing Science outcomes, many of the lessons will provide opportunities for cross curricular learning, borrowing on skills from Science, Math, Language, Geography, Physical Education, Health, and Art. The lessons as they are will fit into the goals and curriculum expectations of all provinces and territories in Canada.

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 Satisfactory
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 Good

This resource has a multitude of different activities for students to do and therefore addresses well the needs of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. However, strategies for learners with difficulties are not provided. 

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

Students will simulate two atmospheres in order to see a parallel between the experiment and how greenhouse gases are causing the temperature of the Earth to rise. As well, students will do an activity where they will demonstrate how a growing habitat range of an animal increases the potential for human encounters with these animals, and can increase the risk of these animals spreading an infectious disease to humans.

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

Students will need to collaborate to complete the activities. 

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 tools are not provided in this resource, but teachers could use the reflection discussions/questions to evaluate students learning on the subject. They could also use the final poster as an evaluation. 

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

Students will create a poster to examine how climate change has contributed to an increase in the occurrence of certain diseases and identify essential information that should be shared with their friends, family and community.

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 Good

Students will use real Canadian data when exploring 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 Good
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.