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Creation

taken from: Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children

Elementary, Middle

Description

Activities are designed to help students have meaningful experiences with special places in their surroundings, explore how Earth provides the things we need to live, as well as teach about conservation of tree and forests.

Students will:

  • visit a special place in a natural area several times
  • trace the supplies of food, air, water and shelter back to their origins in nature
  • adopt a tree, care for it and plant a seedling.

This chapter is part of a larger compilation, "Keepers of the Earth", and is intended to be taught in conjunction with the other chapters within the book. 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource explicitly teaches:

  • students to become aware of their natural surroundings.
  • students to understand where the supplies they use originate.
  • how plants use sunlight in photosynthesis.
  • where water originates.
  • the importance of trees to everyone.
  • one person can work to make a difference in the world.

Strengths

  • Activities are well organized with clear outcomes and goals.
  • Aboriginal legends are utilized to introduce new topics within this chapter.
  • Many activities take place out of doors, and encourage a personal affinity with the Earth.
  • Hands on activities are designed to meet the needs of a variety of learning styles and needs.
  • Activities are locally focused and made concrete through hands on activities.

Weaknesses

  • Students do not participate in authentic action experiences.
  • Students do not have the opportunity to act as mentors or teachers to share their knowledge
  • Assessment practises are not provided for students and/or teachers.
  • Sustainability issues are not effectively addressed and the complexity of these issues is not respected.
  • An interdisciplinary systems thinking approach is not taken .
  • Students do not have the opportunity to choose certain components of their programming, or the medium in which they will work.

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 3
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions
    • Grade 4
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      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world
    • Grade 5
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      • English/Language Arts
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        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences
      • Science
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        • Wetland Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
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        • Canada: The Land, Histories and Stories: Physical Geography of Canada
    • Grade 6
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      • English/Language Arts
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        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences
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        • Evidence and Investigation
        • Trees and Forests
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        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment
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        • Growth and Changes in Plants
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        • Properties of and Changes in Substances
        • Weather
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        • Diversity of Living Things
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        • Science 3.Our Local Environment: Science Technology Society and Environment (STSE)
        • Science 3: Our Local Environment:Scientific Literacy
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        • Our Northern Land and Its People: The North's Resources
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        • Our Northern Land and Its People: The North's Resources
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        • Exploring Soils
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        • Diversity of Life
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        • Habitats and Communities
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        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • Rituals, Spirituality and Worldviews
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Forests

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory
  • Activities within this chapter are intended to to allow students to develop a relationship with nature, and provide background information on how the Earth is home for all of its inhabitants.
  • Activities are introduced with the use of Aboriginal legends but few viewpoints are discussed.
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 Satisfactory
  • Students are provided information on the importance of the Earth to all humans, but the activities within this chapter do not effectively address the dimension of problems and solutions associated with the Earth.
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
  •  The activities within this chapter are intended to serve as an introduction to new concepts.
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
  • Students do not have the opportunity to participate in authentic action experiences.
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 Good
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 Very 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
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 Satisfactory
  • Activities are introduced through the use of an Aboriginal legend.
  • Emphasis is placed on understanding the cyclical approach to the Earth.
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 Good
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • The opportunities for interdisciplinary learning are present within this chapter, but are not adequately addressed.
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
  • Students are given opportunities to participate in locally focused hands on experiences, and are given time to reflect on their discoveries.
  • Many of the activities within this chapter are teacher directed.
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 Satisfactory
  • Students participate in a variety of hands on activities that will meet the needs of a variety of students with diverse learning needs and styles.
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 Good
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 work in groups, but are not explicitly taught cooperative learning skills.
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 practises are not provided for students or teachers.
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 Satisfactory
  • Incidental teaches arises through group activities and discussions, but students are not given the opportunity to act as teachers or mentors to share what they have learned with peers, or community members.
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 Satisfactory
  • Few relevant case studies are provided for students and/or teachers.
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
  • Many of the activities within the chapter are teacher directed, and students do not have the opportunity to choose elements of their programming.
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.