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This ESD resource is the third in a series of children's books that explores diversity. It explains the link between declining biodiversity and world poverty. Suitable for the science classroom, it focuses on the relationship between environmental stewardship and social justice and its lack of an "overload of scientific information" may make it less intimidating for non-science teachers. Each of the five chapters explores a different aspect of biodiversity and its connection to human well-being. After reading about diversity and development in class, students may feel motivated to take action, either on the local or global level, to improve living conditions of poor people. The final chapter includes an action plan guide to help students get organized. A brief summary of the content in each chapter is given below.
Chapter One: Biodiversity- introduces 3 components of biodiversity- genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity. It also examines the direct and indirect drivers that threaten biodiversity. The wrap-up activity asks students to fill in a chart about how the quality of our lives would be effected if nature stopped producing certain ecosystem goods and services.
Chapter Two- Development - "Poverty" and "development" are defined and discussed. The five parts of well being (security, health, good social relations, basic materials, and freedom of choice and action) are also reviewed. An end-of-chapter crossword helps reinforces the material covered.
Chapter Three- Are Biodiversity and Development Related?- examines how biodiversity can help in achieving development goals. The basic premise is that poor people are especially reliant on certain ecosystem services. Students complete a fill in the blanks exercise as a check for understanding.
Chapter Four- What is the World Doing? - offers a quick overview of 'who is' and 'who could be' making contributions to combat poverty at the local, regional, national, and global levels. These include non-government organizations, government, religious groups, business owners, local residents, and children. Specific information is also provided about the Convention on Biodiversity, its goals, and mission. Students complete a word search at the end of their reading.
Chapter Five- So What can You Do?- offers a number of different suggestions for action. A" Youth Action Guide" template is included which provides an organized approach to action that includes a research component.
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
The resource provides information, statistics, and real life accounts of the social and economic effects of the loss of biodiversity on the quality of life of people around the world. This perspective comes for the point of view of a non-government organization. The perspectives of governmental agencies (at any level) are not included.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions
Sustaining biodiversity is seen as the key for poorer societies in order to have the ecosystem goods and services required to improve their economies and quality of life.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Although a complex issue, the resource provides just enough information for students to gain an appreciation of the direct and indirect drivers that threaten biodiversity.
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning
Suggestions are given for practical and political action as well as to educate and inform.
|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
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans
The "Did You Know?" fact boxes provide students with real live stories which foster empathy and respect for people struggling with poverty.
|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
Although no out-of-doors experience is included, the central theme is protecting the earth's resources as a way to maintain biodiversity and improve living conditions. Environmental stewardship is encouraged.
|Personal Affinity with Earth:
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Involvement in local action projects is encouraged.
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future
Present-day situations are evaluated and students are asked to play a role in implementing an action plan to address the problem of threatened biodiversity on the planet. The future is seen as positive only if societies start to value the preservation of ecosystems, as their sustainability provides the footing for development.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.
The students are guided toward action but are not steered toward any "right" answer.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Although based on the topic of biodiversity, this is very much a social studies, geography and language arts resource. Science teachers could certainly incorporate this into any ecosystem/ biodiversity unit as well.
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Knowledge is built on their own in this reading and reflecting resource. There are no manipulation of objects or lab activities, but some opportunities are provided for students to experience "ah-hah" events as they examine the relationship between their own personal choices, threats to biodiversity and poverty around the world.
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The resource teaches to both the cognitive and affective domains. It does not address a range of learning styles, but the teacher could choose to make the readings either self-directed or a group task, depending on the strength and reading levels of their class. There are no accommodations suggested for students with learning difficulties.
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Poor- the resource does not include experiential learning opportunities
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Group learning strategies are not a priority, but teacher instructions could easily be tailored for group work.
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation
Poor- the resource has chapter ending activities of a formative nature if evaluated, but no reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, or any other tools are provided. The resource focuses on encouraging action.
|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.
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Although brief, the"Did you Know?" boxes found within each chapter provide brief information about actual issues around the world. They are very effective in describing concepts in an authentic context. Links are provided for each box so students can gather more details.
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
Students do not have much control over elements in the first four chapters but in chapter five they choose their own action plan and design it.
|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.