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Mountain Pine Beetle Mania

Middle, Secondary

Description

This is a very thorough resource that addresses the life cycle of the Mountain Pine Beetles with particular emphasis on the problems associated with cyclical outbreaks taking place in Alberta and the Western Provinces.  This Canadian resource offers a variety of activities, including graphing, journaling, internet research, mind mapping, a game-show activity and culminates in a mock town hall meeting.  While sometimes highly language based, these activities offer something for everyone and are very interesting.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource provides students with some appreciation of how to effectively participate in a town meeting.  Teachers will have to  expand on these skills.

Strengths

  • There is lots of information provided and even more is accessible through the internet links.
  • The activities are interesting and clearly presented.
  • The resource is very current.
  • The resource includes points of view from different stakeholders.

Weaknesses

  • There are no accomodations offered for learners in difficulty.
  • This resource is lacking in opportunites for students to make choices.
  • There is no action project in this resource.

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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        • Living Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions
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        • Statistics and Probality
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
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      • Math
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        • Statistics and probability
    • Grade 9
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Commitment to Action
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Core
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
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  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 7
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        • Data from circle graphs can be used to illustrate proportion and to compare and interpret.
        • Linear relations can be represented in many connected ways to identify regularities and make generalizations
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        • Statistics and Probability
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        • Patterns and Relations
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        • Interactions in Our Environment
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        • Biological Diversity
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    • Grade 7
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      • Geography
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        • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
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        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
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        • Science (Academic):Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
        • Science (Applied): Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity
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        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
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        • The Living World
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        • The Living World
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        • Applied Science & Technology: The Living World
        • Science and Technology: The Living World
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      • Math
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        • Mathematics 7: Patterns and Relations
        • Mathematics 7: Statistics and Probability
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        • Science 7: Earth and Space Science: Earth’s Crust and Resources
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      • Math
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        • Mathematics 8 : Patterns and Relations
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  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
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      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data from circle graphs can be used to illustrate proportion and to compare and interpret.
        • Linear relations can be represented in many connected ways to identify regularities and make generalizations

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Invasive Species
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Forests

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good
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 may need to be made aware of some elements of the different dimensions of the issue in order to complete their research.  However there are supplementary resource links included with the resource.

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
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered

Poor

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 Satisfactory
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory

Within the activities, many different groups of people are considered.

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 Poor/Not considered

Poor

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 Very Good

While much of the application  is based in the Western Provinces, the resource is Canadian in content and other provinces will be able to relate.

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 Good

Some activities seek single answers, while others are more open-ended.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good
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 Satisfactory

There are several different activities included with this resource which will appeal to a variety of learning styles and abilities.  There are also several suggestions for extensions.  However, there is an emphasis on reading and writing in most of the activities and no suggestions for accommodations.

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
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 Very Good

There are a variety of assessment stratagies provided including rubrics, a reflective journal, a quiz and a game-show activity.

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
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

Poor

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

Poor.

Students are given very little direct control.

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.