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Polar Bears and the Arctic is a resource comprised of five age appropriate activities which focus on climate change in the Arctic.
Activity 1 - Where in the world is the Arctic? The students use a globe, a map and photographs to identify the Arctic region and make observations about its climate.
Activity 2 - Reading about Polar Bears - The students create a web of knowledge based on observing photos and prior knowledge. They then read an informational text about polar bears and answer discussion questions as a class.
Activity 3 - Arctic Adaptations - After observing photos, the students describe the environment in which polar bears live. A student will then dress up in the adaptations suggested by students. These adaptations will be compared to the adaptations of other arctic animals. This leads to a discussion of the habitat loss and its effects on polar bears.
Activity 4 - Writer's Corner - The students plan and write a persuasive/opinion piece on how the polar bear is affected by climate change and habitat loss.
Activity 5 - Climate Change Action - The students discuss climate change and also visit the website Climate Classroom Kids in order to complete a set of questions and learn more about climate change. Afterwards they complete a Family Action Plan and a checklist in order to reflect on "How will they use this new knowledge?"
This resource explicitly teaches the students to plan and write an opinion/persuasive piece of writing.
This resource has the following strengths:
The resource has the following weaknesses:
This resource would be a great introduction to climate change as it provides suggestions in the guide as to how to not overwhelm children with the problem. It could also be used as a geographical unit of study on the Arctic when learning about the different regions of Canada or the world.
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||Very Good|
After learning about the Arctic, the adaptations that polar bears have for their environment and different species of bears, the students take an informed position on the plight of the polar bears with regards to climate change.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
As a final activity, the students complete a Family Action Plan and Checklist that allows them to make a plan of simple to complex actions that they can take to help with 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
|Values Education||Very Good|
Writing the opinion piece allows the students to express their beliefs about the plight of the polar bears.
|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 for 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|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
As the resource centers around the Arctic it is difficult to have a local focus; however, the students are encouraged to take actions at home to help with climate change.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
All activities are open ended and allow for a lot of thought and discussion by the students.
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||Poor/Not considered|
In the information for teachers, it indicates that there are adaptations and extensions for teachers to use with younger or older students; however, in the document those sections are there but without content. As well, there are not tools to help teachers assess the student learning.
|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||Poor/Not considered|
This is not included in 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||Satisfactory|
This is not the focus of this resource; it acts primarily as an introduction for younger students to the issues facing polar bears and climate change.
|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.|