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This exciting resource focuses on salmon biology and stewardship. It adopts an ecological approach and teaches students how to "take care in their own lives so that salmon thrive!" Throughout the resource students will document their learning through writing or drawing. They have many opportunities for hands on activities and experimentation. The students will also reflect on what they have learned by referring to the student learning logs, portfolios or journals. In the structure of the lessons students will capitalize on their strengths. Students will also have an opportunity to create a book depicting the entire life cycle of the salmon.
The resource consists of 11 units which provide an overview, big idea, key words and very good background information. Lessons 1 through 3 involve students in a number of simple experiments and paper and pencil exercises to introduce salmon habitat, life cycle, anatomy and requirements for life. The remainder of the resource uses a similar mix of prepared materials and hands-on activities to examine each individual stage of the salmon life cycle.
All materials, discussion questions, explanations, summations and suggestions for assessment are included with each lesson. Handouts are also provided. At the end of the resource are detailed appendices and a glossary.
Check out Welcome to Salmonids in the Classroom for more information about raising salmon in the classroom.
Knowledge of salmon biology and habitat are viewed as building blocks toward a stewardship ethic. Stewardship is one of the building blocks of a sustainable community where the economy, the environment and society are all taken into consideration when decisions are made. This resource is about teaching kids how to take care in their own lives so that the salmon can thrive.
Well organized and planned units in this resource create real possibilities for younger children to have a meaningful experience studying salmon and getting to care about themselves.
Very good background information and very practical handouts and assessment tools are included. The resource also provides good integration of other subjects. Student and teacher-friendly information and experimentation are also strengths.
Some simple action plans, even if sharing what the students learn with others in the school and community are needed.
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||Good|
This resource has a positive bias about the importance of understanding and protecting salmon. In unit two by studying the stages in a plant that the students can grow, or stages in growth in their own family members, students will identify broad parallels in the life cycle of all living things and begin to understand their significance. However, emphasis in the resource is drawing parallels with the salmon's life cycle.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
For the younger students this resource addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions by focusing mostly on the environmental aspect. The concrete study of the salmon doesn't explore economic and social implications of the topic.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Students only share what they have learned with each other and with their parents.
|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
Through discussion, experimentation, working in groups and pairs and sharing what they have learned, many opportunities for the students to express their own beliefs are provided.
|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 considered in 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||Satisfactory|
In unit 5, the activity for creative movement using a parachute could be played outdoors on a nice day.
In unit 11 there is a lesson to prepare and take the students on a field trip to examine the habitat where the salmon live.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
For the students who live on the west coast of Canada this is a very relevant resource to study. It is also important for other students in Canada to know the importance of salmon.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
Although there is good background information about the topic in each unit the resource focuses on the present study of salmon. Through learning the importance of the salmon, students will develop a positive vision for the future. There is no case study or reference to the past.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The resource offers a good variety of lessons with KWL strategies, experiments, creative play and reflection using logbooks. It also encourages discussion in groups and in pairs and with teachers and parents.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
Science is the focal point in the resource and aspects of Social Studies, Language Arts, Mathematics, Art, Drama and creative play are integrated into the units.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
This resource provides many opportunities through experimentation, data collection, analysis and discussion for discovery learning.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The structure of the lessons and the handouts provide opportunities to address a range of learning styles.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The resource places great emphasis on the study of the salmon which makes it an authentic experience for students living on the west coast of Canada. They are able to visit the habitat where salmon live. They can also incubate eggs and watch their development in class.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in groups and in pairs throughout the lessons in the resource but cooperative learning skills are not explicitly taught.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Very Good|
In the appendices of the resource there are a variety of assessment tools. There are suggestions on how to assess students at work, student participation in group activities and student learning. Handouts with options to write or draw the following are included: an observation page, daily observation pages, comparison charts and classroom science salmon news. Other tools provided include assessment observation charts for teachers, an assessment review and a self-assessment handout for the students.
|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.|
Students share information with each other in pairs and groups and with their parents.
|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|
Case studies are not part of 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|
The younger students do have opportunities to choose parts of the programme, however the units are fairly structured with some open-ended activities. Students are offered some choices in the handouts. They can choose to write or draw. As this unit is for a range of early year learners, the older students will be able to make more choices and to go deeper into a chosen issue.
|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.|