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Taming the Paper Tiger

Elementary

Description

This resource is designed to educate students about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling by examining the impact of paper consumption on our environment.

K-2 Activities - Students will:

  • review what sorts of paper products are being thrown out at school
  • create puppets and bookmarks out of used paper
  • make paper
  • listen to the story, "The Tiger's Whisker" and discuss its message.

3-6 Activities - Students will:

  • monitor the paper use within the classroom
  • brainstorm ways to conserve paper in the classroom
  • read and represent math facts related to paper use, using manipulatives
  • listen to the story, "The Tiger's Whisker" and discuss its message.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Although filled with some great activities, this resource does not explicitly teach skills.

Strengths

  • Resource is well laid out and easy to follow.
  • Supplementary resources are provided for teachers.
  • Activities presented are varied and engaging
  • Activities are separated into activities for students in K-2 and activities for students in grades 3-6

Weaknesses

  • Skills needed to complete activities are not explicitly taught.
  • Students should have more opportunities to choose elements of their own programming. 

Relevant Curriculum Units

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  • Alberta
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        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
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Themes Addressed

  • Waste Management (1)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
  • The resource does an adequate job of presenting information about the need to conserve paper.
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
  • This resource effectively addresses the environmental dimensions of issues relating to paper conservation in an age-appropriate manner.
  • The resource does not fully address the economic and social dimensions of issues addressed. 
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 complexity of issues are presented in an age-appropriate manner.
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory
  • There are some opportunities for grades 3-6 students to taken action to reduce paper use.
  • These action experiences are not fully explored. 
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
  • Resource encourages students to respect the opinions and differences based on paper usage.
  • Resource does not fully explore empathy and respect for diverse groups of humans. 
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
  • Resource addresses the environmental impact of paper usage.
  • All activities take place indoors. 
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
  • Students explore and analyse paper usage in their own classroom.
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
  • Although the resource does mention the need to conserve paper for the future of the environment, it does not adequately promote an understanding of the past or a sense of the past.
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 Satisfactory
  • The majority of activities are teacher directed.
  • There are some opportunities for students to reach their own conclusions about the information they gather and the issues being addressed. 
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 Good
  • Activities presented within this resource will meet the needs of a wide variety of students.
  • Opportunities for adaptations and differentiation are not explicitly addressed. 
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 Satisfactory
  • Opportunities for assessment are present, but are not explicitly addressed within this resource. 
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 Satisfactory
  • Some valuable background information is provided for students and teachers.
  • Specific case studies are not presented to students 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
  • Majority of activities within this resource are teacher directed.
  • Students do have some opportunities to choose elements of their own 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.