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In this research activity, students will apply what they learned from conducting population censuses. They will research a species at risk in Canada to develop both an understanding of the complexities associated with species and ecosystem management and an appreciation for the impacts of human activities on Canadian ecosystems.
Students have an opportunity to practice and enhance those skills associated with research - collecting data, analyzing data, and presenting their findings.
The lesson plan is perhaps best used within the context of those units of study that focus on ecosystems and their health and on biodiversity.
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 is essentially a student research project that requires that they select a particular species and investigate the factors that may be contributing to the disappearance of the species and how that disappearance may be affecting the ecosystem.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
In researching the factors that may be contributing to environmental disturbances and species at risk, students may be expected to recognize the interplay between economic and social factors that threaten the well being of an environmental ecosystem. The project does not pre-determine the students findings or conclusions.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Students may be expected to find that the factors contributing to the threat to a particular species of their choosing are complex and not to be resolve with simple solutions since such solutions are likely to require consideration of the values we attach to the environment and the degree to which we are prepared to undertake the necessary response.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
At the conclusion of their research, students are asked to develop strategies to improve the quality of life of their species and promote recovery, make recommendations and present these recommendations to the class and the local community.
|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|
Consideration of the disappearance of certain species and the current threat to others and what may be done to confront this issue requires that students examine the importance they attach to the natural world.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not 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||Good|
The attention given to threatened species by the lesson may be expected to make students both more aware and more empathetic with regard to endangered species and more broadly with respect to nature.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
This is a research project on endangered species and allows students in selecting a particular species to investigate to choose one that is of local concern or failing this to apply to discuss the findings of their research in relation to the local ecosystem.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
In identifying the factors that contribute to the decline of their selected species, students will be required to identify past and current practices that have led to that decline and in making recommendations to reduce that decline, students will need to outline future practices that will have a positive impact.
|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|
Students are asked to determine why the species they have selected for study is threatened. The answer to this question is likely to be a combination of factors rather than a simple causation. The answer is also likely to encourage the type of complex thinking we associate with system thinking.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
While we cannot anticipate what students will determine to be the critical elements in undermining the population of a particular species, we can have some confidence that a thorough research will reveal a combination of causes- economic, environmental, social - that have relevance for a number of curriculum areas.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The students are presented with a focused question - why is a particular species being threatened. A series of specific question. is is then provided to assist student in carrying out their research.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Students are asked to do research, display their findings, work in groups to identify common findings, and reflect as a group the implications of their findings.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The issue of endangered species has reached critical levels and therefore student investigation of the issue is in keeping with the demand that students examine authentic issues that have relevance for them and the larger community.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
There are a number of opportunities for cooperative learning here. Students may work in pairs or groups to research the threats to their selected species. A gallery of their findings allows for student exchange about their findings and extension activities ask students to develop collective strategies for improvements to curtail species loss followed by a class ad campaign about the issue to inform others about the issue.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
The lesson does not include summative evaluation tools but does provide opportunities for formative evaluation - student presentations of their findings, student interaction and reflection on their findings, student recommendations for responding to the issue, student advocacy within their community on behalf of endangered species.
|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.|
The number of opportunities identified in researching and presenting their findings encourages student discussion and debate on the issue of endangered species and the consequent sharing of knowledge and insights.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
Students investigate the larger issue of endangered species by researching specific case studies and then extrapolate from their findings so as to identify common elements to explain why species are being threatened.
|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||Very Good|
The teacher identifies the problem - why are certain species under threat - provides some questions to guide student investigation, and sets the students to work to answer the question.
|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.|