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Unity of Earth

The White Buffalo Calf Woman and the Sacred Pipe

Elementary, Middle

Description

A series of activites which are designed to teach students respect and to live in ways that honour the interconnectedness of all things.                                 

Students will:

  • create and walk a geological timeline to visualize the age of the Earth, and the impact people have had on the Earth in their short time here.
  • participate in a ceremonial fire where students represent circles and cycles of the Earth.

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • This resource explicitly teaches students to examine the physical time line of the Earth and the impact that major events/time periods have had on the Earth.

Strengths

  • The resource is well laid out and organized and provided educators with all necessary information to complete activities.
  • Materials needed to complete activities and set up are minimal.
  • Activities take place outdoors, and encourage a personal affinity with the Earth.
  • Legend provides an interesting way to initiate learning.

Weaknesses

  • Students do not have the opportunity to participate in authentic action experiences.
  • Students are not explicitly taught skills necessary to complete action projects.
  • Students are not given the opportunity to clarify, and develop values based on the information that the learn.
  • A complex, system thinking  approach is not developed within the activities.
  • Assessment methods are not provided for students or teachers.
  • Students are not given the chance to choose various aspects of the programming, or presentation means.
  • Students are not able to share their knowledge with peers or other members of the community.
  • Activities are not locally focused.

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
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences
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      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences
        • Oral Language: Listening and speaking form the foundation for literacy development and improve communication, collaboration, and respectful mutual understanding
    • Grade 6
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      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences
        • Oral Language: Listening and speaking form the foundation for literacy development and improve communication, collaboration, and respectful mutual understanding.
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 3
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3: Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 4
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      • Social Studies
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        • Manitoba, Canada & the North: Places & Stories - History of Manitoba
        • Manitoba, Canada & the North: Places and Stories - Living in Canada
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      • Social Studies
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        • Peoples and Stories of Canada to 1867: First Peoples
    • Grade 6
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada - A Country of Change (1867 to Present): An Emerging Nation (1914-1945)
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    • Grade 4
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      • English/Language Arts
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        • Speaking & Listening
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: Properties and Uses of Earth Materials:Scientific Literacy
        • Science 4:Properties and Uses of Earth Materials:Science Technology Society and Environment (STSE)
      • Social Studies
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        • Social Studies: Exploring the Landscapes of Canada
    • Grade 5
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      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Speaking and Listening
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Cultures: An Introduction to Culture
        • World Cultures: Expressions of Culture
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    • Grade 4
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        • Language: Oral Communication
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        • Heritage and Identity: Early Societies, 3000 BCE -1500CE
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        • Language: Oral Communication
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Heritage & Identity: Interactions of Indigenous Peoples and Europeans Prior to 1713, in What Would Eventually Become Canada
    • Grade 6
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  • Quebec
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    • Grade 3
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      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • To use Language to communicate and learn
    • Grade 4
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        • To use Language to communicate and learn
    • Grade 5
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      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • To use Language to communicate and learn
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Canadian Society 1820
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Quebec Society around 1905
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Québec society 1980
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • To use Language to communicate and learn
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Canadian Society 1820
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Quebec Society around 1980
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Québec society 1905
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3: Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Interdependence
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • Rituals, Spirituality and Worldviews

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory
  • Activities mainly address scientific geological knowledge within the timeline, and events are not opinion based.  Students are asked to discuss the impact that people have had on the environment, and do not discuss any technological advances within the modern world.
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 are asked to acknowledge the impact that humans have made on the Earth in a relatively short amount of time.  Students are asked to commit to making positive changes for the Earth from the perspective of a variety of different life cycles and circles within the Earth.  Problem solving approach is not fully explored.
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 Satisfactory
  • The complexity of problems are not fully addressed.  Activities are designed to create awareness for issues and the comprehensive problem solving approach is  not fully explored.
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
  • Action activities are poorly developed.  Students are not provided opportunities to take action to make a 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

  • 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
  • Students are given the opportunity to express their own values if they desire.
  • Students are not given ample opportunity to clarify and create values based on the information that is provided for students.
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory
  • Diverse groups of humans are not specifically addressed within the lessons provided, however the emphasis of the lessons is how all things on Earth are connected, and does not specifically mention any culture/gender.
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
  • Students take part in ritual fire circles out of doors.  The main focus of the activities are developing a personal affinity with the Earth, and developing awareness of the interconnectedness of everything on Earth.  Within one of the activities students are presented with the importance of animals to human life.
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 Satisfactory
  • Within the activities, students develop their understanding of the interconnectedness to everything on Earth.  The approach taken, is more of a global approach and does not specifically address cycles or circles that exist specifically in their own communities.
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 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 Satisfactory
  • The majority of activities are largely teacher directed with opportunities for students to express their own values or opinions if they desire.
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • While opportunities to extend the activities provided to include traditional subject areas, these opportunities are not explicitly identified or extended for students.  Multiple opportunities for for ELA activities are provided but not explained specifically in relation to this subject area.
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
  • Students are given the opportunity to take part in traditional rituals involving giving thanks to the Earth, as well as others.  Students are not given much opportunity to reflect on the ritual process.
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
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 Good
  • Rituals are used as a means for identifying the importance of the Earth, as literature being used to teach concepts.
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
  • Students participate in group activities and rituals, but cooperative learning strategies are not taught or utilized.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Student assessment practises or rubrics are not provided.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Students are not given the opportunity to present their knowledge and skills to peers or act as teachers or mentors.
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
  • Documentation of Geological changes are provided, but no extensive learning opportunities or case studies are provided in relation to these milestones.
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
  • As extension activities there are some opportunities for students or teachers to choose from a list of activities, but students are not given opportunities to make authentic choices in regards to their learning.
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.