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Vision

Keepers of the Animals - Native American Stories and Wildlife Activities for Children

Elementary

Description

Vision is part of a compilation entitled Keepers of the Animals which provides an integrated approach to the concepts of wildlife ecology and environmental and stewardship issues concerning animals, habitat, and natural history. Through the use of Native North American stories and hands-on activities integrated with subject areas such as creative arts, theater, science, social studies, mathematics, students learn to understand, live with and care for the animals. 

Vision introduces its theme, eagles with a Native American story.  The legend tells the story of the Zuni boy who saved the life of an injured eagle and was rewarded by the grateful eagle with a journey to his land and was allowed to become an eagle himself. The discussion section that follows provides information about eagles and their symbolism. Students participate in a variety of hands-on activities such as taking a fantasy journey to imagine what it would be like to be an eagle, making models of birds and animals and writing and drawing in their journals. The activity provides goals, detailed teaching instructions and a list of required materials. 

Flight of Fantasy – While listening to a special story, Flight of Fantasy, the students imagine they are an eagle and what it feels like to fly. They draw what the eagle might see as it looks down. In their journal they extend the story to complete the eagle’s journey.

Perch of Perception – Students choose a special tree, bush or other place and sit alone in silence. They visit the site often, leaving gifts of thanks and practice some activities to heighten their senses of observation, seeing, hearing and self-understanding. A variety of directed activities are suggested such as drawing their special place, listening to nature sounds, making models of birds and animals that they hear and see, keeping a journal of the events, leaving nuts, sunflower seeds or pieces of soft fruit for animals to eat.

A section entitled Extending the Experience provides a variety of activities to reinforce and supplement the lessons of the stories and activities.  

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Naturalizing - students learn to become part of nature so the birds, insects and other animals will accept them as part of their surroundings.

Strengths

  • Excellent background information for teachers.
  • The resource is very easy to use.
  • Excellent outdoors activities to encourage an interconnectedness with the natural environment.
  • Includes some extending the experience activities.
  • Activities include an easy to use symbols system that provides a quick reference to both the setting and the topics of that activity. 
  • Good hands-on activities for younger students.

Weaknesses

  • Include some technology ideas and websites about eagles.
  • The resource should include some background information for students to learn about the eagle being on the endangered species list.
  • Include some information about what students can do to help conserve rare, threatened, and endangered species and their habitats.
  • No action component suggested.
  • No assessment rubrics.
  • Many teacher directed activities, needs to include more inquiry based learning activities.

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
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
  • British Columbia
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    • Kindergarten
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science: Plants and animals have observable features
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Local Communities:: We shape the local environment, and the local environment shapes who we are and how we live.
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
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        • The Senses
      • Social Studies
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        • My Environment
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Growth and Changes in Animals
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Northwest Territories
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      • Science
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        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Needs of Living Things
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 1: Age Appropriate Action
  • Nunavut
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      • Science
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        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Water in the Environment
        • Animal Growth and Changes
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Kindergarten
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science: Plants and animals have observable features
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Local Communities:: We shape the local environment, and the local environment shapes who we are and how we live.
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Poor/Not considered
  • Non-applicable to this resource
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
  • No action activites are provided.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
  • The resource uses native wisdom to help young people learn about the teachings of the eagle.
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 Perch of Perception activity takes place outdoors and allows the students to develop a relationship with a special place in nature.
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 Good
  • Students choose a special site in a natural area. They visit the site often to develop a relationship with their chosen place.
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
  • The resource introduces its theme using a Native North American story. The book provides a map of native North America showing cultural areas and tribal locations as they appeared around 1600.
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
  • Students participate in a variety of teacher directed activites. They learn to become part of nature and observe the creatures and insects who are part of the surroundings.
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • Art
  • Science
  • Language Arts
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 enhance their knowledge by discovering and observing who lives in their chosen site. They learn to become part of nature and observe the creatures and insects who are part of the surroundings.
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
  • A variety of learning styles are incorporated in the activities. Students observe, listen and create to enhance their knowledge.
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 Very Good
  • Students enhance their knowledge by discovering and observing who lives in their chosen site. They learn to become part of nature and observe the creatures and insects who are part of the surroundings.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • No cooperative learning activites are suggested.
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
  • Some journal reflections are utilized.
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
  • No peer teaching opportunities are provided.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • No case studies are used.
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 Good
  • The Extending the Experience section offers some opportunities to extend the 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.