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This nine-lesson resource targeted for both middle school (lessons 1,2,4,5,6) and high school (lessons 3,7,8,9), promotes an understanding of the importance of the Canadian Boreal Forest in terms of its biodiversity, unique habitats, and wealth of natural resources.
Activities focus on highlighting the dependence of Canadians on forest resources and how valuable the Boreal forest is in terms of income, spirituality, recreational pursuits, and cultural traditions. Emphasis is also given to the ecological importance of keeping natural habitat intact and the importance of sustainable resource management.
Lesson One: Who Travels The Farthest? (1x90min)
After reading handouts and doing research on the web, students predict which of ten bird species migrate the farthest distance from the Boreal Forest. They then plot these locations on a mapping grid. Summarizing questions are answered before completing a matching activity.
Lesson Two: Fly Away Home (1x90min)
After discussing why the Boreal Forest is a highly suitable breeding habitat for many bird species, students map the migratory movements of two bird species who nest in the Boreal Forest. They will then answer reflection questions focusing on why the Boreal Forest is the "Nursery of The North".
Lesson Three: New Challenges In A New Climate (2x75min)
After a class discussion on how the make-up of ecosystems will change due to global warming, students investigate the adaptations of a chosen Boreal species using the internet and print materials. Then, given a description of future conditions that might exist in Canada due to this global climate change, students write and present a report on how that same species will adapt in the future.
Lesson Four: Interdependent Me (1x60min)
This lesson is a class game and cut-and-paste activity that emphasizes the dependence we have on forests for certain products and how the relationship between extractors, processors, sellers and users is interdependent and important.
Lesson Five: Creating Your Own Conservation Group (3x75min)
Students will do internet research on two conservation groups relating to forests, migratory birds, and biodiversity. (List is provided) They will then create their own conservation group and design their organization's website.
Lesson Six: Minimizing Forest Fragmentation (1x60min)
Students will be introduced to the concept of forest fragmentation through class discussions and a hand-out. The importance of intact habitats to biodiversity is emphasized by cutting out and arranging images representing various sources of fragmentation on a forest landscape page. Lesson summarizing questions are then completed.
Lesson Seven: The Canada Forest Accord (1x75min)
Students read and then analyze the Canada Forest Accord by answering questions on the document. A class discussion follows exploring its vision, principles, and commitment to the sustainability of Canadian forests.
Lesson Eight: The Forest Times (5x75min)
Students will create a class newspaper featuring forest-related articles and illustrations. Topic lists, ideas, and outlines are provided.
Lesson Nine: Forest Resource Management: A New Era (3x75min)
Students will break up into two groups to research current Boreal forest management plans, and the increasing role of Canadian Aboriginal people in developing land-use strategies. One group investigates the concept of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, while the other researches the management of timber harvests to emulate natural disturbances like forest fires. Websites are provided. The two halves then present the central concepts to each other.
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||Satisfactory|
The importance of the Boreal Forest is far-reaching and very complex with many stakeholders. Nonetheless, lessons give an adequate overall picture of economic, environmental, and social impacts.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The resource emphasizes that all Canadians have a right to provide input to the government on the management of the economic, environmental, and cultural aspects of the Boreal Forest. It also highlights the many economic and social benefits the forest provides, at the same time emphasizing that constant vigilance is needed to preserve diversity and habitat.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The dependence of Canadians on resources found in the Boreal forest is complex and touches all sectors of society. Equally challenging is the preservation of diversity and ecosystem sustainability. This resource is able to address these issues in an effective way, without going into too much detail. The far-reaching effects of climate change however, does not receive full attention here.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Poor- there are no authentic action experiences
|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: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
|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||Poor/Not considered|
Poor- There are no "out-of-doors" experiences.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
There are so many products that we use that originate in forests that the issues discussed in the resource have local focus. As well, the set inductions effectively relate forest-related situations to the everyday lives of the students.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
There are no discussions of the past. The present situation is the focus of the resource. The future is seen as positive only if forest management strategies are implemented by all sectors of society and that all Canadians ( especially Aboriginals sharing traditional knowledge) have input into these plans.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Although teacher directed, students have ample opportunities through activity completion, research, and discussion questions to appreciate the importance of the Boreal Forest to Canadians.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Although mainly a science/geography focused resource, it does contain learning opportunities in the subject areas of math, language arts, art, and technology.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
A wide range of activities are offered at different age levels. Both the cognitive and affected domains are addressed. There are no accommodations suggested for students with reading or learning difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Simulations, games and worksheet activities are the main experiences.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Although worksheets, reflection questions, and answer keys are provided with some lessons, there are no specific suggestions given for either formative or summative assessment. Rubrics are lacking for lessons especially those which involve creating a web page, researching adaptations, presenting forest management strategies, and creating a class newspaper.
|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: |
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|
Poor- There are no relevant case studies 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||Satisfactory|
Students do have opportunities to choose elements of program content in some extension activities, in the creation of the newspaper, and in designing a web page for a conservation group.
|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.|