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Water and Biodiversity: Cleaning up our act is intended to raise awareness of the impact humans have had on aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, they are intended to make students aware of the conservation efforts that are ongoing in their communities, and to inspire hope and encourage action towards the protection of our critically important freshwater resources.
The grade six lesson plans focus on the case study of the Jefferson Salamander in Halton Region, Ontario. This tiny amphibian must cross a busy roadway to travel to the temporary (vernal) pool where it breeds and lays its eggs each spring. Due in part to high mortality experienced crossing roadways; the Jefferson Salamander is considered a Species at Risk. The case study explores the successful collaboration between a Conservation Authority (Conservation Halton), the City of Burlington and local citizens to close a busy commuter road during breeding season and protect the Jefferson Salamander. In preparation for their own town hall meeting about the issue, students will explore the diverse species that rely on fleeting vernal pools to breed, feed, and survive. Students will also build a model of a vernal pool.
The grade nine lessons use local case studies featuring degraded aquatic ecosystems that have been restored by partnerships between landowners and the Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program. The students use the case studies as a starting point for some investigative reporting as well as the development and implementation of their own stewardship activity in the community.
This resource is a great way to build understanding of the concept of biodiversity in Science classes. Students will need to make graphs, and present their data so it is a good way to incorporate Math data outcomes. Also, this resource connects well to English outcomes in grades 6-9.
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||Very Good|
The wide array of reflection questions and discussions of this lesson makes students aware of all points of views regarding the issues and they form their own opinions from the facts collected.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
In this resource, students will be learning about water stewardship which is the use of freshwater that is socially and economically beneficial as well as environmentally sustainable.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
The lesson contains the option to extend the learning by allowing students to use their research, articles, and stewardship projects as a starting point for launching a campaign to inform the student body about environmental issues in their 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|
The activities give students the opportunity to reflect on their own values as they present several questions of reflection. In addition, students will participate in a mock town meeting where they will be able to express their values and beliefs.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
Not considered in this resource
|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||Very Good|
Students will foster appreciation for the natural world through the visit of vernal pools or wetlands. If none are available close to the school, they will understand the importance of human impact on biodiversity through case studies.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
Students get to go outside in their schoolyard to find natural objects they can work into their picture/ diorama to make it more realistic and three dimensional.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Very Good|
During this lesson, students will get to see how human behavior has impacted biodiversity and will try to come up with solutions to help for the future.
|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 encouraged to share their opinion and take a stand on human behavior that is affecting biodiversity.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
From this lesson plan, one is able to easily cover elements of Science and Technology, Visual Arts, Mathematics and Language Arts.
|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.
|Differentiated Instruction||Very Good|
This resource has a variety of activities that meets the needs of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. Each lesson is equipped with a differentiated instruction part and gives ideas as to how to meet the needs for all learners, even those with difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Students will build a vernal pool using materials collected outside, and take part in a mock of a town meeting.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in teams and even share their knowledge with other students.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Very Good|
Excellent assessment tools, whether formal or informal are provided to check students learning. Some rubrics are also 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.|
Students must teach small group learnings to their classmates.
|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|
These lessons are intended to support and deepen student understanding of the concept of biodiversity through the use of case studies.
|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|
Students get to choose how to represent their vernal pool and what solutions they want to investigate deeper.
|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.|