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Y Adapt

Secondary, Middle

Description

Students learn about global climate change and its impacts before taking action to improve climate resiliency within their own communities. The resource consists of 6 lessons or sessions that engage students in a wide range of hands on activities, exercises, games and simulations.  All instruction is indirect. The lessons include:

Introduction:  Students learn about successful climate adaptation projects led by young people from around the world and what elements they have in common.  The goals are to illustrate that students can make a difference and to get them thinking about community action.

Climate Change Challenge:  Students are introduced to climate change through participation in three highly entertaining and games and activities.  Content addressed includes climate vs weather, the greenhouse effect, global warming and climate change.  The session ends with students discussing evidence of the effects of climate change within their own communities.

Map the Hazard: Through a series of games and activities students drill down into the connections between human activities, climate change and extreme weather events.  A focus is placed on real events that are happening both around the world and in their own community.

See the System:  In two fast-paced activities, students learn to view communities as systems, made up of many interrelated resources (people, places & things).   Focus is then placed on how changes in these individual resources can impact the entire system.

Act to Adapt:   Students participate in a giant board game during which they consider how extreme weather events could affect their community, identify which resources are particularly vulnerable and negotiate collective actions to protect them.   Following the simulation, students decide as a group on specific actions to take towards climate adaptation.

Choose your Challenge:  As a culminating activity, students are guided through a series of activities in the selection and feasibility testing of a specific climate adaptation action plan which they will then implement within the community.  Students will have the opportunity to share their project results with other schools through the Y Adapt network.

All materials required to complete the many hands-on activities featured in the lessons are included in the resource.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The understanding, planning, testing and implementation skills required for action are well-supported.  Collaboration, consensus-building and public presentation skills are also represented in the activities.

Strengths

The learning is very much student directed.  It includes a wide range of engaging activities and provides a good deal of background information.

All materials needed to complete the many 'hands-on' activities are included in the resource.

The resource does an excellent job in connecting the issue (climate adaptation) to the learner's own experience.

The resource supports students acting on what they have learned within their community.

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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    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
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        • World Geography 30: World Patterns of Physical Elements
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    • Grade 11
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11: Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems
        • Environmental Science 11:Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
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      • Science
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        • Senior 2 Science: Weather Dynamics
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        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Resources, Energy, and Environment
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        • Weather Dynamics
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        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
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        • Canadian Geography 120:A Geographic Perspective on a Current Canadian Issue
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        • Canadian Geography 1202: Natural and Human Systems
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        • Science 1206: Weather Dynamics
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        • Science 2200: Weather Dynamics
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        • Environmental Science 3205: Introduction to Environmental Science
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        • World Geography 3200/3202: World Climate Patterns
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
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        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
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        • Science 10: Weather Dynamics
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    • Grade 8
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        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
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        • Science (Academic):Earth and Space Science: Climate Change
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        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges
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        • Impacts of Change
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        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Ecosystems and Human Activity
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        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Populations (Univ. / College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
  • Prince Edward Island
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        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
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        • Geography of Canada 421A: Canada’s Global Connections
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        • Science 431A: Earth and Space Science, Weather Systems
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
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        • What can I do?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues
        • Geography 631A Global Issues: What Can I Do?
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        • The Contemporary World: Environment
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        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Earth and Space
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        • Contemporary World: Environment
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    • Grade 10
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        • Geography 10: Climate
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        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
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        • Social Studiees 20:World Issues - Environment
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 11
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        • Environmental Science 11: Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems
        • Environmental Science 11:Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The subject content of the games and activities students participate in are based on science.

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 Very Good

A systems-thinking approach to climate change and climate adaptation is a focus of the resource.  Lesson 6 explicitly examines communities as "systems".

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 Very Good

The complexity of climate change and its impacts are well respected as are the challenges involved in climate adaptation.  In addition to the integrity of the activities, the supplementary materials provide additional insight into the interplay of environment, society and the economy.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Very Good
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 Very Good

Lessons include debriefing and reflection responsibilities and many involve students expressing their own interpretation and perspectives.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory

Significant attention is paid to climate impacts, many of which are most felt by the world's poorest people.

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

The resource works to transfer knowledge and understanding into 'stewardship in action'.

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 Very Good

In addition to the community based action experience, each lesson does a good job in connecting to the students' own experiences.

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 Poor/Not considered
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 Very Good

The activities in the resource help students understand the complexities of climate adaptation and to consider a range of possible strategies and actions they can undertake within their communities.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

The resource addresses content and learning outcomes in science, geography and social studies. Emphasis is also placed on citizenship education.

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 participate in a wide range of activities and reflect on their experience. There is little in the way of direct instruction.

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

This resource offers an exceptional array of activities to support a variety of learning styles.  However, specific strategies for addressing learning difficulties have not been included.

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

Much of the learning is achieved through 'hands-on' activities, role play and simulation. The community action component allows students to apply learning in a real world context.

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
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

While multiple opportunities are provided for summative & formative evaluation, tools have not been included in the resource.

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 Satisfactory
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 Good

Although not emphasized in the lesson activities, case studies are included in the resource to support both the core activities and supplemental learning.

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 resource includes "specialist sessions" supported by additional readings and case studies to encourage students to 'dig deeper' into issues & concepts raised in the core lessons.

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.