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The Water Walker Teacher's Guide

Elementary

Description

This teacher's guide serves as a companion to the book The Water Walker. The guide provides a number of learning opportunities with the Ojibwe language, social activism, character education and social studies.  Also included are discussion starters and primers for reading the book with students. The guide also suggests a variety of different ways students can respond to the book through the arts, sciences, social studies and language arts.  Included is a suggestion for an action project related to the theme of protecting water.

General Assessment

Strengths

  • A number of links to external sites that allow the students to gain a better understanding of the issue and the action that was taken
  • A collection of interesting activity ideas that are open-ended and allow the students to choose how to explore the topic
  • A good quantity of information for the teacher

Weaknesses

  • There is a lack of assessment tools or opportunities included

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be beneficial for book talk and activities related to Earth Day, World Oceans Day or International Fresh Water Day.  It could also be useful during a discussion of the water cycle or similar topics.

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
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life.
  • British Columbia
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science: Daily and seasonal changes affect all living things.
    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Water is essential to all living things and it cycles through the environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Regional and Global Communities: Local actions have global consequences, and global actions have local consequences.
    • Grade 3
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Indigenous Peoples: Learning about indigenous peoples nurtures multicultural awareness and respect for diversity.
        • Global Indigenous Peoples:Indigenous societies throughout the world value the well-being of the self, the land, spirits, and ancestors
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • You and Your World: Our Environment
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • You and Your World: Change and the Physical Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • You and Your World: Changes and the Physical Environment
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Exploring My World: Introducing Water
    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Water in the Environment
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science Primary: Explore Sand and Water
    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Air and Water in the Environment
  • Nunavut
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    • Kindergarten
    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 3
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      • Social Studies
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        • Connecting With the World: Economics & Resources
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air & Water in the Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Change: Environment
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • 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
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • My Community: Resources & Wealth
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Community Comparisons: Resources and Welath
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Kindergarten
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science: Daily and seasonal changes affect all living things.
    • 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
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Water is essential to all living things and it cycles through the environment

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • Water (6)

    • Marine Environments
    • Water Cycle
    • Water Quality
    • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Water Use
    • Watershed Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

With the help of this guide, the students are exposed to different points of view of water and its importance in our lives and the traditional lives of the Ojibwe people. 

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 Good

The message is clear throughout the teacher's guide and the book that we are dependent on water and that the focus cannot be on just the economic factors but that socially and environmentally water is key to all life.

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

Through the discussion questions provided the teacher and students can get a clear understanding of the issue of the need to protect the water.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Good

The final activity in the teacher's guide encourages the students to make a plan of action in order to protect the water.  The teacher is encouraged to revisit the plans regularly.

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 Good

The students are asked to assess what specific actions they will take to make a difference in order to protect water.  This gives them an opportunity to express their values and link their actions to their values. 

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This is not the focus of this lesson plan.

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
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

As the focus of the guide is to protect water, this can be made relevant to the lives of any student regardless of where they live.   

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

This guide helps to promote the idea of students as agents of change which leads to a positive view of the future based on the difference they can make.

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 Good

The activities in the teacher's guide are mainly discussion questions or activity suggestions that are open-ended and allow the students to express themselves and their beliefs.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

Content areas from Social Studies, Science, Visual Arts and Language Arts are touched upon in the activities.

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 Good

The activities allow a lot of freedom on the part of the teacher and the students to decide how they would like to proceed.

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

Unfortunately, there are no suggestions or strategies for learners who may be having difficulties.

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
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 Poor/Not considered

Unfortunately, there are no tools for assessment or suggestions on how to assess the students and their work.

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

The activities are open-ended; therefore, the teacher has the flexibility to provide opportunities for the students to work together, etc. if they so choose. 

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 Very Good

Within the teacher's guide, there are links to YouTube videos that share information of the water walks that have taken place. This allows the students to see authentic action being taken.

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 Very Good

The activities in the teacher's guide are open-ended and this allows the students to have more control over the content and medium they wish to work.

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.