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To What Degree?

Telling Climate Change Stories Through Photos

Middle, Secondary

Description

Through a series of four lessons, students will learn the story of how climate change is impacting life in Canada today.  The students will be working with photos from the exhibition "To What Degree? Canada in a Changing Climate".

Lesson 1: How do we adapt to and prevent climate change? 

  • Opens with a value line activity, to brainstorm and discuss prior knowledge of climate change
  • Work in groups to categorize activities as either adaptation or mitigation
  • Students connect actions and activities they see locally as examples of adaptation and/or mitigation

Lesson 2: A picture tells a thousand stories 

  • Opens with a Family Feud competition, to talk about how different actions have different impacts on mitigating climate change
  • Explore how photos can effectively tell a story on the environment and climate change
  • Analyze photos from the exhibit, then create word clouds and captions for one of the images
  • Share their created captions and the real caption is revealed

Lesson 3: Researching climate change

  • Delve deeper into one of the photos and conduct research to get a bigger picture of the story
  • A ‘first steps’ list of news articles, infographics, and videos from the government, news sources, etc. are provided as a starting point (as needed)
  • Present back to others on the story, with more information in a Museum Walk format.

Lesson 4: Climate change in our words and photos 

  • Work together as a class on a climate change photo exhibition of their own
  • Tell a local/global story with their own photos or research, or approach it as an art project 
  • Research background information and create captions 
  • Share and display with other classes, the school, and ideally the greater community

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource is based on the idea of developing an awareness of climate change instead of specific skills.

Strengths

This resource has the following strengths:

  • Interesting and engaging activities for all learning styles
  • Good quantity of information for the teacher
  • Links to additional videos and additional resources that will allow the class to investigate issues on a deeper level
  • Evaluation suggestions for both formative and summative data for each lesson
  • All materials are provided
  • An interesting final project that the students will enjoy

Weaknesses

There were no obvious or glaring weaknesses with this resource.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be beneficial as a mini-unit for a class to begin to explore the topic of climate change. You may wish to use the lesson plans in order or pick and choose activities or discussions from them to accompany your teaching plan.

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 7
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      • Science
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 9
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Commitment to Action
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Core
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
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      • Science
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        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
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        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
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        • Heat and Temperature
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        • Social Studies 6: Environment and Culture
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        • Science 7: Interactions Within Ecosystems
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        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
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        • Interactions in Our Environment
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    • Grade 7
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      • Geography
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        • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
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        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
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        • Science (Academic):Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
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        • Life Science: Sustainability of Ecosytems
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        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
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        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
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        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (1)

    • General Guide to Taking Action

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Within each activity included in the teacher plan, there is an opportunity for the students to consider different points of view.

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

With the students exploring the ideas of mitigation and adaptation, they will address all three aspects of the climate change issue.

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
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning 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 Good
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 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 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 Good

The resource suggests that the teacher and students tell a local story as a part of the final photo project.

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
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
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good
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

Each lesson begins with a shorter activity, then moves into extensive exercise building on climate change knowledge in an inquiry-based environment.

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

The activities provided in the resource will appeal to a wide variety of students.  However, there are no strategies included for struggling learners.

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 Satisfactory

The activities in the resource are only simulations and not real-world experiences for the students.

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 Very Good

With each lesson, there is a list of suggested evaluations that can be completed for both formative and summative information. There are suggestions for evaluation in each lesson plan, and an editable evaluation rubric for the final project.

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

The use of the photos from the exhibition "To What Degree? Canada in a Changing Climate", makes for an interesting case study.  The photos provide examples of real situations that can be explored.

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 students have flexibility in their choice of the final project for their photo exhibition.

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.