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Using an inquiry-based learning approach, this resource helps students see how to reduce their carbon footprint by paying particular attention to their food choices. Students will discover how food choices can impact the environment.
To reach these objectives, students will:
This resource explicitly teaches how to analyze the carbon footprint of the foods we consume.
This resource is up-to-date, interesting, and very relevant for students. The activities get students to connect with the subject by having them analyze their own eating habits.
The "Cheeseburger Footprint" video gives a great first look at what a food item's carbon footprint is. The website " Low Carbon Lunch Challenge" is also very well constructed and easy to use. The suggested supplementary resources are very useful both for teachers and students.
It would be useful for the teacher to have more information and guidelines to support the action project (Low Carbon Lunch Campaign). Students would benefit from having more structure and support with the different implementation steps. It would also be useful for the teacher to have rubric suggestions for assessment purposes.
This resource would be ideal for use in an environmental studies or geography class.
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||Good|
This resource contains sufficient information concerning both conventional/industrial and organic agricultural impacts.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The environment is at the heart of this resource since it explores the carbon footprint of our food systems. The economic dimension could be integrated during the discussions of conventional versus organic agriculture, and the social elements can be included throughout the project since becoming more conscious of the impact of our food choices is very much a social responsibility.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The video describing the carbon footprint of the cheeseburger demonstrates very well the complexity of the relationship between food choice and the environment. The discussion questions included with the video helps students further explore these complexities.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
Activity #2 gives students the chance to participate in an action project during which they are first asked to make changes in their personal life in terms of food choices and then challenge others in their school to do the same.
Students also get to work with an online tool. This tool permits them to measure the carbon footprint of their breakfast as a first step in reducing it.
After this challenge, students have the opportunity to organize a campaign in their school called the LOW Carbon Lunch campaign. Students will launch their campaign at school, create posters, public service announcements, and even start a petition to have re-usable cutlery at the school cafeteria.
|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
This project gets students to reflect on how they can reduce the carbon footprint of the foods they consume but does not explicitly require that they state their opinions.
|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 applicable here.
|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|
The objective of this project is to reduce the carbon footprint of the foods that we consume.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
This resource permits students to take a look at their own eating habits before taking a look at what goes on in their school's cafeteria. The cheeseburger example really brings this home to the students.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The present is explored in this project, but the knowledge the students will have after completing these activities will help them in the future. By understanding the present situation, students will be better equiped to understand the future, when it comes to our foods' carbon footprints.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students come up with their own choices as to what would be sensible food options based on their analysis of the issue.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Students will have the opportunity to use their Language Arts skills in all activities and also apply Technology skills in creating the video or animation that tells the story of of the carbon footprint of a particular food item.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
In the first part of this project, students must reflect on the environmental consequences of our food system in order for them to discover that each food item we consume has a carbon footprint. Students are then invited to trace the carbon footprint of a food item of their choice.
Students also have flexibility as to which approach they would like to use in order to organize their Low Carbon Lunch Campaign.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Visual learners will connect with the first part of the resource in which they get to trace the carbon footprint of a food item and then create a video or animation. Also, those who have a strong interpersonal and/or linguistic intelligences will benefit from the activities that require group discussions and projects.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Students experience an authentic and concrete learning situation during the Low Carbon Lunch Campaign as well as by participating in the Low Carbon Lunch Challenge. These activities allow students to truly see how they can reduce the carbon footprints.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students must work together in order to come up with effective ways to increase involvement in the Low Carbon Lunch intiative.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
|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 can demonstrate to others the carbon footprint of the food item they chose during activity #1.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The video " The Cheeseburger Footprint" is an authentic and familiar case study. The discussion questions help students analyze the information presented and to reflect on their own eating habits and on the kinds of food items sold in the cafeteria.
|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 which approach they will use in order to launch their campaign.
|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.|