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The lesson plans in Conserving Canada's Marine Biodiversity have a goal of helping students become passionate about Canada's oceans, raise awareness of conservation issues and bring Canada's ocean just a little bit closer to home. The resource consists of 4 lessons with the following activities:
1. We Are All Connected: Students learn how everyday actions can have direct impacts on the ocean because they are connected to the ocean through their local watershed. Students will build a model watershed, examine point source and non-point source pollution, clean a sample of polluted water, and explore initiatives to reduce pollution entering their local watershed.
2. Big Shark, Big Loss, Big Impact: Large predatory fish populations have plummeted over the last decade. Two role-playing games will show students how apex predators are necessary to maintain functioning ecosystems. Students will graph the results of the games and compare ocean ecosystems before and after human activities.
3. What Am I Worth?: Students will explore Canadian marine biodiversity in this introductory and cumulative activity.With no prior knowledge, students will attempt to raise (fake) money for a marine animal through a presentation to their classmates. After researching their animals, students will again try and raise money, but this time with a better understanding of what role the animal plays in its environment.
4. Goodbye Bycatch: Students may be familiar with fishing from their own experiences, but commercial fishing is an entirely different matter. In this activity, students will explore through a simulation different fishing methods, determine which have the highest and lowest amounts of bycatch, and graphically display the results.
The focus of this resource is raising awareness and therefore, no skills are explicitly taught.
This lesson plan would be a very good supplement or introduction to a unit on biodiversity. It could also serve as a themed lesson plan around World Oceans Day (early June) in order to help students understand more about oceans.
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|
Through the simulations, the students are able to see firsthand the effects of each action that is taken. This allows them to understand the different points of view of the problem and how each solution may cause other problems in the oceans.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
|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|
|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
Within the reflection activities at the end of each lesson, the students are given the opportunity to reflect and express their opinions on the issues that have been discussed.
|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 a 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||Very Good|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
In Lesson #1 the students create a pamphlet to distribute in their community describing their local watershed and the pollutants that they observed. This brings their learning full circle.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local 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.|
As the majority of the activities are simulations, the students can see the answers developing as the games play out without having to be steered to one correct answer.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|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.
The variety of lesson activities are well suited to a variety of learning styles.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good|
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
There are no assessment tools or suggestions for evaluation 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.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Poor/Not considered|
There are no case studies included in this resource.
|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||Satisfactory|
Some extension ideas are suggested to extend the learning.
|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.|