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This one day lesson plan explores how the Arctic is changing through a series of demonstrations, discussions and the viewing of a slideshow. The lessons and activities have been designed to follow on from one another, building student’s understanding and appreciation of the Arctic Ocean environment. The students will either complete the demonstrations or participate as spectators (teacher's choice) in the following activities:
1. The albedo effect: This demonstration looks at how decreasing sea ice contributes to an increased amount of solar energy being absorbed in the Arctic.
2. Sea level rise: In this activity the students will explore how the melting of different types of ice, either on land or in the sea, affects the sea level rise. This demonstration shows how the melting of different types of ice in the Arctic will affect sea level rise globally.
3. Ocean circulation: In this demonstration the students will learn that the ocean has deep currents that affect the climate of the Earth.
As this lesson is based around a demonstration and observation, there are no skills that are explicitly taught.
This lesson plan has the following strengths:
This lesson plan has the following weaknesses:
This lesson illustrates quite well the changes that are occurring in the Arctic. It would be a beneficial resource to add to include in the study of climate change and / or the Arctic.
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|
In the supporting materials and information that is provided with the lesson, various view points are explained.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
In the supporting material, the socio-geopolitical and environmental issues are discussed.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
As this lesson is based in observations of a demonstration, there are no action opportunities presented.
|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
As this lesson is based around making observations of demonstrations, it is factually based; however, the final slide in the presentation does allow for the students to reflect upon their learning by answering several questions. This could be modified to have the students complete a journal reflection and submitted to the teacher rather than completing it orally as a class discussion.
|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 lesson.
|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.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Poor/Not considered|
This is not a focus of this lesson.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The present situation is discussed and the impact on the future is also explored; however, the past is briefly touched upon in the viewing of the video of the changes in the sea ice from 1979-2012.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
As this lesson is observation based, the students are making factual observations; however, as a whole the lesson plan does allow the students to gather information to make intelligent decisions and learn to debunk some of the common misconceptions that exist about the changes that are occurring in the Arctic.
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.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The base of the lesson are three demonstrations that the students observe.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
There is an opportunity during the slideshow to pause and have a Think, Pair, Share with the students.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Very Good|
In the comprehensive zip file containing all of the materials for the lesson, there are learning outcomes for the students, methods for differentiation and assessment checkpoints throughout.
|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.|
The focus of the lesson being the observations of demonstrations leads to cooperative learning and sharing of information through discussions.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
With the use of the video and the slideshow presentation, the students are introduced in an interesting way to the changes that are occurring in the Arctic.
|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|
There are some suggestions for extension activities such as explaining the problem for a point of view of a polar bear that could allow for the students to explore the issue further.
|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.|