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The Schoolyard Bioblitz involves students in a hands-on activity to encourage an appreciation of local plants, animals and habitats while exploring the concept of biodiversity. The resource is made up of six lessons with 10 activities:
Section1. Students participate in a fun activity that introduces the idea of taxonomic groups. They are asked to colonize another planet by gathering and transporting all of the species from their province. In doing so students will learn the number of species in each group and create a graph to illustrate the diversity. During the next activity, students complete an exercise in which they solve a mystery to reveal a secret code connected to the importance of biodiversity.
Section 2. Students will watch a documentary film. In order to ensure the comprehension of the documentary students will be asked to answer questions in relations to key themes in the film.
Section 3. Students select and map an area for their bioblitz identifying the different habitat types present and predicting which organisms they will be find. Students then plan the data collection method they will use during the bioblitz by completing a brainstorming exercise and sharing their ideas with the class.
Section 4. Students conduct the bioblitz
Section 5. Students tally, categorize and graph their findings before taking part in a guided discussion.
Section 6. Students will learn about different careers in science.
Link to the documentary film, Every Living Thing - experiencing a bioblitz
The lesson plan and activities included in Schoolyard Bioblitz would be a wonderful addition to the middle school Science classroom for hands-on and engaging activities to help accomplish the outcomes related to habitats, communities and biodiversity.
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||Very Good|
Through the bioblitz activity the students are able to gain a deeper appreciation for the variety of organisms in their neighborhood. Through discussions, the students will also develop an understanding of the variety of habitats nearby and how healthy habitats help to encourage more biodiversity.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
The resource effectively addresses the environmental dimensions of the issue. It is structured in such a way that the economic and social dimensions aren't discussed. The teacher will have to supplement the lessons in order to achieve this.
|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||Satisfactory|
The resource does create an awareness of biodiversity and healthy habitats. It will be up to the teacher to guide the students towards making a difference in their community via a pledge or other actions.
|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 could be achieved via the class discussions, but it is not a core component of the activities.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|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|
This is a definite strength of the resource.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
All of the learning is directly connected to the students' own surroundings.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
In this inquiry-based activity, students collect their own data and draw their own conclusions.
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
Planning, conducting and debriefing components of the bioblitz offer a quality guided-inquiry experience.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The resource does address a wide variety of learning styles with the included activities. It does not however, include strategies for learners with difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good|
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Some group work is included.
|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.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|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 at different points in various activities are given the opportunity to make choices.
|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.|