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Take Action for Nature and Your Community



This unique resource offers teachers a ready to use set of tools to examine climate change, particularly how it is affecting Alaska's ecosystem. This resource is based on powerful videos and reflection questions so students really grasp the issues presented. This excellent 13 part lesson is also complete with an action project in the student's community.  

In this resource, students will:

  • examine how climate change is altering Alaska's ecosystems
  • determine their relationship with the natural environment
  • study how Alaskan students gather field data about lake ice and snow conditions
  • compare Western scientific observations to Alaska Native observations
  • investigate concerns about climate change and the other environmental issues in their community (this could be done by reading newspapers, websites, or having an interview with a member of their community)
  • create and implement an action plan to resolve the issue or educate others about it
  • present their findings to their peers
Download and print the Teacher's Guide: Take Action for Nature and Your Community PDF Document for essential background information and suggestions for ways to support the activity.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Researching a selected issue
  • Recording observations
  • Putting together an action plan
  • Presenting to their peers


  • A glossary of important words is provided in the resource.
  • This is an interactive lesson. Students can sign in and complete the lesson online. 
  • The videos in the lesson describe the problem well. 
  • Examples of students taking action is provided to show students what can be done
  • Extra resources on the subject are available in the lesson, both in video format and websites to visit
  • Students are the ones deciding what problem they want to investigate further and how to solve it
  • Students present and integrate their solution to the problem in the community


  • The resource is provided as slides. Therefore, no extra information on how to deliver the lesson is provided to the teacher. 
  • This resource does not offer strategies for learners with difficulties
  • No evaluation tools are provided

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be great to use in courses where the issue of climate change and global warming are of importance. This lesson will help students understand that the issue is local and that they can help. 

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.

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (2)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • General Guide to Taking Action
  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Habitat Loss
    • Wildlife Protection
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Fisheries

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Students form their opinions and take informed positions on different subjects based on videos and information they've received. Different points of views and different methods of Western scientific observations and Alaska Native observations are also introduced to students and they have to determine advantages and disadvantages of both methods. 

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

Students are asked to investigate concerns about climate change and other environmental issues in their community. They then need to come up with a plan to help with the problem. Since the environmental problem to study is the students choice, it could have economic and social dimensions as well. 

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

The videos and other supporting materials address the complexity of climate change. 

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Very Good

In this lesson, students will work on a project where they study an issue important to their community, they then create an action plan to resolve the issue or educate others about it. 

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 Very Good

Throughout this resource, the activities require students to reflect on and articulate their responses to different subjects. 

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory

Student will learn about Alaska Native people and how they have developed a large storehouse of knowledge about their local environments, based on wisdom collected and shared over generations. 

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

Students will be introduced to climate change and global warming through various videos. Students will then need to connect with their community to decide on an environmental issue they would like to do more research on and try to find a solution to the issue. 

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 Very Good

This resource explicitly has students working within their community to address an environmental issue. Students are asked to take notes of the communities response to their solutions and to interview members of their community.  

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 Very Good

Climate change is a current issue that has been mostly caused by our past.  Students will take on an action project with a goal to better the future.

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

Students are encouraged to develop and share their opinions during class discussions or as reflection questions. Students also choose the environmental issue to study and the action plan to put in place. 

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Very Good

This resource responds to the content and skills of several curriculums that will become more clear once the students determine the issue to study and the action plan to put in place. 

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 Very Good

Students are not given direct instructions as to what problem to solve nor how to solve the problem they choose. In a group they self-direct how they want to go about working on the issue. 

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 variety of activities of this resource makes it a great fit for the needs of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. Unfortunately there are no strategies or modifications provided for learners with difficulties. 

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 Good

The action plan students are working on is based from a real problem from their community. 

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 Good

Students must work in groups and the tasks at hand would be difficult to complete without being able to work well together. 

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 Satisfactory

Although no assessment tool is available, a large number of reflection questions are asked and could be used to assess student learning on the subject. 

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 Good

Students must work with the community and must present their findings to their peers. Although not in the resource, it would be interesting for students to show their findings and data to their community during an open community night. 

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 Very Good

The videos provided are from real events. As well the problem to study is from their own community. 

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 have full control over the community issue to study and how they want to try and find solutions to the problem. 

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.