Lesson Plan: Canada and Global Environmental Issues
1 class to set-up activity, assign research activities, and begin research
1 class for groups to meet, compare notes, and prepare
Research how Canada is involved in global environmental issues
Review ideas within their groups
Split into groups where they are the expert and must explain their topic
IPCC - The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
British Columbia PLO's:
Social Studies 6, 7, 8
Science 6, 7, 8
This is a good activity to use after some introduction has been done on climate change, or at the end of the unit as a wrap-up exercise. Students will examine what Canada 's role is in global environmental issues on several levels. Students will research how Canada is contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, what actions Canadians are taking to reduce emissions, how Canadian scientists are involved in researching climate change, and how Canada is being impacted by climate change.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) fourth assessment report states that climate change is most likely due to human activities. Since its release in February 2007, the report has drawn a lot of attention to the topic of climate change and what is and is not being done to counteract it.
The students will research a topic related to Canada and climate change. They will become experts on their topics, confer with others about their information, and then form new groups where they will share their information as experts.
Write the topics that will be discussed on the board: a) Canada 's part in climate change, b)Canadian scientist's contributions c)Canadian initiatives to reduce climate change d) How does climate change affect Canada ?
Have the students write a short reflection on each of the topics. This is a very informal writing, encourage the students to write anything they know or wonder about the topics on the board.
Split the class into four different groups. Try to have an equal number of students in for each group. Assign one of the topics to each of the large groups. In a large class other topics can be added to address other issues.
Using the internet, newspapers, and other media sources have students research their own topics independently. Have them create a list of interesting points found during their reading, making sure they keep track of their sources. They are to become experts on their topic so that next day they can share with other class members that do not know anything about their topic.
For homework have the students continue their research and write up a summary of what they have found.
Give the students a few minutes to finish any notes started the previous day, or to complete their research.
Students who researched the same topic will meet to discuss the information they found. This can be done in one large group or several smaller groups depending on the class size.
In their topic groups, students will share information found during their research, discuss any discrepancies, and prepare the major points the group decides are important to share with the other members of the class.
Once all the students have reviewed their research topics, ask them to redistribute into groups of four so that there is an expert for each topic in the new discussion groups.
Give the discussion groups 20 minutes to allow each expert to share information learned while researching their respective topics. Encourage the students to ask questions.
After the groups have completed their discussions, have the students return to their desks. Re-write the four topics on the board and ask the students to review their original reflections.
On a new page, ask the students to write a new response to the topics that they investigated and discussed. Get them to write a summary about what they have learned regarding each topic. They should also formulate at least one unresolved question for each topic.
For homework, have the students investigate one of their questions in their writing reflection. Ask them to respond to their own question, which is to be handed in for marking the next day.
What is Canada's role in the global community on environmental issues?
What Canadian technologies are being used to help reduce climate change?
As Canadians what choices can we make to reduce climate change?
Extension and Resources:
If bibliographies and source citations are part of the curriculum or topics covered during the year you can have the students create a bibliography from their research.
The following articles may be printed for students to use if computers are limited. They can also be used as a starting point for students looking on the internet for climate change material:
Author: Jennifer Provencher, 2007. All content has been created by the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, or used with permission of the owner where indicated. Material may be used for education and teaching purposes, but not for resale or paper distribution without permission from BMSC or the owner of the image.