Seasons of Change: Sustainability of Ecosystems

Section One: Project/Lesson Overview

Grade: 10

Subject: Science

Lesson Title: Seasons of Change:  Sustainability of Ecosystems  

Lesson Description: Using Aboriginal related images along with the story Turtle Goes Hunting, students will be introduced to seasonal variations and how energy flow is altered as a result of it. This leads to discussion on the acquisition of energy throughout the year for various organisms as well as what can be done to ease any burdens that may arise as a result of the changes. Discussion will also include energy allocation, to which organisms should most of the energy go and how this is determined. Throughout the lesson reference to other factors that influence change will be included.

Time Required: 2 x 60 minute classes, more time for research if required

Specific Curriculum Outcomes:

  • Propose a course of action on social issues related to science and technology, taking into account human and environmental needs 
  • Explain various ways in which natural populations are kept in equilibrium, and relate this equilibrium to the resource limits of an ecosystem 
  • Explain how biodiversity of an ecosystem contributes to its sustainability 
  • Analyze the impact of external factors on an ecosystem 
  • Plan changes to, predict the effects of, and analyze the impact of external factors on an ecosystem 
  • Select, compile, and display evidence and information from various sources, in different formats, to support a given view in a presentation about ecosystem change 
  • Communicate questions, ideas, and intentions, and receive, interpret, understand, support, and respond to the ideas of others in preparing a report about ecosystem change 
  • Propose and defend a course of action on a multi-perspective social issue
  • gain a greater appreciation and understanding of Wolastoqiyik and their history, culture, and conditions

Section Two: Project/Lesson Implementation

Equipment/Materials Required: Access to Seasons of Change content
Overhead or laptop and digital projector (Introduction)
Chalkboard/ Flip chart
Copies of story Turtle Goes Hunting (one / group of two)
Reference books on various organisms OR Computer access

Lesson Procedures/Teaching Strategies:

Day 1

  1. Using images and the Turtle Goes Hunting story from the Seasons of Change Learning Object, prepare a short PowerPoint presentation that uses the images as illustrations of the story; alternating story text with images. 
  2. Use the story Turtle Goes Hunting in conjunction with the prepared PowerPoint as a means to introduce gathering food during the colder months. 
  3. In groups of two, have students compose a list of benefits and a list of negatives for winter hunting based on the story. 
  4. Once their lists have been completed, they then will join with another group and compare lists. What points were common and which were different within the new group? These will then be written such that the whole class can view. For similar answers denote it with a number or tally. 
  5. Why did numerous points get repeated? 
  6. How do changes in the environment or number of organisms affect energy acquisition during the winter?

Day 2

  1. Take the list that was generated the day before and now ask the groups of four to compose lists whereby energy is being acquired during the summer. 
  2. Compare how energy acquisition techniques vary with relation to season. 
  3. Have students use the winter/ summer lists as models to generate a similar comparison for an organism which also comes from the Ronald Paul audio and one of the stories on the web site, Koluskap:  Stories from Wolastoqiyik. This can be assigned as a PowerPoint such that research can be done simultaneously, a written report or an oral presentation.

Suggested Assessment Strategies:

Group work:
- Communication skills
- Equality within the group in terms of contribution and acceptance of ideas
- Productivity

Oral report:
- Voice, projection/ clarity
- Informative
- Research skills/ works cited
- Encompasses the necessary material

- Contrast
- Interesting
- Informative
- Research/ citations
- Encompasses the necessary material

Written report:
- Informative
- Research skills/ works cited
- Encompasses the necessary material

Section Three: Project/Lesson Resources
Web-Based Resources:

Disclaimer: The recommended web-resources included here have been scrutinized for their grade and age appropriateness; however, contents on links on the Internet change continuously. It is advisable that teachers preview all links before recommending them to students.

Section Four: Additional Information


  • Assessment can be quite variable such that different learners can choose for themselves how they would like to represent their research and ideas. 
  • Assessment may also just be the presentation of the groups ideas to the class with individuals taking on different roles, recorder, main presenter, secondary presenter etc. 
  • A generated list of various animals and their sources of food may be provided to reduce research times.

Additional Comments:
Sections on biodiversity and the sustainability of organism as well as recycling of matter may also be incorporated as points that student may be able to discuss.

Jeffrey Clark, Dalhousie Regional High School, Dalhousie, New Brunswick
c. 2007
New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2007, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.

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