The Pine Beetle: Attack and Counter-attack?Lesson Overview:
This lesson plan offers students the opportunity to investigate the differences between two different perspectives on the pine beetle’s infestation of Alberta’s forests. Students will explore economic and social issues related to the topic. How has the pine beetle affected Alberta’s forests? How important is it to maintain Alberta’s forests? What economic benefits does forestry provide? What actions has the Alberta Government taken in response to the pine beetle’s infestation? What environmental impact did these activities have upon the surrounding area as well as globally? Who are the stakeholders involved in making decisions regarding Alberta’s forests? What lessons can be drawn from this example and applied to other situations? Each student will be required to write a position paper/argumentative essay on the topic.Grade Level:
Social Studies Grade 10 Time Required:
Two classes required to allow for effective planning and writing time.
Curriculum Connection for Alberta Social Studies Grade 10:
Alberta Social Studies Grade 10
S.1 develop skills of critical thinking and creative thinking
S.3 develop skills of geographic thinking
S.4 develop skills of decision making and problem solving
S.6 develop age-appropriate behaviour for social involvement as responsible citizens contributing to their community
S.7 apply their research
S.8 demonstrate skills of oral, written and visual literacyLink to the Return to the Wild Virtual Exhibition:www.canadiangeographic.ca/vmc
Additional Resources, Materials, and Equipment Required:
Additional Resources that may be used to guide students or to extend the lesson:
Canadian Atlas Onlinewww.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas/
Calgary Herald Onlinehttp://www.calgaryherald.com
Mountain Pine Beetle in Albertahttp://www.mpb.alberta.ca/
Province of British Columbia: Ministry of Forests and Rangehttp://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/
David Suzuki Foundationhttp://www.davidsuzuki.org/Forests/Canada/BC/beetle/
Colorado State Universityhttp://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05528.htmlMain Objective:
In writing a position paper, students will recognize and appreciate how the world’s citizens have become increasingly interdependent which requires certain responsibilities associated with globalization. Students will realize that they are not able to exist in isolation, and that problems which originate elsewhere, may have consequences in their own backyard.Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
• Write a position paper/argumentative essay.
• Explain the economic and social consequences for two different perspectives.
• Evaluate the information presented and come to conclusions that explain the differences and similarities between two perspectives.
• Draw conclusions supported by reasonable arguments about the topic/issue.
• Use a variety of sources to defend one’s position on the topic/issue.The Lesson
Teacher Activity/Student ActivityIntroduction
Teacher introduces topic by providing a few articles on the pine beetle. Students engage in reading of assigned articles.Lesson Development
Teacher directs class brainstorm then guides and prompts students with questions to consider in generating arguments for each viewpoint. Students review sources given them then work independently to develop arguments for each viewpoint. Conclusion
Teacher will give a summary of most important arguments of each viewpoint and provide an example of a well-written paper for the class to review. Student will write a position paper and may present their conclusions in small groups.Lesson Extension
This lesson may be extended by having an in-class debate. This lesson may be modified by encouraging students to research different sources to support their conclusions. It is possible to challenge the more academic students by having them draw more complex conclusions as they relate to both economics and resources as well as time, continuity and change within a globalizing community.
Assessment of Student Learning
Student position papers may be evaluated using a rubric that outlines the criteria.
Link to Canadian National Standards for Geography
The Six Essential Elements of Geography
1. The World in Spatial Terms: It would be interesting to see the effects the pine beetle has had on Alberta’s forests.
2. Places and Regions: To understand how the interdependency of places and regions may sometimes prompt us to respond to critical issues that arise from a region.
3. Physical Systems: To study world patterns and climate change and the effect this has on our forests.
4. Human Systems: To balance economic development with environmental concerns on a global scale.
5. Environment and Society: To recognize the impact of our actions on Alberta’s forests as well as globally.
6. The Uses of Geography: To recognize how the pine beetle infestation prompts us to reexamine past practice in light of more global concerns.
The Five Sets of Geographic Skills:
1. Asking geographic questions: Students inquire, research and write a well thought out position paper regarding the pine beetle and Alberta’s forests.
2. Acquiring geographic information: Students learn to assimilate geographic as well as historical information derived from various sources (articles, thematic maps and online resources).
3. Organizing geographic information: Students use a variety of media to develop and organize geographical information. They then use this information to support their arguments in writing a position paper.
4. Analyzing geographic information: Students interpret and synthesize information they have researched (from statistical data, maps, charts, articles and books) and make predictions on the fate of the pine beetle and the necessary actions, if any, are to be taken.
5. Answering geographic questions: Students will formulate valid arguments with regards to a particular viewpoint regarding the pine beetles’ infestation and the forest industry.