T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Climate Change

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, Richmond, British Columbia

Introduction
In this lesson, students will examine pictures and videos of arctic conditions. From this students will discuss adaptations that have allowed organisms to survive in these these extreme conditions, how organisms work together in a symbiotic environment and how humans have impacted the ecosystems.
Background Knowledge
Use a web to brainstorm your ideas about living organisms in the Arctic. Answer the following question:

~What do organisms need to have to successful survive in the Arctic?~

Once completed, share your ideas with a partner or small group.
Arctic Life
Examine the pictures and videos of life in the Arctic and answer the following questions for each media file. (Note: you may choose to do this as a group, where each student selects a different media file to review and then present the answers to the questions to the entire group).

(a) What type of organisms live in this environment?

(b) What adaptations allow these different organisms to survive in the Arctic?
Life Under the Ice
Arctic Ocean sea ice
Arctic sea ice break-up, Resolute Bay

Canadian Museum of Nature




© 2007, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Climate Change and the Arctic
Learning Object: Life Under the Ice
Arctic Adaptations
Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)
Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

Andrew Derocher, Canadian Wildlife Service.




© 2007, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Climate Change and the Arctic
Learning Object: Arctic Adaptations
Diving Under the Ice
Canadian Museum of Nature scientist Kathy Conlan has donned her diving gear in places such as Cambridge Bay and Resolute Bay to learn more about the ecosystem which flourishes under the ice of the Arctic Ocean. In this video clip, you can see a litle bit of this unique environment, which is home to plants, and a surprising diversity of animals including sea stars, anemones, urchins, snails and clams, to name but a few. The complex interactions between plants and animals here extends to larger vertebrates such as fish, seabirds and mammals, as well as to the people who live in the Arctic and have traditionally maintained a close relationship with their environment. Scientists predict that the warming Arctic climate will have profound impacts on this entire Arctic marine ecosystem.
Kathy Conlan
© 2007, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Video File

Learning Object Collection: Climate Change and the Arctic
Learning Object: Life Under the Ice
Human Impact
Few people live in the Arctic, but humans certainly have had an impact on the all ecosystems. Just recently, a huge chunk of Antarctic ice collapsed into the ocean waters (Reference: http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/03/25/antartica.collapse.ap/index.html).

From your observations and current knowledge, how do humans impact ecosystems that are so far away? In small groups discuss what we can do individually and as group to reduce or impact on local ecosystems.
Vancouver's Ecosystem
Now that you've had the chance to examine an ecosystems that's far away, let's examine an ecosystem that's closer to home.

Take a look at the Time Lapse and Shifting Skyline of Vancouver. This may not be your hometown, but the pictures of Downtown and False Creek are likely representative of where you live. The photos capture the changes that have occurred over the past 100 years.

In a small group, discuss the following:

(a) What changes do you see over the 100 year time-span? Are they positive? negative?

(b) The local ecosystem has certainly changed and we know that humans have an impact on the local environment.
-Create a list of 5 actions that you can individually do to decrease the human impact on the local environment.
-Then, create a list of 5 actions that schools can do to decrease the human impact on the local environment

Time Lapse

Play these time lapse movies to see history develop at the Southeast corner of Vancouver’s False Creek.
Science World
© 2007, Science World British Columbia. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Flash File

Learning Object Collection: Developing Story
Learning Object: Time Lapse
Shifting Skyline
Science World
© 2007, Science World British Columbia. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Flash File

Learning Object Collection: Developing Story
Learning Object: Shifting Skyline

Learning Objectives

This lesson focuses on issues related to climate change and how humans have impacted the current environment.

It specifically relates to the BC Grades 4 and 7 Science curriculum:

Grade 4:

-determine how personal choice and actions have environmental consequences

Grade 7:

-assess the requirements for sustaining healthy ecosystems
-evaluate human impact on local ecosystems
-assess survival needs and interactions between organisms and the environment

In addition, the lesson relates to the K-12 Environmental Learning and Experience Document - the framework and guidelines for sustainability education in British Columbia. Environmental and Sustainability education is to be embedded throughout the curriculum from the language arts, music, socials, science, etc. This document can be found at:
http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/environment_ed/envirint.html