Curriculum Connections

Grade 10 Science Sustainability of Ecosystems
Grade 7 Science Interactions Within Ecosystems
Grade 9& 10 Social Studies Skills and Processes
Civics 11 Skills and Processes

1) What is sustainability ?
Ask students to Think-Pair-Share a definition of sustainability, with respect to the development and maintenance of places for people to live and work. (Sustainability generally refers to the ability to meet needs and express potential while considering the needs of natural systems which surround us.)

2) What do communities need ?
Have groups of two or three students brainstorm all the services or amenities a group of 100 people would need if they were going to start their own town in the middle of an unpopulated area.

Alternately, give groups the following list and ask them to determine which are “essential services,” “good services to have if there’s money,” and “services which are a waste o Read More

Curriculum Connections

Grade 10 Science Sustainability of Ecosystems
Grade 7 Science Interactions Within Ecosystems
Grade 9& 10 Social Studies Skills and Processes
Civics 11 Skills and Processes

1) What is sustainability ?
Ask students to Think-Pair-Share a definition of sustainability, with respect to the development and maintenance of places for people to live and work. (Sustainability generally refers to the ability to meet needs and express potential while considering the needs of natural systems which surround us.)

2) What do communities need ?
Have groups of two or three students brainstorm all the services or amenities a group of 100 people would need if they were going to start their own town in the middle of an unpopulated area.

Alternately, give groups the following list and ask them to determine which are “essential services,” “good services to have if there’s money,” and “services which are a waste of money.” Then have groups compare the services deemed essential and discuss the differences.

A third option is to assign students an amenity from the list below and ask them to design a building to house that amenity out of egg cartons or cereal boxes. The buildings are laid out on a tarp. Waterways can be plotted with coloured tape. A road crew can be assigned to apply routes with tape. Everyone puts their building where they want to and if people want the same spot there must be a discussion to consider the pros and cons of the arrangement. Keep rearranging the layout. Are there better solutions? This illustrates the important task of city planning.

        Ambulance
        Animal Protection
        Archives
        Birth and death registration
        Bobsled course
        Business licences
        Child care
        Court Services
        Drug Treatment and Prevention Centre
        Emergency Preparedness
        Employment Assistance
        Fire Protection
        Garbage and Recycling Pickup
        Heritage Properties (inventory of)    
        Hospital
        Human Rights Office
        Ice Rink
        Indoor Pool
        Licenses and Permits
        Motor Vehicle Licensing
        Museum
        Parking Enforcement
        Planning/Development
        Police
        Pollution Monitoring
        Public Art
        Public Health Nursing
        Public Transit
        Residence Standards
        Road Maintenance
        Schools
        Sewers and Drains
        Shelters for the Poor
        Social Services
        Yard Waste
        Zoo


3) How do we make choices ?  -  Dealing with Scarcity
Distribute “goods” to groups of students and have them discuss how best to share them.

Materials needed :  paper bags, candies or toys

What to do :
1. Before the class starts, get five-seven paper bags and put different numbers of candies or dollar store toys in each bag. It doesn’t matter how many you put in. However, make sure a couple of bags have very few treats in them and a couple of others have a lot.
2. Divide the class into groups of four to six students each.
3. Have each group select a person to be the writer, another to be the distributor.
4. Pass out the bags and ask kids for ideas about sharing what’s inside them.

What to say :
We’ve been thinking about sustainability and what sustainable communities are like. Now we need to think a little about what all the fuss is about. Why can’t all communities simply be sustainable? Why is it so hard?

I’m going to divide you into groups. [Do this.] Each group is a community. I’m going to give each community a bag of materials which could be something good like food or something bad like garbage. You’ll spend five minutes discussing a strategy for sharing what’s inside the bag, whether it’s good or bad. Once you’ve settled on something have the writer in your group write it down.

Now I’m going to give a bag to each distributor who will pass around what’s inside the bag to each person in your group, according to your strategy. So go ahead distributors, and then let everyone else know how it worked. Have the writers write down whether or not your strategy worked and what you could have done differently.

When it comes to sharing, it’s interesting how fair-minded people can be as long as there’s lots to share. Once things start becoming scarce, it’s much harder to be fair. But sharing is only part of the story: a community is sustainable when people plan ways to share in the future.

As an extension: have the groups switch strategies for sharing with each other then give out another set of bags to the groups. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of sharing strategies from other groups.


4) Sustainable wealth ?
Students will create a board game that shows their understanding of sustainable creation of wealth.

Materials needed :  chart paper, pens, tokens, dice

What to do :  Explain the following.

What to say :
For most of us, “wealth” means money. But for countries or corporations, it means possessing or controlling an abundance of items that have economic value.

Where does wealth come from? Natural resources like wheat or zinc can be harvested and sold to those who want them. These resources can be changed into something more valuable like bread or sun block with the help of knowledge, labour or equipment. Better production methods can allow faster creation of wealth. Wealth can also be created when things are bought and sold according to changes in their value.

What I’d like you to do is create a board game which will probably look very similar to Monopoly. But the point is to create a game where wealth is created sustainably (whatever that means for you: no one goes bankrupt; resources are used responsibly; etc.) That means it might be exactly the opposite of Monopoly.

I’ll give you half an hour to design your game and then we’ll play each others’ versions. Don’t forget to write out instructions so other people will know how to play your game.


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Learning Objectives

The following classroom discussion and activity ideas are designed to generate discussion and debate about how our choices impact the health and sustainability of our community.

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