Conservation & Citizen Voice is an Inquiry Project for the Grade 6 Teacher who would like to incorporate an outdoor or environmental message alongside the Social Studies Curriculum. Environmental issues and decisions about how we use our land can be divisive topics in a democracy. This inquiry aims to look at the human and political side of conservation and the protection of our wildlands.
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Intro: What is Wilderness
Question of Inquiry: What is wilderness and why does it matter?
- A Poster containing the definition of “wilderness” and a few facts & numbers regarding conservation in Canada
- A great hook to get students thinking about land stewardship and protection in Canada
Part 1: Wilderness & World View
Question of Inquiry: Based on your world view, what does “Wilderness” mean to you?
- Through brainstorming and a photo collage activity students will consider their “world view” of what wilderness means to them personally.
- Students will use a Gallery Walk to consider different views and perspectives in the room followed by a classroom discussion.
- By the end of these activities students will come to understand that world view is shaped through personal beliefs, values and experiences that influence perspective.
- They will understand that there is diversity in perspectives on
topics such as “wilderness. This will be important for Part II.
Part II: The Jumbo Wild Case Study
Question of Inquiry: What happens when a decision about the future of a landscape or wilderness area has to be made and there are differing ideas, opinions, and perspectives? Do we fight for our world view or find compromise?
- Students will be introduced to the Jumbo Valley Case Study through a one page information sheet
- They will then watch the documentary Jumbo Wild which explores the values, beliefs and perspectives that different individuals imposed on the mountains of the Jumbo Valley.
- Jumbo Wild is available for viewing through iTunes, Netflix and Vimeo on Demand.
- Students will watch using a viewing guide complete with graphic organizers and questions to help address the question of inquiry.
Part III: The Castle Case Study & the Informed Citizen Voice
Question of Inquiry: When there is disagreement over our wilderness areas how do we as citizens voice our opinions to our representative government leaders?
- Through a brief introduction to the Castle Case Study students will be introduced to the democratic process involved when creating a new park. They will also consider conflicting ideas of who should be able to recreate in the Castle Provincial Park, specifically the conflict with Off- Highway Vehicle Users.
- Students will use a graphic organizer and guided questions to practice developing an informed citizen voice using the Castle Case Study.
- They will then learn four different modes of communication to effectively voice their opinions, thoughts and perspectives to an elective representative. Students can use modelled exemplars of a petition, letter/ email, poster/flyer and a Tweet to help craft their writing
Part IV: Summative
- Now it’s the students’ turn to take action! Students will choose a wilderness or natural area near and dear to their hearts that needs either a citizen voice or action.
- They will work through the same process of developing an informed citizen voice and then choosing an effective mode of communication or action to take to encourage change.