Climate change and the barren ground caribou
In this lesson, students will examine the potential effects of climate change on the barren ground caribou population, the migratory routes of the barren ground caribou, and determining what the COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) status is and how it was determined.
One fifty minute computer class, 2nd class or take home assignment.
Curriculum Connection (Province and course)
Nunavut currently follows the NWT Social Studies Curriculum for grades 7-9. For grade seven they are also piloting a module called The Impact of Contact.
Link to the Return to the Wild Virtual Exhibition
Additional Resources, Materials Read More
Climate change and the barren ground caribouLesson Overview
In this lesson, students will examine the potential effects of climate change on the barren ground caribou population, the migratory routes of the barren ground caribou, and determining what the COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) status is and how it was determined.Grade Level
Grade 7Time Required
One fifty minute computer class, 2nd class or take home assignment.Curriculum Connection (Province and course)
Nunavut currently follows the NWT Social Studies Curriculum for grades 7-9. For grade seven they are also piloting a module called The Impact of Contact.Link to the Return to the Wild Virtual Exhibition www.canadiangeographic.ca/vmcAdditional Resources, Materials and Equipment Required
1. Handouts of Canadian maps on which students can mark
Students will recognize the impact climate change may have on barren ground caribouLearning Outcomes
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
• Locate the migratory range of barren ground caribou on a map
• Identify what the status of the barren ground caribou are according to COSEWIC, what that means, and why
• Communicate what effects climate change may have on the barren ground caribouThe LessonTeacher Activity/Student ActivityIntroduction
How will the lesson open? Teacher will inquire what the students know about global warming while collecting brainstormed answers on chart paper. As a class, students will share their opinions on and knowledge of global warming. Lesson Development
Detail point by point how the lesson will develop by student and teacher activity Discuss why the polar bear has been used as a symbol for global warming. Ask about other species that might be affected.
With the class, read the Canadian Geographic website article. (see web address #5 above). Locate and shade on their maps the migratory route of the barren ground caribou. Ask what they think the term “special concern” means.
Have students visit the COSEWIC website (see web address #2 above) and search to determine what “special concern” means. Does it match their earlier prediction? Does it make them feel more or less concerned for the caribou?
Students then visit the ClimateChangeNorth website (#3 above) and/or the Greenfacts website (#4 above). Have students put the information about caribou in their own words, in 4-10 sentences.
Students contribute to discussion.
Students should find Table 5 at the COSEWIC Website and determine what a “special concern” status means.
Students practice paraphrasing and interpreting information.
Students use technology for scientific inquiry.Conclusion
How will the lesson conclude? What final product or culminating activity is expected? Assign one of three tasks:
1.A poster highlighting how the barren ground caribou may be affected by climate change, and offer suggestions how to prevent it from happening. Must contain visuals and words.
2. A 5 minute presentation to discuss why barren ground caribou are of “special concern” and why people of Nunavut should be concerned for them. Should have some visuals.
3.Write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper aiming to educate people about barren ground caribou. Let them know of the caribou’s current status and suggest ways that the status might be improved and ways the status could get worse. Students complete projects at home or in a 2nd class. Students opting for a presentation will need time allotted. Lesson Extension
Begin a mock campaign to have barren ground caribou become the new face of global warming instead of the polar bear.Assessment of Student Learning
Each of the assigned topics above should be graded using a teacher designed rubric.Further Reading
1. Inuuqatigiit: The Curriculum From The Inuit Perspective
Link to Canadian National Standards for Geography
#1 Places and Regions
• Changes in places and regions over time
#2 Physical Systems
• Causes and patterns of extreme events
#3 Environment and Society
• Effects of human modification of the physical environment
• Perceptions of and reactions to extreme natural events
• Environmental issues
#1 Asking geographic questions
• Identify geographic issues, define geographic problems and pose geographic questions.
• Plan how to answer geographic questions.
#2 Acquiring geographic information
• Use a variety of research skills to locate and collect geographic data.
• Use maps to collect and/or compile geographic information.
# 3 Organizing geographic information
• Prepare various forms of maps as a means of organizing geographic information.
#4 Answering geographic questions
• Make generalizations and assess their validity.