The theme of this learning package is “Give Ocean Life a Safe Harbour from Climate Change.” What sets this unit apart from other learning resources on climate change is that it focuses not only on human concerns but also on the impacts of warming temperatures, rising sea levels, declining lake levels, and other phenomena on Canada’s aquatic species and spaces. It addresses the challenges facing life forms, from piping plovers to polar bears, and habitats, from salt-marshes to sea ice. It encourages young people to ask questions and find solutions to protect marine habitats from the ravages of climate change.
This Ocean Education unit is designed to inform Canadian youth about the value of marine ecosystems, the impacts of climate change on aquatic wildlife and habitats, and the need to conserve them. It is:
- packed with classroom-ready resource sheets and learning activities that communicate fundamental concepts through a student- centred, hands-on approach;
- linked thematically with the Common Framework of Science Learning Outcomes (Pan-Canadian Protocol for Collaboration on School Curriculum) and suitable for use with K to 12 students; and
- compatible with a wide variety of school subjects, including art, biology, oceanography, health, earth science, environmental science, geography, language arts, math, physics, and social studies.
How to Use This Package
These guidelines provide a suggested approach to teaching a unit on oceans and climate change. Feel free to choose from among the lessons and resources included in this kit and use them in ways that best meet your needs.
Assign these resource sheets to students as homework or as a classroom reading assignment:
Proceed to Lesson 1:
- Lesson 1: Weighing the Evidence
On the basis of the reading and Lesson 1, hold a class discussion on climate change, its impacts on ocean life and habitat, and the need for people to become aware and address this ecological crisis.
Complete Lessons 2 to 4:
Once your class has fully explored the issues and concepts covered in the unit, proceed to Lesson 5, where your students will consolidate the knowledge they have gained thus far:
- Lesson 5: Climate Connections
Follow up the unit by tackling new ocean action initiatives!
General Learning Outcomes
- discover the importance of climatic health in the survival of ocean life;
- recognize that marine life depends on habitat, including food, water, shelter, and space;
- get acquainted with a variety of aquatic species and spaces threatened by climate change;
- realize the distinction between global warming and climate change;
- appreciate how everyday human activities can help or harm climate;
- understand the potential impacts of climate change on biological diversity;
- nurture a sense of responsible stewardship toward the Earth’s oceans and the global climate; and
- develop insight by observing ecological indicators of climate change.