Grade 9 and Grade 10
Teachers should be able to conduct the lesson in one or two classes.
Students will research the features of the global boreal forest, and consider whether or not to include this region in the World Wildlife Fund's Priority Places.
Yukon (British Columbia curriculum), Social Studies 9 and Social Studies 10
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
- evaluate attitudes and practices in resource development and their impact on contemporary resource management;
- plan and conduct using secondary print and non-print sources, including electronic sources;
- plan, revise, and deliver formal presentations that integrate a variety of media.
In this lesson, students investigate features of the global boreal forest and the criteria required to be considered as a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Priority Place. Students will decide if the global boreal forest region should be protected as a Priority Place. Students will present their findings in a position paper, poster or presentation.
Begin by having students define the following terms:
- WWF (World Wildlife Fund)
Often students view these terms through the lens of species protection; encourage students to consider these terms in response to the environment.
Introduce the idea of a Priority Place.
Here is the WWF description of a Priority Place:
“We can conserve most of life on Earth by protecting the most exceptional ecosystems and habitats. Places that are particularly rich in biodiversity. Places with unique animals and plants. Places like no other.”
2020 Priority Places Goal:
By 2020, biodiversity is protected and well managed in the world’s most outstanding natural places.
Ask students if they can correctly locate and identify the 19 WWF priority places. Go to the World Wildlife Fund’s website to introduce the 19 Priority Places.
Distribute the Priority Places Activity and discuss it with students. Ask students to complete the organizer and questions.
Introduce the global boreal forest as a new region to be investigated and present the question: “Should the global boreal forest become the 20th Priority Place to be protected?”
Distribute the Boreal Forest Research Activity. Review the instructions. Depending on access to the internet, ask students to conduct research online or with printed material provided by the teacher. Use the Canadian Atlas Online Future of Forestry theme, The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, Parks Canada or Canadian Encyclopedia websites as the main sources for student research.
Ask students to record their research findings on the Boreal Forest Research Activity. Indicate the ways that the global boreal forest meets the requirements to be designated as a Priority Place and the ways that it does not.
Use research findings to create a research paper, poster or presentation in support of or against the global boreal forest becoming a Priority Place.
Have students present their posters and presentations. In the case of research papers, ask students to provide a short, 150-word abstract of their position in small groups or before the class.
Students will define words individually, in pairs, or as a class.
Students should consider how their definitions change when considering these words in relation to places instead of species.
Activate prior knowledge by trying to name the 19 places before they are revealed.
Complete the Priority Places Activity.
Research the boreal forest and record findings on the Boreal Forest Research Activity.
Decide if the boreal forest should become the 20th WWF Priority Place.
Choose between a poster, presentation or research paper to present research findings.
Present the poster or presentation to the class. In the case of a research paper, present a short 150-word abstract to peers before submitting it for assessment.
Encourage students to present their findings and positions in a letter to their MP asking them to champion the protection of the boreal forest.
Students could send letters of support for the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) to MPs recommending that the federal government continue to support the CBFA as a fist step in global boreal forest management and biodiversity conservation.