One or two classes
Students will appreciate how the decision making process is affected by the limitations and possibilities of the environment, economics (with its costs and benefits) and culture (with its values, beliefs, and ideas).
Saskatchewan: Social Studies 30 - Unit 2 Economic Development
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
- compile facts from a variety of resources to support a position;
- prepare a summary that captures their position and reasons for taking that position;
- compare and contrast opposing positions while making a decision or judgement;
- critically assess resources and materials for validity and bias.
Students assume a role and then carry out research, summarize their findings and defend a position in relation to a notice to expand local forestry operations in a community located in the boreal forest area of Saskatchewan. Students must consider the impact of such a decision for the community and create a recommendation on whether or not to expand forestry operations to submit to the provincial government.
Enter the classroom as the mayor of a town who is addressing their community at an emergency meeting.
Describe the latest meeting/ correspondence with representatives from the multi-national foreign-controlled corporation that owns the local mill and pulp and paper plant. Present the situation using the following prompt:
Our community, located here on the southern edge of the boreal forest area of Saskatchewan, has been notified about an expansion of the local saw mill and pulp and paper plant in order for Treez Inc to meet an increased need for their forestry products in the global marketplace. In order to increase capacity for their operations, they will need to expand their present harvesting sites and their mill and plant operations.
Representatives from Treez Inc will be in town next week. They have requested a town hall forum where they can present their proposal in more detail, and they can hear questions and concerns from the stakeholders in the area before they make a decision and finalize their expansion plans.
In order to ensure that all who want to present can do so in a timely fashion, each presenter is asked to prepare a brief 2-3 minute presentation along with a one page brief that summarizes their position and the reasons for it. These will be shared with all in attendance at the town hall forum.
Help facilitate the research of each position. This may involve locating and making available a few key resources that each role may find useful as a starting place. It may also involve helping students partner with like-minded roles to share information or to establish alliances.
The town hall meeting is held with the “mayor” facilitating the meeting.
Facilitate a discussion/debrief of the presentations in the role of the mayor and help the group reach a consensus and recommendation about the planned expansion to submit to the provincial government.
Students are given role cards with descriptors of who they are in the community (could include any of these):
- Multi-national corporate executive(s)
- Aboriginal Elder(s)
- Unemployed youth in the community
- Wildlife association member(s)
- Conservation officer(s)
- Forest Products Association of Canada representative(s)
- Local forestry worker(s)
- Regional economic development officer(s)
- Local Member of Legislative Assembly
- Local Member of Parliament
- Environmental group Advocate(s)
- Owner of locally owned mill/plant in neighbouring town
- Local residential owners closest to planned expansion
- Local business owner(s)
Take a position on the issue.
Conduct research using the Town Hall Forum Research Summary Guide handout as a tool.
Prepare a summary brief.
Prepare a presentation for the town hall meeting. This may take the form of a multi-media slide show or short speech.
Present at the town hall meeting.
Take notes from other presentations using the Town Hall Forum Presentation Summary Guide handout.
Prepare a written community response to Treez Inc that provides a final cumulative response and the reasons for it.
- Write letters to the editor from a designated point of view to give an opinion on the company's final decision.
- Students could participate in a mock news/radio show interview after the town hall meeting to explain their position and decision.