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Ontario - Grade 9

Manitoba – Senior 2

Wildlife in an Urban World

Learning object

Wildlife migrations of North America

Lesson overview

Students will hear a message about protecting wildlife in urban areas and will keep this message in mind when examining a map of North American migration routes. Students will select an urban wildlife species, or other species currently affected by urbanization, and investigate the effects of urbanization or industrialization on the species. Students will share their findings through a creative presentation at a class conference.

Grade level

Senior 2

Time required

60 minutes, plus additional time for research, project preparation and presentations

Curriculum connections

Manitoba, Senior 2 Social Studies: Geographic Issues of the 21st Century

Cluster 1: Geographic Literacy

1.1 What is Geography?

1.5 Why Care?

Cluster 5: Urban Places

5.3 Environmental and Economic Issues

5.4 The Impact of Urbanization

Additional resources, materials and equipment required

  • Computer and projector

  • Video “Urban Wildlife” (60 seconds) found on the Hinterland Who’s Who channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/HinterlandWW?blend=11&ob=video-mustangbase#p/c/D3259E47B8B83DB9/16/pFuuACZlAJA

  • Urban Wildlife list at http://www.hww.ca/en/species/urban-wildlife/

  • Canadian Geographic’s Return to the Wild http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/wildlife-nature/

  • Assignment handout (attached)

  • Texts, media and/or computers and internet access for student research

  • Computer and projector, TV and DVD player, or other electronic items required by students for presentations

  • Chart paper and pens or chalkboard or interactive whiteboard

Main objective

The main objective of this lesson is for students to recognize the impact of urbanization and land development on wildlife. Students will research these relationships and share their findings with the class to invoke respect for the environment and stewardship of all species.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe how urbanization effects the habitat, populations, migration patterns and other features of wildlife

  • Create a presentation that displays and describes the features of a species and how that species is affected by urbanization

  • Synthesize information to develop actions that can be taken to reduce the impact of urbanization on wildlife

Teacher activity

Student activity


Begin with a video from Hinterland Who’s Who to introduce the topic of urban wildlife. Ask students to describe the message of the video.

With the message from video in mind, show the Learning Object. Ask students to describe what they see on the map. If using a poster version, invite students one at a time to the front to look and share. Listen for comments about the colours, animal diagrams, smaller maps, arrows and directions, geographic area, migration routes, endangered species, urbanization and information from paragraphs. Ask students what the message of the poster is.
Ensure students know the definition of ‘urbanization.’ Ask students what animals they see in their own city and neighbourhoods. What is their relationship with these animals?

Students will watch video and think about the message. They will then share their ideas with the class.

Students will examine the Learning Object and share what they see on the poster map while considering the message from the video. They will express the message of the poster map.

Have students define ‘urbanization’ in their own words. They will describe the animals they see in their neighbourhood and their relationship with them. Be sure they provide examples.

Lesson development

Ask students how urbanization affects wildlife. Students may suggest issues such as: loss of habitat and food, animals living closer to us, finding new habitats in cities, preying on domestic animals or domestic animals preying on wildlife, endangered and extinct animals and plants, loss of migration routes, invasive species, traveling with humans (on ships across oceans, for example) or spread of diseases.

Individually or in pairs, students will select an urban wildlife species, or any species presently affected by urbanization or land development. They may choose their own or select one from the Hinterland Who’s Who website: http://hww.ca/en/species/urban-wildlife/ (which is also a good place to begin research).

Students will prepare a presentation for the ‘Canadian Conservationists Conference,’ which will be held in class. Encourage students to be creative, while ensuring they have covered all necessary information as found on the assignment handout.

Hold the ‘Canadian Conservationists Conference.’ Students may display their visual presentations around the class for other students to view or present their skit or digital presentation to the class.

Students will participate in discussion of how urbanization affects wildlife. Have students provide examples from their own lives.

If applicable, students will select a partner. In partners they will choose an urban wildlife species, or a species that is currently affected by urbanization.

Students will research the necessary facts about their selected species and use this information to make a creative presentation that will raise awareness for their species.
All students will participate in the conference by sharing their presentation with the class. They will be respectful during the presentations of others.


Gather as a class to reflect on the presentations. Ask students to share anything they’ve learned or found interesting.

As a group, create a list of steps the class can take to keep urban wildlife and all species safe in the face of urbanization.

Encourage students to reflect on the presentations and share anything they found interesting.

Additionally, students will contribute ideas of actions the class can take to keep urban and all wildlife safe.

Lesson extension
  • Research local urbanization projects and land developments and explore the species of animals and plants that could be affected. Write a letter to your MP or the company heading the project to voice concern over the negative effects the development could have on local species.

  • Gain awareness of issues and spread knowledge to others by becoming involved with an age-appropriate local or global organization which helps prevent the loss of habitat and promotes the safety of species.

  • Track the migration of a species with http://www.learner.org/jnorth/ or a similar website.

Assessment of student learning

Students can be assessed for knowledge of concepts and communication of ideas expressed during discussions. Media presentations should be evaluated based on understanding of concepts and inclusion of accurate facts. All required information should be present in the project, including a bibliography. Students can also be evaluated based on their ability to communicate for the purpose of sharing academic information and raising awareness of an environmental issue. Media presentation can be assessed based on media literacy, visual art or music curriculum expectations.

Further reading

Canadian Wildlife Federation


Environment Canada


Nature Canada


Ducks Unlimited Canada – Preserving Canada’s Wetlands: http://www.ducks.ca/resource/education/index.php

Hinterland Who’s Who – Things you can do


EcoSource – Growing a green community


Link to Canadian National Standards for Geography

Geographic Skills:

  • Systematically locate and gather geographic information from a variety of primary and secondary sources.

  • Make inferences and draw conclusions from maps and other geographic representations.

Six essential elements:

1. The World in Spatial terms

  • Map, globe and atlas use

2. Places and Regions

  • Physical and human processes shape places and regions

  • Changes in places and regions over time

  • Critical issues and problems of places and regions

  • Regional analysis of geographic issues and questions

3. Physical Systems

  • World patterns of biodiversity

4. Human Systems

  • Impact of human migration

  • Changes in human settlement patterns over time

5. Environment and Society

  • Global effects of human modification of the physical environment

  • Use and sustainability of resources

  • Environmental issues

Protecting Wildlife in an Urban World

Canadian Conservationists Conference

On _______________________________our class will be hosting the annual Canadian Conservationists Conference. At this conference, you will share your findings on the species of your choice with your colleagues in the form of a media presentation. The species you select must either be an ‘urban wildlife’ species, or a species currently affected by urbanization or land development. You may find inspiration from the list at http://hww.ca/en/species/urban-wildlife/.

The goal of your media presentation is to provide a description of your selected species, and raise awareness of the impacts of urbanization or land development facing that species.

You are encouraged to be creative with your presentation – make a statement! You may create a visual display, poster, powerpoint presentation, website, blog, wiki, commercial, news broadcast, song or interview. If you have another idea – that’s great! Just check with your teacher first.

This is the information that must be included in your media presentation:

  1. Physical description of the species

  2. Description of its natural habitat and new habitats the species has become accustomed to

  3. Natural diet of the species, where the food is found and any new items of food the species has been observed eating

  4. Breeding habits of the species

  5. The range of the species (where the species can be found geographically)

  6. Migration routes and patterns

  7. Population trends and if the species is endangered

  8. Threats to the species and its habitat (at least five)

  9. Conservation programs in place to maintain species’ population

  10. Actions we can take to help protect the species

Remember to use reliable sources and include a bibliography.

We look forward to your presentation!

Share ing jaringan sosial


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