Science 7 Lesson Plans

Lesson #1: Natural Resources 

Grade 7: Social Studies 

Time: 60-75 Minutes 

Learning Objective: Students will be able to define natural resources, explain the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources, and specify the role natural resources plays in our country’s economy 

Outcomes and Indicators: 

RW7.3 Assess the ecological stewardship of economies of Canada and the circumpolar and Pacific Rim countries. 

  • Define the word “sustainable”, and discriminate between the concepts of sustainable and unsustainable as they apply to resources and industry. 
  • Examine the sustainability of the economies of a selection of circumpolar and Pacific Rim countries, and propose practices which might increase the level of sustainability. 

RW7.2 Investigate the influence of resources upon economic conditions of peoples in circumpolar and Pacific Rim countries. 

  • Formulate a definition of a natural resource, and differentiate between renewable and non-renewable resources. 
  • Correlate the presence of resources and industries to the gross national product of circumpolar and Pacific Rim countries. 


Content Background: 

Resources are those aspects of the natural environment that humans value and from which we produce goods and services. This definition demonstrates that, although natural resources originate in the natural environment, they are in a very real sense “created” by humans. Human values and abilities determine which parts of the environment societies use and benefit from. Resource and environmental systems are highly interconnected and both continually change in character. Change is usually accelerated by human use. Because of the interconnections, impacts beyond the particular resource being used are common. In fact, use of some resources may preclude use of others. Human decisions, as well as natural processes, cause resources to change over time (see Biogeography). These changes may decrease or increase resource supply and may be rapid or slow. 

Resources may be classified according to various criteria, including both information and availability, and the temporal, spatial and ownership characteristics. 

Information and Availability 

Three general classes of resources (potential, conditional and current) are distinguished on the basis of information known about them and their availability. A potential resource is one which is only thought to exist (i.e., positive information is still lacking); a conditional resource is known to exist but its availability for use depends upon a number of conditions; a current resource has met all conditions and is in use and yielding benefits. Progression of a resource from potential to current status occurs as information about it increases and as preproduction conditions are met. This transformation may take a long time and, until it is complete, few benefits flow to society. For example, initial information from geological and geophysical surveying may indicate that a particular area has mineral potential. More information may suggest that a deposit exists, and further elaborate and expensive exploration may confirm the deposit. A potential resource has become a conditional one. Additional information is needed to determine the extent and quality of the deposit; then other specific conditions must be met before production can begin. 

The first condition is that suitable technology is available to produce and process the mineral in marketable form. Next, a decision must be made as to whether production is economically feasible, i.e., whether economic benefits outweigh costs sufficiently to warrant financial risks. At this stage, production, processing and transport costs are assessed in relation to the expected market price. Political and legal conditions must also be met. These arise from nonmarket concerns and the relative importance different governments place upon them. 

Recent concerns have included environmental degradation, health hazards and financial returns to governments (see Social Impact Assessment). If these conditions are fulfilled, production may commence, thus creating a current resource. The process is reversible. The resource will revert from current to conditional status if preproduction conditions change sufficiently to make use no longer feasible. 

Temporal Characteristics 

Resources that regenerate in short periods of time (e.g., months, years, decades) or that are characterized by repeated occurrence are classed as renewable. Water, plants and animals are generally considered renewable resources; their regenerative capabilities are measured in months for water supply, years for animal stocks and decades for forest stands. These varied time periods pose different management problems for users. 

Furthermore, the regenerative capacity of some renewable resources can be partially or completely removed by changes in habitat (e.g., fish, as the result of water pollution), harvesting to the point of extinction (e.g., overhunting of game species) or habitat destruction resulting from poor harvesting techniques (e.g., erosion caused by the overcutting of a forest). 

Most renewable energy resources rely upon atmospheric processes that occur repeatedly but are subject to cycles and periodical changes; thus, the potential for regeneration is not always met. Solar radiation, for example, is “renewable” in the sense that, except at very high latitudes, the sun rises and sets daily, but direct solar radiation is available only intermittently, between night and day and between cloudy and clear periods. Similarly, wind blows only intermittently. Thus, although these two resources occur repeatedly and are thus attractive as potential energy sources, they pose management problems (see Solar EnergyWind Energy). 

The great advantage of renewable resources is that they can yield continual benefits if managed properly, a process requiring a high degree of knowledge of life cycles, controlled harvesting and habitat protection. For example, once an oceanic fish stock is discovered, data must be obtained about its size and life cycle and the distance over which it moves, although the information-gathering process is difficult and time consuming. Such information is necessary because fish are mobile and are regarded as common property, and therefore catch limits are needed to ensure the stock’s ability to reproduce itself. Establishment of some limits requires detailed information on population dynamics, movement patterns and habitat characteristics. Poor management can convert a renewable resource to non-renewable status, or can necessitate intensive rehabilitation efforts. 

Non-renewable resources are those that cannot be regenerated in a human life span. Minerals are the best example of this class, but there are others. Land, for example, is not used consumptively as minerals are, but on balance the land area of Canada is not likely to be increased, except for possible reclamation of wetlands. Soil is also non-renewable in that it forms slowly and some uses are consumptive (e.g., when it is removed to make way for buildings or transportation facilities). When managed well, soil can sustain biomass production for long periods. 

The natural-resource base of Saskatchewan consists of the largest area of high-quality agricultural land in Canada, extensive and productive wildlife habitat (particularly for waterfowl), major deposits of potash and uranium, and significant supplies of petroleum and coal. Saskatchewan is Canada’s primary wheat-growing area and a major producer of other grains and field crops. 

Boreal and mixed forest areas provide a modest forest resource. After 1962 Saskatchewan became the world’s largest exporter and second-largest producer of potash. Large uranium resources in northern areas make the province the second-largest producer in Canada, while in the S strip-mined lignite coal is used extensively for thermal-power generation. Saskatchewan shares with Alberta a portion of the Lloydminster heavy and conventional oil fields. 


Processes Developed: 

Classifying and Organizing 

Students have to classify resources as either renewable and non-renewable and organize them into a chart. 


Adaptive Dimension: 

-Information sheet will be handed out alongside the PowerPoint and video during class so the students who prefer to have notes in front of them while learning do.  

-To change this activity into something the entire class can do as a class, hang posters around the room that students can write their renewable and non-renewable resources on instead of doing it at their desk. 


Cross Curricular Competencies and STSE Connections: 

-Developing identity and interdependence 

-Understand and value social, economic, and environmental interdependence and sustainability 

-Evaluate the possible consequences of a course of action on self, others, and the environment in a particular situation 

-Covers society and environment 


Interdisciplinary Connections: 

Grade 7 Science – Earth’s Crust and Resources 


Prerequisite Learning: 

-Minimal, general information about ecosystems 



-Natural Resources Match and Mix worksheet 

-Non-Renewable Versus Renewable Energy worksheet 

-Renewable Energy worksheet (all three found at ) 

-paper and pencils 

-coloring material (pencil crayons, markers, etc.) 


Advanced Preparation: 

-Ensure all worksheets are printed out 

-Have PowerPoint with resource information prepared for class 

-Have examples of non-renewable and renewable resources on hand for struggling students 


Lesson Procedure: 


Set: 10 Minutes 

-Ask the class to explain what the word energy means. After some discussion, explain that energy refers to the power created by the use of resources. 

-Prompt the class to guess what the word renewable means. Explain that renewable refers to something that can be replaced. 

-Ask for a volunteer to tell you what the word non-renewable means, based on the use of the prefix non. If no one correctly defines it, explain that non-renewable refers to something that can’t be replaced. 

-After class discussion, show slideshow with info from 


Development: 45 Minutes 

-Pass out a copy of the Renewable Versus Non-Renewable worksheet to each student. 

-Review the worksheet as a class, explaining why each example is renewable or non-renewable. Encourage your class to come up with their own reasons as to why each source of energy is renewable or non-renewable. 

-Once several students have shared their input, explain to the class why each type of energy is classified the way it is. For example: Solar energy is renewable since it comes from the sun. The sun provides energy every day for all living things, and it is inexhaustible. Petroleum is non-renewable, since there is a limited supply of it left on Earth. We use a lot of petroleum every day, in factories, in cars, and to heat our homes. 

-Pair off students in groups of two, either assigning each a partner or asking them to find a partner to work with. 

-Assign each pair the Natural Resources Match and Mix worksheet to complete together. 

-Review the worksheet as a class. 

-Ask your students to complete the Renewable Energy worksheet independently. As students work, walk around the class to answer questions and guide students toward the answers they’re looking for through use of examples. 

-Once everyone has finished, review the worksheet as a class. 


Closure: 15 Minutes 

-Ask your students to share ways they use renewable energy every day. Great answers include: drinking watertaking a shower, and riding a bicycle. 

-Invite the class to share ways they use non-renewable energy each day. Great answers include: heating their homeriding in a car, and cooking dinner. 

-As an exit slip, have the class write and draw one renewable resource and one non-renewable resource on a piece of drawing paper 



-For advanced students, ask them to think of ten actions they do every day that requires either renewable or non-renewable energy. Have them write three complete sentences for each action. The first sentence should describe the action. The second sentence should describe the resources required to complete the action. The third sentence should state whether the energy used is renewable or non-renewable. An example could be drinking water as the action, water as the resource required and renewable as the energy required. Explain to your students that some actions may require both energies. 

-For struggling students, review the Renewable Versus Non-Renewable worksheet. Describe some other examples of renewable and non-renewable resources. Ask your students to draw two columns in their notebooks or on a sheet of paper, and label the columns Renewable and Non-renewable. Ask them to write the examples you discussed in the appropriate column. 



-Collect all worksheets and exit slip for assessment (see Closure) 


Lesson #5: Plate Tectonic Theory 


Grade 7: Science 


Time: Multiple Class Periods 


Learning Objective: Students will be able to explain and demonstrate the broader ideas of Plate Tectonic Theory and relate that information to their previous knowledge about the Earth’s crust. 


Outcomes and Indicators: 

EC7.1 Analyze societal and environmental impacts of historical and current catastrophic geological events, and scientific understanding of movements and forces within Earth’s crust. 

  • Trace the development of plate tectonics theory as an explanation for movement of Earth’s lithosphere in light of new geological evidence, including knowledge of tectonic plates and movement at plate boundaries. 
  • Provide examples of past theories and ideas, including cultural mythology, that explain geological phenomena such as volcanic activity, earthquakes, and mountain building. 
  • Create models or simulations of the processes of mountain formation and the folding and faulting of Earth’s surface, including movements at diverging, converging, and transform plate boundaries. 

Content Background: 

From the deepest ocean trench to the tallest mountain, plate tectonics explains the features and movement of Earth’s surface in the present and the past. 

Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth’s outer shell is divided into several plates that glide over the mantle, the rocky inner layer above the core. The plates act like a hard and rigid shell compared to Earth’s mantle. This strong outer layer is called the lithosphere, which is 100 km (60 miles) thick, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The lithosphere includes the crust and outer part of the mantle. Below the lithosphere is the asthenosphere, which is malleable or partially malleable, allowing the lithosphere to move around. How it moves around is an evolving idea. 


Developed from the 1950s through the 1970s, plate tectonics is the modern version of continental drift, a theory first proposed by scientist Alfred Wegener in 1912. Wegener didn’t have an explanation for how continents could move around the planet, but researchers do now. Plate tectonics is the unifying theory of geology, said Nicholas van der Elst, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. 

“Before plate tectonics, people had to come up with explanations of the geologic features in their region that were unique to that particular region,” Van der Elst said. “Plate tectonics unified all these descriptions and said that you should be able to describe all geologic features as though driven by the relative motion of these tectonic plates.” 

How many plates are there? 

There are nine major plates, according to World Atlas. These plates are named after the landforms found on them. The nine major plates are North American, Pacific, Eurasian, African, Indo-Australian, Australian, Indian, South American and Antarctic.  

The largest plate is the Pacific Plate at 39,768,522 square miles (103,000,000 square kilometers). Most of it is located under the ocean. It is moving northwest at a speed of around 2.75 inches (7 cm) per year. 

There are also many smaller plates throughout the world.  

How plate tectonics works 

The driving force behind plate tectonics is convection in the mantle. Hot material near the Earth’s core rises, and colder mantle rock sinks. “It’s kind of like a pot boiling on a stove,” Van der Elst said. The convection drive plates tectonics through a combination of pushing and spreading apart at mid-ocean ridges and pulling and sinking downward at subduction zones, researchers think. Scientists continue to study and debate the mechanisms that move the plates. 

Mid-ocean ridges are gaps between tectonic plates that mantle the Earth like seams on a baseball. Hot magma wells up at the ridges, forming new ocean crust and shoving the plates apart. At subduction zones, two tectonic plates meet and one slides beneath the other back into the mantle, the layer underneath the crust. The cold, sinking plate pulls the crust behind it downward. Many spectacular volcanoes are found along subduction zones, such as the “Ring of Fire” that surrounds the Pacific Ocean. 

Plate boundaries 

Subduction zones, or convergent margins, are one of the three types of plate boundaries. The others are divergent and transform margins. 

At a divergent margin, two plates are spreading apart, as at seafloor-spreading ridges or continental rift zones such as the East Africa Rift. 

Transform margins mark slip-sliding plates, such as California’s San Andreas Fault, where the North America and Pacific plates grind past each other with a mostly horizontal motion.  

Reconstructing the past 

While the Earth is 4.54 billion years old, because oceanic crust is constantly recycled at subduction zones, the oldest seafloor is only about 200 million years old. The oldest ocean rocks are found in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Fragments of continental crust are much older, with large chunks at least 3.8 billion years found in Greenland. 

With clues left behind in rocks and fossils, geoscientists can reconstruct the past history of Earth’s continents. Most researchers think modern plate tectonics began about 3 billion years ago, based on ancient magmas and minerals preserved in rocks from that period. Some believe it could have started a billion years after Earth’s birth, at around 3.5 billion years. 

“We don’t really know when plate tectonics as it looks today got started, but we do know that we have continental crust that was likely scraped off a down-going slab [a tectonic plate in a subduction zone] that is 3.8 billion years old,” Van der Elst said. “We could guess that means plate tectonics was operating, but it might have looked very different from today.” 

As the continents jostle around the Earth, they occasionally come together to form giant supercontinents, a single landmass. One of the earliest big supercontinents, called Rodinia, assembled about 1 billion years ago. Its breakup is linked to a global glaciation called Snowball Earth. 

A more recent supercontinent called Pangaea formed about 300 million years ago. Africa, South America, North America and Europe nestled closely together, leaving a characteristic pattern of fossils and rocks for geologists to decipher once Pangaea broke apart. The puzzle pieces left behind by Pangaea, from fossils to the matching shorelines along the Atlantic Ocean, provided the first hints that the Earth’s continents move. 

Plates bumping into each other can also cause mountain ranges. For example, India and Asia came together about 55 million years ago, which created the Himalaya Mountains, according to National Geographic. 


Processes Developed: 

Predicting, Designing, and Experimenting 

Students will have to make predictions when designing their building to withstand earthquakes. The trial we eventually put the buildings through is the experiment. 


Adaptive Dimensions: 

-Multiple class periods to construct building, but students can work on it outside of class if they like 

-Intended to be done in partners, but can form small groups if preferred 


Cross Curricular Competencies and STSE Connections: 

-developing thinking 

-thinking and learning contextually, creatively, and critically 

-Show curiosity and interest in the world, new experiences, materials, and puzzling or surprising events 

-Covers science and technology 


Interdisciplinary Learning: 

Grade 7 – Arts Education 


Materials: (for each group) 

-1 cardboard base (approximately 25cm by 25cm) 

-30 straws 

-100 paper clips 

-20 pins 

-2 meters of string 


Advanced Preparation: 

-have video ready to go and decide if you will watch the entire thing or just a section of it 

-if you are just watching a section of it, have that timestamp ready 

-have materials divided into groups and ready to hand out 

-even though the whole point of the assignment is that students only get the above listed materials and nothing else, have extras on hand just incase 

-have enough copies of Earthquake Tower Challenge info sheets printed out for each group 



Set: 10-20 Minutes 

-Introduce the topic of earthquakes and tectonic plates 

-show this Bill Nye video (brief clip or whole episode if you have the time): 


Development: Initial 30 Minutes and then multiple work periods 

-Tell students that their task for this assignment is to design a new 2-story art building that can support at least 250 grams and withstand both large and small earthquakes (just shaking the table at various intensities) 

-Tell students to find a partner and hand out the assignment information sheet (found on next page) 

-Give them the rest of the class period to begin planning with their partner and maybe start on their construction blueprints with analysis (due before earthquake test) 


Closure: <5 Minutes 

-tell them that they will have 2(?) class periods (about 45 minutes each) to complete their towers before the earthquake test 

-remind them of requirements  



-Show struggling students pictures and video examples of other towers (lots of examples on the internet) 

-Challenge advanced students to design their tower to withstand a greater amount of weight than required 



-Assignment is designed as a competition, but marks will come from design, effort, and creativity rather than who comes in first 

-See points system on Earthquake Tower Challenge sheet 


Lesson #6: Rocks vs. Minerals 

Grade 7: Science 

Time: 45 – 60 Minutes 

Learning Objective: Students will be able to distinguish between rocks and minerals, determine which minerals are most common in Saskatchewan, and why these materials are important in our everyday lives. 

Outcomes and Indicators: 

EC7.2: Identify locations and processes used to extract Earth’s geological resources and examine the impacts of those locations and processes on society and the environment. 

  • Distinguish between rocks and minerals using physical samples, pictures, and/or video recordings and identify the minerals most often found in rocks in Saskatchewan and around the world (e.g., quartz, calcite, feldspar, mica, hornblende). 
  • Classify rocks and minerals based on physical properties such as colour, hardness, cleavage, lustre, and streak. 
  • Identify locations of Saskatchewan’s primary mineral resources (e.g., potash, gold, diamond, salt, uranium, copper, and graphite) and their primary uses. 
  • Identify uses for rocks and minerals, such as healing, recuperative powers, and ceremonies, which include ideas not explained by science. 

Content Background: 

A mineral is a solid formation that occurs naturally in the earth while a rock is a solid combination of more than one mineral formations which is also occurring naturally.
A mineral has a unique chemical composition and is necessarily defined by its crystalline structure and shape. On the other hand, since a rock can be composed of several minerals it is classified according to the process of its formation. A rock can also contain organic remains and mineraloids apart from regular mineral formations. There are some rocks that may include just one mineral formation though.
The commercial value of minerals is immense and rocks are mined to extract these minerals. Such rocks are known as ores and the residue of the rock after the mineral has been extracted is called tailing.
The classification of rocks also depends on their mineral and chemical composition, texture and the process of formation. Rocks are therefore classified as igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. A rock cycle defines how one rock form changes to another. For example, a sedimentary rock form is limestone that is composed only of the mineral calcite. 

Main rocks on earth contain minerals like magnetite, quartz, feldspar, mica, epidote etc. But more than half of the mineral types classified in geological studies are considered rare. Igneous rocks are formed when molten lava solidifies after a volcanic eruption and is known to be rich in the mineral granite.
Sedimentary rocks are formed when deposition of organic matter, chemical precipitates etc takes place. These usually contain minerals like shale, siltstone, sandstone, etc. The metamorphic rocks are formed by the transformation of one rock type to another. No such process is applicable to minerals.
Rocks have great cultural, commercial and social value only because of the mineral present in them. Rocks are also used to establish dates of various civilizations that have existed on earth. 

Although there may be many differences between rocks and minerals, there are only a few similarities between them. Rocks as well as minerals are found in the Earth’s crust (the outer layer of the Earth). Another similarity between the two is that rocks as well as minerals both have commercial value. Rocks are important for the minerals they contain while minerals are used widely in all areas of the manufacturing industry. Finally, both rocks and minerals serve as raw materials in the industrial process for manufacturing products used for everyday purposes. 

There are several uses of rocks and minerals in the world today. Aluminum is used for making cans, containers and for appliances used in the home. Chromite is used for making chromed parts of automobiles. Ores of copper are used in making coins, jewelry, cooking utensils and wiring equipment used for electrical devices, televisions, computers, automobiles, etc. Halite, more commonly known as salt, is used in cooking and food preservation.
It is also used as a water softener and for de-icing on highways. Limestone is used as a component of cement which is used in the construction of homes, sidewalks, bridges and buildings. Fluorite find its uses in the production of hydrofluoric acid, but its main use is in toothpastes to help protect your teeth. Lead is used in making batteries and as a protective shield in the doctor’s office from X-rays.
Rocks and minerals are fascinating topics of study for both scientists and students. While their own characteristics define them, they are sort of like distant cousins – having some similarities but keeping within their own immediate families. 

  • Saskatchewan has the largesthigh gradereserves for both potash and uranium in the world
    • Saskatchewan has approximately half of world potash reserves and 8% of the world’s known recoverable uranium reserves.
    • Saskatchewan mineral production valued at $9.2 billion in 2011.
    • Saskatchewan has two producing gold mines that annually produce between 40,000 and 45,000 oz gold. The Seabee gold mine produced over 1,000,000 ounces of gold by the end of 2012.
    • Saskatchewan coal, mined in Estevan, Bienfait and Coronach, represents the primary source of energy
    in Saskatchewan, accounting for over about 40% of the province’s available power capacity and the majority of its base load capacity.
    • The Cameco operated McArthur River mine is the world’s largest uranium mine. It accounts for 14% of global uranium production in 2010.
    • The world’s largest potash mine is The Mosaic Esterhazy mine complex.
    • Saskatchewan produces over 85% of Canadian potash production.
    • Saskatchewan has a wealth of developing mineral resources, in addition to potash, uranium, gold and coal, including diamonds, platinum, palladium, rare earth elements, copper, zinc, nickel, sodium and potassium sulphates and mineralized brines.
    • Mining is a major benefactor to Saskatchewan’s economy by directly contributing over $1.5 billion in revenue to the provincial government. These revenues support government programs and services such as health care, education and infrastructure development.
    • Overall in 2008, mining (direct, indirect, and induced) accounted for $7.7 billion in GDP or 12% of the total Saskatchewan economy.
    • Direct, indirect and induced mining employment accounted for 30,500 jobs or 6% of total employment, almost 1 in every 16 jobs with a payroll of $1.5 billion. 

Our lives are made more convenient by the resources we use throughout the day. Many of these resources are imported to Saskatchewan and Canada from other countries but some can be supplied by the province or country. Natural resources are materials occurring in nature that can be used for economic gain, i.e. made into consumer goods. Natural resources include plants (trees, crops), animals, fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas), and rocks and minerals. Canada’s natural resource industry is the backbone of our economy and among the most productive, high-tech sectors in the global economy. We use rocks and minerals for every conceivable purpose. Early humans used them for tools, weapons and building materials. Today, every product we use comes from plants, animals, minerals or fossil fuels, or combinations of them. By far the most common product source is minerals. Even products that are not made directly from minerals are manufactured using metal machines, and all metals are made from minerals. 

Process Development: 

Classifying, Organizing, and Recording. 

Students will have to classify which time of day each of their activities occur, organize their paper into three different categories, and then record their daily activities. 


Adaptive Dimension: 

-Pairing up students or prompting them to work in small groups to put together an accumulative list of items used throughout all their days can help students struggling to put together their own lists 

-Students could draw pictures of items used instead of writing them 

-If students seem like they are in the mood to move around the classroom, you could lay out three large pieces of poster paper around the room labeled morning, afternoon, and evening and instead have students contribute their personal items to each poster paper. This would create three huge lists from everyone in class that can be discussed as a group afterwards. 


Cross Curricular Competencies and STSE Connections: 

Understand and value social, economic, and environmental interdependence and sustainability. 

-Analyze how one’s thinking, choices, and behaviours affect living and non-living things, now and in the future 

-society and environment 


Interdisciplinary Connections: 

Social Studies 7 – Resources and Wealth 


Prerequisite Learning: 

-natural resource definition 

-different between renewable and non-renewable resources 

-Earth’s layers 



-paper and pencils/pens 

-printed out list of natural resources in common items 

-student question sheet and answer key 


Advance Preparation: 

-print out all sheets ahead of time 

-prepare slideshow about the difference between rocks and minerals and Saskatchewan mineral resources 

-(maybe) prepare a Kahoot quiz for after the slideshow 

-If you are adapting the lesson for movement, prepare poster paper in advance 


Lesson Procedure 

Set: 15 Minutes 

-Show slideshow on difference between rocks and minerals and Saskatchewan minerals 

-(maybe) do Kahoot 

-ask students what they think minerals are used to make 


Development: 20 Minutes 

-have students divide a piece of paper into three sections: morning, afternoon, and evening 

-have them write out what they would be doing at each point in the day 

-hand out the natural resources in everyday products sheets 

-prompt students to write down which products they would be using during each time of day and copy the minerals that are used to make each product 

-ask students to highlight the minerals on their sheet that are found in Saskatchewan 

-when everyone is complete, ask a few students to share an item or two from their list with the class 


Closure: 10 Minutes 

-Hand out the question sheet to each student and have them fill it out 

-discuss some of the answers with the class 



-For advanced students – Display everyday items and samples of the rocks and minerals they contain. Then separate these products from the corresponding resources, and see if students can match them again. 

-For struggling students or EAL students – create flashcards with everyday items that students can physically sort into morning, afternoon, and evening categories rather than writing them out 



-Are students schedule with materials filled out completely (3-4 items for each period of the day) 

-Question sheet filled out with accurate answers (answer sheet found at 


Lesson #9: Saskatchewan Resources 


Grade 7: Science 


Time: One longer class period (60-75 minutes) 


Learning Objective: Students will be able to describe the various natural resources that can be found in Saskatchewan and explain how these resources are harvested. Students will also try to determine less environmentally harmful ways in which these resources could be harvested. 

Outcomes and Indicators: 

EC7.2 Identify locations and processes used to extract Earth’s geological resources and examine the impacts of those locations and processes on society and the environment. 

  • Identify locations of Saskatchewan’s primary mineral resources (e.g., potash, gold, diamond, salt, uranium, copper, and graphite) and their primary uses. 
  • Relate processes used to extract primary mineral resources in Saskatchewan (e.g., open-pit mining, underground mining, and solution mining) to the location, type, and depth of the resource. 
  • Suggest solutions to economic and environmental issues related to the extraction of geological resources in Saskatchewan (e.g., managing mine tailings and pollutants; reclaiming open pit mining sites; ecological impact of pipelines; resource depletion; maintaining water quality; and increasing urbanization). 


Content Background: 

The natural-resource base of Saskatchewan consists of the largest area of high-quality agricultural land in Canada, extensive and productive wildlife habitat (particularly for waterfowl), major deposits of potash and uranium, and significant supplies of petroleum and coal. Saskatchewan is Canada’s primary wheat-growing area and a major producer of other grains and field crops. 

Boreal and mixed forest areas provide a modest forest resource. After 1962 Saskatchewan became the world’s largest exporter and second-largest producer of potash. Large uranium resources in northern areas make the province the second-largest producer in Canada, while in the S strip-mined lignite coal is used extensively for thermal-power generation. Saskatchewan shares with Alberta a portion of the Lloydminster heavy and conventional oil fields. 

-PDF of resource map of Saskatchewan 

The Poplar River Mine is a 7,488 Ha. surface strip mine located in South Central Saskatchewan near the Town of Coronach. The mine operates two active pits and supplies lignite coal to the two generating units at the Poplar River Generating Station which is owned and operated by Saskatchewan Power Corporation. The mine has been supplying coal to the station since 1978. 

Coal is uncovered using the two draglines (2 – BE 2570W). The exposed coal is hauled from the pits to a loadout and then railed 20 kilometres to the generating station. Current annual production of the mine is 3.3 million tonnes. The current coal supply contract for the mine expires in 2015. 

Poplar River Mine owns and operates the railway from the mine to the generating station. Work is underway to extend the existing coal contract for a 10 year period. 

Saskatchewan, in Canada’s prairies, relies on coal to fire up more than half of its electricity plants. This means that the province is struggling to comply with the federal environment ministry’s plans to phase out the black mineral. 

Officials in Regina seem to want incentives, though. This is why this week the local environment minister, Dustin Duncan, said he would like his federal counterpart, Catherine McKenna, to let Saskatchewan get credit for the carbon capture and storage system it has on one coal-fired power plant to offset the emissions from continuing to use at least one other plant without such a system after 2030. 

Duncan told the Canadian Press that several plants in the province would have to be retrofitted before 2030 to keep them operating, but there is one that won’t hit its 50-year lifespan until 2042. 

“My expectation is and certainly my interest is that the equivalency agreement, the wording, will be agreed to by the federal minister shortly, in the next couple of weeks,” he said to the news agency. 

Saskatchewan’s proposal, however, would go countercurrent to McKenna’s plan to never use coal again as fuel for power generation from 2030 onwards, an initiative that she launched this week in partnership with the United Kingdom at the 2017 United Nations climate change talks in Bonn, Germany. 

According to the Canadian minister, more economic opportunities would arise by switching from coal to less polluting technologies: “Coal is not coming back. The economic case is clear. The price of solar and wind has plummeted. Clean power is also increasingly the cheapest power,” she said. 


Processes Developed: 

Recording, Communicating, Designing, and Experimenting 

-Students will have to record experiment results, communicate with other groups, and will have to design (sort of) a method to extract their coal. 


Adaptive Dimensions: 

-questions and inquiries can be done as a group or solo 


Cross Curricular Competencies and STSE Connections: 

-developing thinking 

-thinking and earning contextually, creatively, and critically 

-developing literacy 

-express understanding and communicate meaning using various literacies. 

-developing Social Responsibility 

-engage in communitarian thinking and dialogue 

-science, technology, society, and environmental education are all covered in this lesson 


Interdisciplinary Connections: 

Science 7 – Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems 

-Analyze how ecosystems change in response to natural and human influences, and propose actions to reduce the impact of human behaviour on a specific ecosystem. 


Prerequisite Learning: 

-coal formation, harvesting, and uses 

-Earth’s layers 



-large, plastic basin 

-coarsely crushed charcoal briquettes 

-sand, silt, clay, and soil 

-grass seeds 

-small toy hand shovels 




-safety goggles (for crushing charcoal) 


Advanced Preparation: 

  1. Place a layer of clay or well-packed sand at the bottom of the plastic basin 
  1. Wrap some charcoal briquettes in a towel and crush them with a hammer. Be sure to wear your safety goggles. 
  1. Places a seam of coal (crushed charcoal briquettes) over top. 
  1. Place layers of sand, silt, and soil on top of the coal seam. 
  1. Plant grass seeds and water them. 
  1. Let the seeds grow for two weeks. 


Lesson Procedure: 

Set: 20 Minutes 

-remind students of the coal lesson they did at the beginning of the unit 

-briefly discuss Saskatchewan’s own coal harvesting 

-have students read “Coal – a Source of Many Things” from Digging Up and Processing Coal 


Development: 30 Minutes 

Split class into groups. Using the basins prepped beforehand: 

  1. Group one will extract the coal in whatever way they see fit using the toy shovels 
  1. Group two will extract the layers above the coal individually, carefully removing each and setting them in separate piles so that they do not become mixed. 
  1. Have group two remove the coal seam 
  1. If there are several sets of groups (depending on class size), have one group place their properly sequenced piles in the basin of another group two. This will simulate the return of different layers to previously mined pits. They must actually place the materials in the other group’s basin. 
  1. You must attempt to return the sequenced layers to their original state. 
  1. Have each group periodically observe how other groups are progressing and the means they use to extract and reclaim land. 


Closure: 20 Minutes 

-Students will answer the following questions with their group or by themselves: 

How difficult was it to extract the coal? 

What procedures were the most effective in removing the layers? The least effective? 

How did the controlled removal groups compare to uncontrolled groups? Were they better able to return the land to its original condition? 

What happened to the vegetation cover in each case? 

What suggestions can you make for environmentally friendly strip-mining procedures? 




Advanced students can answer the following questions in groups or by themselves: 

How costly is the process of land reclamation? 

Who should pay for the costs of land reclamation? 

What are some of the hazards of uncontrolled strip mining? 

What effect might erosion have on uncontrolled strip mining? 

Is it always ecologically sound to replace the vegetation destroyed by strip mining with the same species? 

What happens to the wildlife species that lived in the area while strip mining goes on? 

What can be done about sites that have not been restored but abandoned in the past? 


For struggling students or EAL students, show this video to supplement their learning: 



-Did everyone participate in the simulation? 

-Was each mandatory question filled out completely? 


Lesson #10: Saskatchewan Jobs 


Grade 7: Career Education 


Time: 2 Class Periods 


Learning Objective: Students will explore the various careers based in Saskatchewan involving resource extraction and explain which careers interest them the most. 


Outcomes and Indicators: 

EC7.2 Identify locations and processes used to extract Earth’s geological resources and examine the impacts of those locations and processes on society and the environment. 

  • Research Saskatchewan careers directly and indirectly related to resource exploration. 


Content Background: 

-All information necessary will be on printouts you hand to students, no periferal knowledge needed 


Processes Developed: 

Classifying, Planning, Designing, and Communication 

Students will classify themselves into categories for the lesson, plan on how they would get the career they are interested in, design a poster about that career, and will need to communicate with their partner or group to design said poster (if group work is encouraged). 


Adaptive Dimensions: 

-Partner or solo work 

-Poster can contain pictures for artistic kids or written words or phrases for those not comfortable with art 


Cross Curricular Competencies and STSE Connections: 

-Develops Identity and Interdependence 

-Connects to society 


Interdisciplinary Connections: 

Grade 7 – Arts Education 

Grade 7 – Science 


Prerequisite Learning: 

-Background info on resource extraction in Saskatchewan (previous lesson) 



-Information sheets and flashcards from 

-(optional) internet connection 

-can be with computers or on student’s phones 

-poster paper 

-markers and other art supplies 


Advanced Preparation: 

-Print out enough sheets for each group 

-have poster paper and enough arts supplies for students to make their posters 

-(optional) have students already divided into groups of about 4 



Set: 10 Minutes 

-Remind students about the previous lesson (resource extraction in Saskatchewan) 

-Say that we will be exploring Saskatchewan careers that have to do with resource extraction 

-Split students into groups of 2-4 


Development: 45 Minutes 

-Hand out copies of the Personality Profiles, Career List Cards, and Career description cards to each group 

Have students look at the Work Personality Profile Cards and determine which one or two personalities they think fit them.   

-Have students ask a friend which personality they think best fits.  

-Students then look at the Work Environment/ Minerals Industry Careers card for their chosen Personality Profile and look at the list of careers in the Minerals Industry Careers column.  

-Students will look at the career description cards that are available and choose one to review. Note: not all careers have descriptions and some Profiles have a limited number of careers listed in the Minerals Industry.  

-Have several students share descriptions of the various careers and required education for each Personality. 

-Have students choose their favorite career from their Personality Profile 

-Students will have to design a poster about that career 

-If there are students in the class with the same career, they can pair up to create their poster if they choose 

-Give them the rest of class today to work on their posters 

Posters must: 

-clearly display which career has been chosen 

-skills that go into the career 

-personality traits that work well with their career 

-communicate the chosen careers typical work environment (place) 

-any other creative ideas students feel is important to their chosen career 

-Can use pictures as well as words to create poster 


Closure: 5 Minutes 

-Students will have the next class period to complete their posters before they are presented to the class 

-presentations will cover above criteria as well as cover the Personality Profile that the presenter/presenters fell under when doing the initial exercise 

-Check with each group before the end of the first work period to make sure they have chosen a career and are on track to complete their poster next class 



-For advanced students, send them to 

To complete an additional career test 

-For struggling students, research different careers as a group online. Look at pictures and job descriptions as a group to start generating ideas together 



-Do posters display all previously outlined criteria? 

-Does the groups/individuals chosen career reflect their Personality Profile from the beginning of the lesson? 


ECS 311 Guest Sheet

Three Big Take Away’s: 

  1. Giving students something to care about in school through subjects that matter to them and assignments that give them a voice will naturally position them in a place where learning can happen painlessly 
  1. “When students lives are taken off the margins, they don’t feel the same need to put someone else down.” Not only does this quote, lifted directly from “Building Community in Chaos,” perfectly outline the importance of designing lessons and classroom environments to reach every student, regardless of the cultural, racial, sexual, or financial aspects that comprise the people they are, it also offers an important perspective on tensions that exist all over the world between people who are different. Understanding where people’s pain comes from and the things that make them act in sometimes unsavory ways lies at the root of building the community every good teacher strives to mold in their classroom. 
  1. Everybody in the world lives with an overwhelming capacity of hate and pain and anger that they must live with every day. To build a sense of community and foster a sense of love for one’s fellow person is to share this burden with one another and use it to connect on a deeper level rather than hide it from one another and hope that we can all look past it and somehow get along. 

Two Connections: 

  1. When I would learn about things like the plight of Canadian Indigenous people, the AMerican slave trade, or other such subjects regarding the oppression of people of different races in school, I never understood why any of it mattered to me now because they were things that happened “a long time ago.” I was never given enough context on these lessons for me to understand that these sorts of things have larger implications that still affect people today. The education I had never connected these lessons to my real, everyday life and, because of this, I feel I never was really able to understand the importance of historical events like these. 
  1. In a grade 2 class that I observed a little more than a year ago, the teacher would dedicate the first few minutes of class to a classroom discussion on current events affecting the local community or the world. Sometimes, the current events that students brought up could connect to certain lessons they were learning about currently, but most of the time these discussions just amounted to the class talking about these topics together. I now understand that that teacher was building a classroom community where students felt comfortable communicating with one another in a space where they felt they were heard. 

Bonus: The story of Daryl Davis, a black man who, for more than 30 years, has been building friendships with members of the Klu Klux Klan. Through his friendship and conversation, about 200 people have decided to give up their KKK robes. This connects to “Building Community in Chaos” and its message that respect and community is built through mutual learning and understanding. 

One Question: 

How do you as a teacher continue on with a previously planned lesson when a majority of students have come to class unprepared (readings not done, homework not completed, etc.)? Is there a way to change lesson plans and move on without students thinking that not completing their work on time is tolerated or allowed?  

Activity Plans: Health 7

Description of Topic 

The activities detailed in this resource package corresponded to the Grade 7 Health outcome which states that students will “[e]xamine critically and use purposefully blood-borne pathogen information/ education, including HIV and Hepatitis C, for the purpose of committing to behaviours that do not put one at risk of infection or co-infection”. This means that students should learn about infections like HIV and Hepatitis C, should be able to explain how they are contracted and transferred from person to person, and know how to prevent themselves from contracting and spreading these infections.  

Activity #1: Online Resource Scavenger Hunt (Original Idea) 

Using the website , students will complete a “scavenger hunt” of sorts. Students will navigate the website and search for the answers to the questions provided below (and any others the teacher finds useful). Students will learn about HIV and Hepatitis C, prevention techniques, as well as background information about sexual activity, consent, and general sexual health at their own pace without a lot of input from the teacher. Students should be encouraged to collaborate with their classmates when completing their scavenger hunt to make the activity more fun and informative for everyone. A certain amount of time should be allotted for students to explore the website (30-45 minutes) and, even if students finish their scavenger hunt early, they should be pushed to explore the other information provided on the website with the remaining time left over. This activity will benefit students in future lessons as they will feel comfortable returning to this website to complete future assignments or projects on this subject matter. Some examples of questions that can be listed on the scavenger hunt sheet are as follows: 

  1. List three risky activities that spread HIV. 
  1. What percentage of people in Canada do not know they are carrying the HIV infection? 
  1. What are three ways you can prevent the contraction of HIV? 
  1. What are three acute symptoms of Hepatitis C? 
  1. Who cannot give consent? 
  1. When can consent be withdrawn? 
  1. List three advantage of using condoms. 
  1. What is the difference between Hormonal Contraception and Non-Hormonal Contraception? 
  1. How many Canadians are living with HIV right now? 
  1. What are three cronic symptoms of HIV? 
  1. What are the benefits of abstinence? 

Activity #2: Collaborative Art Brainstorming Project (Original Idea) 

Before starting your unit on HIV, start by arranging student’s desks into clusters of about four if they are not already (and depending on class size). Hand out a large piece of poster paper to each group of students and have them draw pictures, write words, or jot down brief information they know or think they know about HIV. Encourage on-topic discussion between group but try your best to make sure students focus on their own groups and do not look at other group’s papers for ideas. When explaining the lesson, use very non-specific language about the topic as not to lead students onto a certain point that they may not have known themselves. After 15 minutes or so, have each group informally present their collaborative piece of art to the class and explain the things on their paper. After each group is done, save the papers or take a picture of them. At the end of the entire HIV unit, have the same groupings of the same students redo the same project. After they have done another art piece based on HIV, compare these new ones to the ones they did at the beginning of the unit. Reflect on the knowledge they gained as well as misconceptions they had at the beginning of the unit and how they corrected that misinformation. Great method of informal assessment and can connect to the Arts Education curriculum. 

Activity #3: Risk Level (From “Learning for Life: Classroom Activities for HIV and AIDS Education”) 

This activity sheet will provide students with examples of different behaviours. Students are tasked with determining if these behaviours puts them at a high risk of contracting HIV, a low risk of contracting HIV, or if there is no risk of contracting HIV. This activity should only be done in class after the contraction of HIV has been covered in class as making students simply guess at the risk levels of certain behaviours will teach them nothing. Students should be instructed to complete the worksheet alone. After everyone is complete, answers can be taken up together as a class which should spark discussion and debate about the answers. This activity is a good way of testing student’s knowledge as well as to put to rest some common misconceptions about the spreading and contraction of HIV. The questions on this specific worksheet are as follows: 

  1. Touching someone who has HIV 
  1. Having sex without a condom 
  1. Dry kissing 
  1. Using toilets in a public bathroom 
  1. Sharing needles 
  1. Sharing clothes with someone with HIV 
  1. Having sex using a condom correctly 
  1. Self-masturbating 
  1. Cleaning up blood without gloves on  
  1. Sharing eating utensils with someone with HIV 
  1. Having sex with a condom that broke 
  1. Being bitten by a mosquito 
  1. Having sex with multiple partners 
  1. Wet (deep) kissing 
  1. Reusing a needle that was cleaned just with water 
  1. Swimming with someone who has HIV 
  1. Having sex using the same condom more than once 
  1. Mutual masturbation 
  1. Body-to-body rubbing with clothes on 
  1. Sharing a razor to shave legs or face 
  1. Sharing same needle for drug injection 

Activity #4: HIV Transmission Game (from 

This activity is meant to show how quickly HIV and other STIs can spread. The game takes place as follows: 

  • In each participant’s bag (except one) place a mixture of approximately 10 to 12 Hugs & Kisses and one marked or unmarked index card. In one participant’s bag put 10 to 12 Almond Kisses (instead of Hugs & Kisses) and an unmarked index card. Put a star (*) on the bottom of the bag with Almond Kisses. 
  • Mark the bottom corner of two index cards with a small “C.” Place each card in a different bag with Hugs & Kisses. 
  • Mark two other index cards with a small “IC.” Place each card in a different bag with Hugs & Kisses. 
  • Write on a fifth index card: Do not participate. When asked, tell anyone who wants to exchange candy, ‘I do not want to exchange hugs and kisses.’ Place the card in a bag with Hugs & Kisses and put an “A” on the bottom of the bag. 
  • Write on two separate index cards: Do not participate with anyone other than your partner. When asked, tell anyone (other than your partner) who wants to exchange candy, ‘I do not want to exchange hugs and kisses with anyone other than my partner.’ Place each card in a different bag with Hugs & Kisses and put an “M” on the bottom of each bag. Give these two bags to the two participants who are willing to sit in the front of room. 
  • Do not place any of the seven, marked cards in with the bag with Almond Kisses. 


  1. Ask for two participants who are willing to be partners and to sit in the front of the room throughout the entire exercise. Give each of these two participants a bag marked with an “M.” 
  1. Hand out the other bags to the remaining participants. Explain that each participant is receiving a bag with Hershey’s Kisses and an index card. Ask each participant to pull the card out of his/her bag and follow the instructions on it (if there are any) and to keep secret any instructions on his/her card. 
  1. Tell the participants that they are to exchange candy and that they should write on their index cards the name of everyone with whom they exchange candy. 
  1. Give participants about five minutes to exchange candy and to write down names. Then, have everyone return to his/her seat. 
  1. Find out who got the most signatures. 
  1. Ask the one person whose bag has a star (*) on the bottom to stand up. Explain that this was the person who started out with Almond Kisses and that, for the purposes of this exercise, the Almond Kisses represent HIV infection. 
  1. Then, ask anyone who has an Almond Kiss in his or her bag to stand up. Explain that, because they exchanged Hugs & Kisses for Almond Kisses, they, too, have are infected with HIV. 
  1. Ask everyone who is still seated to check their index cards for the name of anyone who is standing. Ask participants to stand up if they see the name of someone who is standing on their index cards. Continue to ask participants to stand until everyone except the three participants with the “M” and the “A” on the bottom of their bags are standing. 
  1. Ask the participants with “C” written on their cards to sit down. Explain that the “C” means they always used condoms or clean needles and protected themselves from HIV infection. They are not infected with HIV. 
  1. Ask the people with “IC” written on their cards to sit down. Then, ask them to stand right back up. Explain that these people used condoms and/or clean needles each time, but they used them incorrectly. They are infected with HIV. 
  1. Explain to the participants that this activity contains an error because someone might have received an Almond Kiss (HIV infection) and then given it away again. By contrast, you cannot give away HIV. Once you have it, you can share it with others; but, you can never get rid of it yourself. 
  1. Remind participants that this is a game. No one can become infected with HIV because he/she eats a particular kind of food nor by sharing or exchanging food. 

After the completion of this activity, follow up with these discussion questions: 

  1. Did anyone notice anyone who did not stand up? Introduce the “abstinent” participant and the “monogamous” partners. Ask them how they felt not playing. How did the others feel when these people refused to exchange candy with them? 
  1. Why is it difficult not to participate when everyone else is participating? 
  1. How did the person with the Almond Kisses (HIV infection) feel? 
  1. The one person whose bag had a star did not know he/she was “infected” with HIV. How could we have known ahead of time? 

Activity #5: Small Group Discussion (Original Idea) 

Pair students up in groups of no more than three. Hand each group an index card with a common misconception about blood-borne pathogens or STIs. Groups will be prompted to discuss these misconceptions, take about social contexts that may cause these types of misconceptions to exist, and correct these misconceptions using information they have learned thus far in the unit. After groups have completed this work, have each group present their misconception to the class. Encourage the class to add their own ideas and perspectives to the misconception. Afterwards, consider displaying the misconceptions on a bulletin board accompanied with the classes’ corrections. While outdated language may be used during this lesson in order to telegraph common misconceptions, it is important to conclude this lesson with a discussion/reminder about what language is acceptable to use when discussing these types of topics and what kind of language is not. Meant to be a brief, collaborative activity to debrief after a lesson that was maybe heavy on information or done mostly solo. Some misconceptions that could be presented to students are: 

  1. HIV can be transmitted by kissing 
  1. Only homosexuals can contract AIDS 
  1. Abstinence is the only way to prevent HIV or Hepatitis C 
  1. Needles can be cleaned with water 
  1. Condoms can be reused 
  1. HIV can be cured 
  1. You cannot be cured of Hepatitis C 
  1. You can get Hepatitis or HIV from eating utensils 
  1. Being around HIV positive people is a risk to your health 
  1. You can tell if people have HIV by looking at them 

Activity #6: Exploration of Local Resources Research Activity (Original Activity) 

Have students research local organizations or charity events in the area (Regina and surrounding community) that specialize in the prevention of HIV and other similar infections (needle exchange, charity walks, etc.). This connects to the Comprehensive School Health Curriculum by developing local partnerships and services. If possible, have an organization a student wrote about come to class to present. Doing this will give this research project real-world context. Have students explore the availability, effectiveness, and popularity of these programs as well as determine if these are formal or informal supports. Have them research different groups reactions and feelings towards programs of these sorts (religious, political, etc.) and have students write about how these feelings can affect public perception of people with these infections. Have students connect these programs to discussions of lifestyle choices that lower their risk of contracting HIV or Hepatitis C (e.g. How can one use these services to prevent or treat HIV?). Allow students class time to peer edit one another’s research papers/presentations. This way, students effectively double their learning by reading their peers reports. This would be a multi-day assignment that may require students take material home as homework. 

Activity #7: Math Activity (Original Idea) 

To carry over themes from this Health unit into your math unit, use Canadian stats on HIV and Hepatitis C for math lessons on statistics and probabilities (a requirement for Grade 7 math). Create charts displaying the statistics of HIV positive people in each province in Canada divided into two categories: male or female. Have students determine the mean, median, and mode of each demographic on this chart. Afterwards, have students calculate the probability that a man living in each province would be HIV positive. Calculate the probability that a woman living in each province would be HIV positive. Make sure to preface this lesson with the disclaimer that current Canadian statistics regarding HIV infections do not take into consideration transgender people. This is a cross-curricular activity that connects to outcomes from Math 7 as well as Health 7. 

Activity #8: Character Study (Original Idea) 

One of the outcomes for Grade 7 English is to “View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of texts that address identity, social responsibility, and efficacy.” To connect this outcome to a lesson from Health 7, read a story about an HIV positive character either in a children’s book that can be read in a few minutes or a young adult’s novel that can be the basis of a novel study over the course of an entire unit. Have students write a paper about how they can identify themes of identity in these stories (regarding the identity of an HIV positive character). Additional, prompt students to write about how, through their own efficacy, they could rally social change in the real world to better the life of the HIV positive character in the story, promoting a sense of social justice. Alternately, to connect this project to Grade 7 Arts Education, you could get students to design an art piece meant to be from the point of view of the character in the story. These arts pieces might represent how the character feels about their situation in the novel/storybook, or perhaps how the world around that character views them. This would be a multi-day project that might require some homework. It is important to not use language that could demean an HIV positive character or paint them in a negative light. It is also important to choose reading that will speak directly to your class.

Lesson Plan: November 21st, 2018

Lesson Plan 

Name: Jakob Dickson                                                       Date: November 21st, 2018 

Grade: 7/8                                                                         Topic: Language Arts/Music 


Guiding Questions: What is it specifically that you like about the music you listen to? What value do you assign to your taste in music? 

Outcomes: English Language Arts 7/8 

Compose and Create 

-Students will develop their abilities to speak, write, and use other forms of representation to explore and present thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a variety of forms for a variety of purposes and audiences. 


Grade 7: 

-Write to describe a person; to narrate an imaginary incident or story; to explain and inform in a news story, a factual account, and a business letter; to persuade in a letter and in interpretation of a text. 

-Experiment with a variety of text forms (e.g., meeting, presentation to adults, descriptive poem, opinion piece, a review, front page of a newspaper, short script) and techniques (e.g., dialogue, figurative language). 

Grade 8: 

-Create various visual, oral, written, and multimedia (including digital) texts that explore identity (e.g., Telling One’s Life Story), social responsibility (e.g., Examining the Influence of Popular Culture), and efficacy (e.g., Creating Turning Points). 

-Experiment with a variety of text forms (e.g., Reader’s Theatre, role play, humourous instructions, an electronic presentation, a dramatization, a mini-debate) and techniques (e.g., imagery, music, graphics and statistics in a multimedia presentation). 

Assessment Strategies: Will have certain aspects of student’s letters that are a necessity. 

Instructional Strategies: 

-Introduce the topic in a casual way through something the kids like (music) but do not let them get out of hand. They will probably be excited about exploring something they like, but set clear expectations that you need to get your instruction out before they start talking over me 

-explicitly state that if someone has a question or comment they must raise their hands (didn’t work last time, let’s see about this time) 

Materials Needed: 

-Paper and pen/pencils or computers if available 

-Written components of letter on board beforehand 

Page Break 

Learning Experience: 


Set: 10 Minutes 

-Intro topic of music and music awards (Grammys) 

-talk briefly about influence of music and criteria music is judged on 

-tell students that they will be writing a letter to the Grammys (or whatever) in which they will nominate their favorite artist/band for an award (doesn’t have to be something from this year) 

-Outline letter requirements (4ish paragraphs): 

The Criteria for Grammys: 

  1. The influence and significance of the artist’s work. (Did it influence fashion in any way? Did it have a political or other message? Did it change the way recording is made?)
    2. Hit song or album that made the top 10 or top spot. (Name the songs and albums.)
    3. Any crossover songs? (A hit in more than one genre.)
    4. Can the performers be positive role models?
    5. Can judgments be made about an artist’s lasting impact on music? 


Development: 30 – 40 Minutes 

-Set students loose to write their letter 

-say they can chat with friends as long as discussion is somewhat on topic 

-reiterate what is required for letter (above) 

-while students work, move around room ensuring work is being done and ask about which artist or band they chose 

-if a student is having trouble, as them questions about the music they chose. If they are having trouble choosing a band/artist, as them what their favorite song is or what genre of music they like 

-most of this work will be done independently 

-they can use their phones if they need to look up some sort of fact about them (chart spot, album info, etc.) 


Closure: 5 Minutes 

-to close, encourage students to think about what makes their favorite music their favorite 

-what does the music you like say about you? 

-either collect papers at end regardless of progress or give them until next week to complete (play by ear) 


Lesson Plan: October 24th, 2018

Lesson Plan 

Name: Jakob Dickson                                                           Date: October 24th, 2018 

Grade: 7/8                                                                             Topic: Health/Arts Education 


Guiding Question: What are some of the most important aspects of your identity? 

How can you represent yourself visually using art? 

Outcomes: Arts Education 7:  

CP7.10Create visual art works that express ideas about the importance of place (e.g., relationship to the land, local geology, region, urban/rural landscapes, and environment). 

CP7.11Investigate and use various visual art forms, images, and art-making processes to express ideas about place. 

CP7.12Use image-making skills, tools, techniques, and problem-solving abilities in a variety of visual art media. 

Indicators: Arts Education 7: 

Analyze and discuss connections between the original topic or inquiry question and subsequent visual art explorations. 

Investigate how a single idea can be developed in many ways and directions (e.g., How many different ways could we represent visually a sense of community within an isolated prairie landscape?). 

Reflect on how images, elements of art, and principles of composition can be organized to convey meaning in visual art (e.g., What message or ideas does our art work communicate about our sense of place in Saskatchewan?). 

Demonstrate awareness that artists are observant of their environment and often express ideas about the role and representation of place in their work. 

Recognize that visual art is a means of personal exploration and communication, and appreciate the importance of visual expression. 

Assessment Strategies: Will have a certain amount of aspects of student’s pieces of art that are required (e.g. headpiece, gloves, landscape, etc.)  

Instructional Strategies:  

-Ask lots of questions as I do my brief intro (“What do you notice about the colors?”, etc.) 

-Ask a student to share one of their ideas for their picture before sending the class to complete their tasks. This will give students who might still be confused an example to go off of from a fellow classmate that they already know 

-Speak clearly, talk about only a few aspects of my example. Don’t over complicate it 

Materials Needed: 



-pencil crayons, markers, or crayons 


-My own personal example 

-1 or 2 comic books to set the scene 


Learning Experiences:  

Set: 5ish Minutes 

-Introduce the topic of superheroes 

-connect to pop culture (Avengers, Batman, etc.) 

-Talk about my own love for comic books (briefly) 

-Show off first comic book to class that depicts a super hero on the front 

-Ask them about the colors, shapes, symbols, etc. that give you some sort of clue as to what this hero is like (dark colors = grim, angry. Bright colors = hopeful, inspirational) 

Development: 30 Minutes 

-Show them my example of my personal hero 

-Highlight the fact that I have included some sort of headgear, something on my arms/hands, something on my legs/feet, a symbol somewhere on my body, a belt, and some sort of environment behind me (city, school, gym, etc.) that has to do with my personal identity 

-these are the aspect that will be required of the students to make sure that they have a certain  

-Give the instruction that students need to label or write about each aspect of their hero to justify their creative decisions 

-Have them gather their arts supplies and get to work 

-circulate the room, visiting each student 

-ask students about the things they are drawing and their justification for them 

-focus on students who are struggling with ideas by asking them personal questions to help them come up with ideas (what do you do in your free time? What sports do you play? Do you play an instrument? 

Closure: 5 Minutes 

-Tell the students that I will collect their art next week, so they can work on it over the weekend if they are not finished 

-Prompt them to consider how their superhero represents them physically as well as emotional, spiritually, metaphorically, etc.  

ECS 311 Host Response

ECS311 HOST Summary and Reflection 

Name: Jakob Dickson    Date:October 2nd             Chapter/Topic: Intro/Chapter 1 

My Hook for this Topic: (article, video, image, etc.) 

Image from the comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ by Bill Watterson. Calvin, the titular character in the comic, is leaning back in his desk at school with his arms behind his back. In the speech bubble above him, he is saying, “You can present the material, but you can’t make me care.” I think this is indicative of how many students feel at school and ties in nicely to this week’s readings central idea of creating a classroom environment that fosters students learning.  

My Treaty Education Connections: 

Many of the selected readings discuss teaching towards social justice in the classroom. This could involve teaching about prejudice and racism as well as exploring ideas of reconciliation. One particular reading encourages new teachers to develop their students as productive members of their own communities and to foster bonds with people different from them. The 12 Tips for New Teachers section briefly discusses using student’s native languages in the classroom and making them feel like that language has value. This idea can be used for Aboriginal students who might not use English at home.   

My Three Key Questions: (to lead discussion) 

  1. What are some of your fears you have surrounding your first year as a teacher? What are some ways you plan on remedying those fears? What are some of your hopes? 


  1. How are you taking steps to construct your own vision of what your future classroom will look like? What does this vision look like? Do you think you can go too far when trying to instate your vision into your classroom? 


  1. Which of the 12 tips for new teachers was your favorite? Explain. How can you see yourself using this tip in your future career as a teacher? How can you start using this tip now to better form your emerging teacher identity?


3 Key Messages or Themes (that emerged through discussion) 

The first key message that arose from our discussion on Tuesday was that organization is key to becoming a successful teacher. During the discussion, I expressed my own personal fear of not being able to control a class full of children and about not being able to create a compelling lesson plan that could hold student’s attention. Khadar, who already has experience as a teacher, told me that making sure you are thoroughly prepared for each lesson before each day begins will put my mind at ease, leaving classroom management to be the only thing I will have to deal with in the moment. This advice, and some words of encouragement from my other two guests, help remedy some of my fears of being responsible for a classroom of students. This key message also made me consider Khadar’s advice for my current situation in university. Was I always making sure I was thoroughly prepared for each class? What are my top priorities right now?  

The second key message came emerged from discussion about curriculum and standardized testing. That key message was that curriculum that you feel does not hold a meaningful place in student’s lives and standardized testing that does not truly reflect student’s abilities can be given real-world context to make them more meaningful. Something that Laquisha suggested when we were talking about those reading tests that everyone (including the teachers) hated doing when we were in elementary school was that you can form lessons around the subject of those reading exams ahead of time. If you know the reading exams will be about tipis, for example, perhaps you could find the opportunity to take your class to participate in a local tipi raising event in the community. By doing this, you can give context to a standardized test that would otherwise be torture for students to complete. This suggestion from Laquisha gave me some hope about being able to connect even the most foreign of lessons to student’s everyday lives.  

The last key message that came from our discussion was that collaboration can ease the job of a new teacher. Everyone in my group (even Khadar) expressed some level of nervousness when talking about their future first day on the job. Based on this week’s reading and our own personal lives and feelings, we felt that building connections with fellow teachers in the school can not only provide you with friends that may have resources or lessons to give you, but will help you form personal bonds that will not make you feel so isolated during your first year of teaching. I also think that making friends in the education program right now also helps with this sense of fear. 

2 Thoughtful Questions (that arose from discussion) 

As briefly mentioned above, the first thing I questioned about myself was about my own organization skills and the level of preparedness I feel at the beginning of each class. If I feel overwhelmed or like I’m working off the cuff some days, how will I handle managing and preparing for a class I must teach? The second question that our group raised together was about our vision of a future classroom. How can we start constructing our own visions of a future classroom? This was one of my guiding questions for the discussion, but we never came to a hard, conclusive answer other than learning as much as we can and speaking to other future teachers as much as we can. 

I Thing that Surprised You (that happened in discussion) 

My biggest surprise from our discussion was when Khadar touched upon some of his experience teaching in Kenya. He talked about how each lesson and activity had to be something he created himself or something another teacher gave him to use. There was no internet to find some cute activity on and the education board did not hand out resources like they do here. It surprised me because I did not previously consider how much the internet connects minds from across the world and makes almost every task easier to complete. 

Summary of Discussion 

We started our discussion on Tuesday by expressing our fears and hopes for our first year as a teacher. I’ve already gone over my fears above. Carina said that one of her fears is being responsible for an entire class by herself. She worked as an EA before going back to school, so she said she hasn’t had a ton of experience controlling a class all by herself. Furthermore, both Carina and Khadar expressed worry in the fact that they both have accents that might prove difficult for children to understand. In response to this, Laquisha and I both said that, at first, we had a bit of trouble understanding them. However, given time, we got used to both their accents and now have very little trouble understanding them when they speak and we both thought that eventually their future students would too. Following this, we talked a lot about being organized and collaborating and how doing both these things was probably the remedy to many of the worries we had about being a teacher. This discussion took up nearly half the time we were allotted for our discussion. The next thing we talked about was asserting our vision for what we feel a functional classroom should look like. We discussed giving standardized test real-world application and how to develop our own form of discipline in the classroom. I wanted to ask my group how they thought they were developing their vision for a future classroom now while they were completing their schooling, but I decided to move on for time. The last question I asked my group was which one of the 12 tips for new teachers was their favorite. Carina said she liked tip 7 the best, Khadar said tip 9, and Laquisha said she liked 12 the best (which tied in well to her advice about connecting standardized tests to real-world experiences). The question that was going to follow was how does this tip shape your teacher identity, but that was when we were called on time. 


I still have questions about forming and enforcing the vision of a classroom that the text discusses. Can a teacher go too far with their own personal vision? Is it always a good thing to seek outside advice when forming or enforcing this vision? How can a teacher effectively shift their vision with each new class he or she teaches? Is there ever a scenario where enforcing a “traditional, authoritarian” vision of a classroom necessary? 


I already touched upon the questions I asked myself about where my priorities are and about my own organization skills, but that was not the only personal reflection I made during discussion. One of the fears I mentioned to my guests was that I was worried about not being compelling enough as a teacher and as a person. My group members, however, told me that I hold people’s attention very well when speaking to a group and that I probably didn’t need to worry too much about being compelling. These compliments and advice set my mind at ease and gave me a confidence boost for the rest of the discussion. I also had a realization while Khadar was talking about his experiences teaching in Kenya that I am not the first person to struggle with the responsibilities and tasks that surround being a teacher. The internet connects people in similar situations with similar ideas together and the friends I make in school right now are all resources to be used in my journey to becoming a (hopefully) great teacher. 

ECS 311 Truth and Reconciliation Philosophy

Truth and Reconciliation Education Philosophy 

“As long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the river flows.” That’s the line, taken from many treaties signed across what is now Canada, that first comes to mind when I consider my Truth and Reconciliation education philosophy. That concept of forever is the driving force behind everything I want to do in my future classroom in regards to Truth and Reconciliation. I believe that, to truly reconcile with those Canada has wronged in the past, everything we do in the classroom must be framed through the lens of Truth and Reconciliation. Indigenous languages, ways of knowing, art, and every other aspects of Indigenous culture must be present in the classroom and acknowledged as legitimate.  

When I was learning about Treaties, residential schooling, and other such topics surrounding Indigenous people’s experiences in Canada, I never understood why they mattered to me now. I now understand that the country I call my home was created through the execution of these tragedies, but I believe that there are many out there who do not understand why Truth and Reconciliation needs to take an important spot in our classrooms. Using Indigenous literature in the classroom, viewing Indigenous artworks, exploring topics regarding the plight of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and hearing first-hand from survivors of things like residential schooling and the 60’s scoop are instrumental and enjoyable means to accomplishing Truth and Reconciliation in the classroom.   


ECS 311 Relationship Philosophy

Relationship Philosophy 

I believe that building relationships with your students inside and outside the classroom is the foundation to teaching effective and meaningful lessons. I believe that the key to building meaningful relationships with your students is as simple as creating a space in which they feel safe to share themselves with you (their teacher) and their fellow classmates. Even though I have only been to my grade 7/8 placement a few times, I have already seen how happily students respond to you when you take an interest in their lives. Simply asking them about things like their clothes, their art, general things about their home lives, and other interests like sports and music can form the beginning portions of a beneficial relationship between student and teacher. 

Asking students about what they like and dislike is a great starting point to forming relationships with your students. In order to take it a step further though, ask students about their takes on current events (pop culture, politics, etc.). This could start discussions in class that will help students learn about one another and perhaps give you an opportunity as the teacher to share things about you with your students, further building a relationship with your class.