Category Archives: Interdisciplinary Learning
GoogleEarth Engine Timelapse: Quick Lesson Plan
Here’s a quick lesson plan idea for tuning into inquiry using Google Earth Engine Timelapse*. It can provide a timelapse of change from 1984-present, based on satellite and aerial photos.
Ideal for: Individuals & Societies, Sciences, Interdisciplinary Unit
Global Context(s): Fairness & Development or Globalization & Sustainability
Key Concept(s): Change, Development, Interactions, Time-Place-Space
Related Concepts (I&S): Globalization, growth, resources, sustainability, causality
Related Concepts (Sciences): Environment, transformation, consequence, evidence
Find where we live and model See-Think-Wonder (Project Zero) on the timelapse from 1984-now. You might want to create a GoogleSheet with columns for each stage, to be shared with the class. Alternatively, get out some big whiteboards or butcher paper.
- See: look for general outlines, specific landmarks, big developments, interesting changes. Then dig deeper – compare the start to the end, or look for evidence of significant events in the time period. Keep pushing the ‘see’ until ideas are truly exhausted.
- Think: connected to the ‘see’ statements, note potential cause-effect relationships, sequences, consequences or other ideas. Keep going until this is exhausted.
- Wonder: finally build on the ‘see’ and ‘think’. What questions does this generate? Categorize and rank the questions.
- What lines of inquiry will you take to find out more?
- What can be found out by students and what needs to be explicitly taught?
- What unit-related vocabulary needs to be used and taught?
Approaches to Learning
- Access information to be informed and inform others
- Make connections between various sources of information
- Understand and use technology systems
- Practise observing carefully in order to recognize problems
- Interpret data
- Draw reasonable conclusions and generalizations
- Revise understanding based on new information and evidence
- Formulate factual, topical, conceptual and debatable questions
- Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues
- Identify trends and forecast possibilities
The 11th Hour re-up: Human Impacts on Ecosystems
In 2007, Leonardo DiCaprio released his environmental call-to-arms, The 11th Hour. And it’s very good. It really knocks home the old proverb that we are not inheriting the Earth from our ancestors, but borrowing it from our children.
Update 2009: the whole film is available on GoogleVideo (as all good documentaries should be):
The movie contains contributions from the likes of Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winner Wangari Maathai and David Suzuki. Particularly useful is Gloria Flora‘s sentiment that we all vote, every day – even those who are too young to cast a ballot – by making informed choices about what we consume, spend our money on and throw away.
The first half of the movie is a talking-heads and imagery look at our impacts on the Earth, with plenty of soundbites and starting-points for further discussion. The political middle section describes how economic growth and interests are driving destruction. The final act is a great collection of ideas and hope – a call to arms and a realisation that the environmental movement is growing quickly and strongly. But is it going to be in time to save our species and the thousands that we drive to extinction each year?
Now here’s Leo’s video message (including the ‘vote’ quote from Gloria Flora):
For some further reading, go to the 11th hour Action website.
IB Biology students:
Here is a quick question sheet for the movie, linking some of the topics to the Ecology and Conservation option.
Higher Level students: pay attention to the parts about the role of trees in the environment, in particular through water-uptake. Also, do you understand how mycofiltration (using fungal mycelia) could be used to clean polluted soils?
For good measure, here’s Linkin Park’s accompanying music video, What I’ve Done :
Scientific American Frontiers
Thanks to bogstandardcomp from the TES Forums for this one.
PBS have a series on their archives called Scientific American Frontiers. Although the last episode posted there was a couple of years ago, they have full episodes online and allow easy navigation within clips. There are also teaching resources and notes to go along with each one.
For some highlights have a look at:
– Make Up Your Mind (brain development and neuroscience)
– Hot Planet, Cold Comfort (climate change)
– Going Deep (ALVIN and deep-sea exploration)
– The Gene Hunters (Genetics and a few good resources)
The Great Turtle Race
Sea turtles make huge journeys across the Pacific, to and from egg-laying sites. Turtles laying eggs in Indonesia paddle (and use currents) all the way to California to forage for jellyfish, and leatherbacks from Costa Rica travel right down to the south Pacific.
Some researchers have been using GPS technology to track migrations to see if their route is the same each year:
There is even an annual event called The Great Turtle Race (this year is the second – The Olympiad!)
Head on over to their website to find out more about sea turtle conservation and visit some of their links.
There’s even a flash game or two to play, or a sea turtle survival lesson from Bridge: National Marine Educators Association
And, of course, there is a facebook group devoted to the race.
This is all organised by the leatherback trust.
Matchbox 20 – How Far We’ve Come
So it’s not ‘Science’ per se – but it’s a great song with a cool video tracking some of the big impacts made on the Earth by us wee humans over the past century. It’s all a bit MYP, if you like that sort of thing.