Science 7 Ecosystem Shift – Ice (Lesson 2)
This lesson meets cross-curricular outcomes for Science 7 and Social Studies 7. Students will learn about Indigenous knowledge of freshwater ecosystems in the Mackenzie River Basin, which is within the circumpolar region, including how Indigenous peoples track changes over time to seasonal ice freeze-up and melt.
Students will learn the significant relationship between humans and the ecosystems of which they are part, including the consequences of human activities on the environment. This lesson shares important quotes from Elders, land users, and community members who have noticed shifts in the local ecosystem.
The change in warmer winters and shifting seasons caused by human activities over the past couple of decades is becoming more noticeable. One key change is in the timing and predictability of ice freeze-up and melt. This lesson introduces students to the implications/consequences of human activities and how these changes have been noticed and recorded.
Key questions for student inquiry:
How are patterns of ice freeze-up and melt changing in the Mackenzie River Basin? How does human activity contribute to this change? How does this change impact people who rely on the river?
In the classroom
Length of activity:
90 minutes / 2 class periods