Species at Risk Teacher Guides

Teacher guides and resources for Species at Risk in the NWT. These resources were developed with support from the NWT Species at Risk Secretariat.

More Species at Risk education resources can be found by visiting our sister site: NWT Science Focus.

Climate Action Training

Climate Action Training is a web-based education opportunity for NWT youth who are looking to gain knowledge, skills, and resources to help face the climate crisis.

Sessions were live-streamed throughout January and February, 2020 and included presentations from some of the North’s best climate leaders. This carbon free format also allows for participants to watch and re-watch the recorded live-streams. Recordings can be found below, or by clicking here.

Following the training, we will be supporting youth to take climate action in their communities.

Session 1 – Climate Change Science

This session provides a good overview of the science of climate change: why is it happening, how do we know, what are the main contributing sources, and how are climate predictions made. Thank you to presenters Jennifer Hickman, Casey Beel, and Neils Weiss for sharing their knowledge with participants.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 1 – Climate Change Science

Session 2 – Northern Impacts

Special thanks to Climate Change Adaptation Expert Brian Sieben, and Permafrost Scientist Ashley Rudy. This session was full of great visuals and lots of information about how climate change is impacting the north. Learn about coastal erosion, forest fires, flooding, emergency planning, with a special focus on permafrost.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 2 – Northern Impacts

Session 3 – Community Action

Aklavik’s Senior Administrative Officer, Fred Berens, gave an excellent presentation about what Aklavik has done to help reduce the community energy use and tackle climate change mitigation. Noeline Villebrun talked about how important it is for northern youth to take climate action. To conclude the session, Craig Scott’s presented on the huge variety of ways northern communities can, and must, adapt to the changing climate.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 3 – Community Action

Session 4 – Climate Activism – February 5th, 2020

We will have three young climate activists sharing their stories on the front-line. Join Ella Kokelj, Daniel T’Seleie and Ellen Gillies as they document their experiences making change and highlight opportunities to get involved in climate action.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 4 – Climate Activism

Session 5 – Effective Communication – February 12th, 2020 at 6pm MST

Join APTN photojournalist, Charlotte Morrit- Jacobs, and Our Time’s Thomas Gagnon Van Leeuwin who will share with you media training and knowledge about how to amplify your message. As well as how to effectively communicate climate messaging.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 5 – Effective Communication

Session 6 – Northern Leadership – Feb 19th, 2020 at 6pm MST

This session brings a hopeful message of how the north can, and must, take an active leadership role in climate action. Dr. Courtney Howard (an internationally renowned climate and health advocate) and Jordan Peterson (the Deputy Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council and an outspoken advocate for climate solutions led by youth) lead us on a journey to discover how the NWT can, and should, take a place in the international climate sphere.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 6 – Northern Leadership

Rivers to Oceans Day

Rivers to Oceans Day is an annual education blitz on all things rivers to oceans. It is hosted outdoors (rain or shine!), at the Somba K’e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife, during the second week of June.

Up to 24 stations, hosted by various government departments, municipalities, universities, non-profits, and other organizations, are set up around the plaza. Stations host different activities which cover a range of topics, including fish dissection, water safety races, and water quality testing experiments. Students in grade 1 and 5 from across Yellowknife and nearby communities are invited to take part in this day of fun and learning.

Rivers to Oceans Day is hosted in partnership with the GNWT’s department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Read our article in Above&Beyond: Rivers to Oceans Day, Connecting humans, the land, and aquatic ecosystems

Check back soon for more photos!

Bats in the Dehcho

In February 2019, Ecology North staff, Emma Ambury and Katharine Thomas, visited schools throughout the Dehcho to run workshops about bats. In total, six schools and six communities were visited, the communities were: Fort Providence, Kakisa, Sambaa K’e, Fort Liard, Nahanni Butte, and Jean Marie River.

The overall goal of the workshops was to foster appreciation and encourage stewardship of bats in the Northwest Territories.  The workshops included multiple games and activities intended to teach students about the following topics: how bats are unique and interesting animals, how bats are similar to humans, what role bats play in their ecosystems, why bats are being threatened (particularly by white nose syndrome), and what people can do to protect bats in the Northwest Territories.

Students at each school also helped to build and decorate a bat box, a summer roosting spot for the little brown myotis. These finished bat boxes were left with the communities and are now used as bat monitoring sites by Environment and Natural Resources (ENR).

Funding for this project was provided by ENR.

NWT School Gardens – Curriculum for Grade 3

The information in this book is based on Growing Together at Weledeh, a highly successful gardening program that was the result of a partnership between Weledeh Catholic School, the Yellowknife Gardening Collective, and Ecology North. This book is meant to help replicate a similar experience at other schools in the NWT, and includes suggestions on adapting if some of the same components are not available.

A school garden is a powerful educational tool. Regardless of size, the real life experiences these living laboratories offer provide stronger lessons than those found in textbooks.

PLEASE NOTE: This resource was created in 2016 and is currently in the process of being updated. If you have any feedback on the current version, please send it to education@ecologynorth.ca

Click below to open and download the garden curriculum:

NWT School Gardens:
Garden Curriculum for Grade 3

Growing Together at Weledeh

Weledeh Catholic School and the Yellowknife Community Garden Collective started a partnership in Fall 2009 to build a school-community garden on the playground at Weledeh School. This initiative was sparked by the vision of former Weledeh principal Merril Dean, who sought to create a school garden that would provide hands-on educational opportunities in local food production for students and their families.

Growing Together at Weledeh is a school-based gardening program that facilitated hands-on learning with students, teachers, and volunteer community garden mentors. Students have been learning the joys of growing their own food in the garden for the past five years. Weledeh Catholic School (WCS), the Yellowknife Community Garden Collective (YCGC) and Ecology North have worked together to deliver the program each year.

By the summer of 2011 the garden was ready for use and every summer since then Ecology North and the Yellowknife Community Garden Collective have run gardening activities with around 70 students from grades three to six.

Ecology North provides in-class instruction for all Grade 3 students for 6 weeks (mid-May to late June) culminating in a harvest celebration in the first weeks of September.

In addition, Ecology North also assists with the Weledeh School Garden Club. This after school club is open to students from grade 1 to 8 and has approximately 30 members. The garden club has been quite popular in the past and frequently has a waitlist!

We have a Grade 3 Garden Curriculum, full of great garden related activities, that was developed based on the success of the Weledeh School Garden program. Check it out on our Environmental Education page (NWT School Gardens)!

How did we do? In 2016, we were able to pause and evaluate the program with this Case Study funded by the Arctic Institute of Community Based Research.

The overall goals of the project are to engage Weledeh students and staff in planning and planting vegetable garden plots at the Weledeh School garden, in cooperation with members of the Yellowknife Community Garden Collective.  By participating first-hand in growing and harvesting a garden, students develop an interest and skills in food production and preparation of healthy, locally grown foods.

For more information about the Weledeh School Garden Club or the Growing Together at Weledeh program contact us at 867-873-6019 or at admin@ecologynorth.ca.

NWT School Gardens: Garden Curriculum for Grade 3

Why Garden with Students?

A school garden is a powerful educational tool. A school garden may consist of a few herb pots in a window or larger plots outside. Regardless of size, the real life experiences these living laboratories offer provide stronger lessons than those found in textbooks.

Research shows that gardening in schools can improve students’ attitudes towards themselves, others, and school; enhance their relationships, promote environmental awareness, improve test scores and encourage them to make nutritional food choices.

Finally, growing gardens with students can teach the skills they will need to be able to grow their own food and contribute to a local food system. In Northern Canada, where food availability is based upon large transportation distance, this may be especially beneficial in enhancing food security.

Download the curriculum document by clicking here.

The NWT School Gardens: Garden Curriculum for Grade 3, is based upon a highly successful gardening program at Weledeh School in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Check out this and other great educational gardening initiatives under Local Food Production by clicking here!

Get to Know Your Watershed! Teacher Resource Guide

This Teacher Resource Guide was developed for northern teachers and organizations to help teach and engage students in learning about watersheds. The guide was developed by Ecology North with financial support from Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories.

Watersheds are important features in our landscape that teach us about how water flows, how rivers are created and how land and water ways are connected. Other topics such as geology, weather, topography, land cover, land uses and water quality can also be incorporated when teaching students about watersheds.

The guide provides background information about watersheds and their features and functions, with an emphasis on watersheds in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The background material also includes a list of key watershed terms (bolded words), and additional books, video and website resources.
Three watershed-related lessons are laid out in this guide. Each lesson is designed to engage students in a hands-on and interactive watershed model building activity. Through the lessons students learn by doing, thinking, researching and experimenting. The three lessons range in grade level and duration, from a 60 minute upper elementary lesson, to a multi-session high school lesson. Several assessment and extension options are provided for each lesson.

Contact us for a free physical copy, or click below to download the guide:

Get to Know Your Watershed!
A Teacher Resource Guide for Northern Watershed Education

Schools for a Living Planet Teacher Resources

Ecology North developed a series of curriculum-linked lesson plans for teachers in the Northwest Territories as part of the WWF Schools for a Living Planet program. These lesson plans are accompanied by NWT official languages word glossaries. Many of the resources were also adapted for teachers in Nunavut, and are available in Inuktitut (ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ).

The resources are for students and teachers from Grades 3 to 8 and cover the following themes:

Grade 3 – Northern Soils and Plants
Grade 4 – Solar Energy and Extreme Weather
Grade 5 – Snow Mechanics and Human Interaction with Snow
Grade 6 – Energy and Alternatives
Grade 7 – Waste Reduction and Hazardous Waste
Grade 8 – Northern Waters

The resources were officially launched on the World Wildlife Fund website during the NWTTA Territorial Teacher’s conference, September 29 – October 1, 2014.

To view and download these resources, please visit our sister site, NWT Science Focus.

Pepper and the Mighty Mackenzie

As part of Canada Water Week in 2014, Ecology North developed an educational activity in support of the Northwest Territories Water Stewardship Strategy. The book is for children of all ages and follows Pepper the Sand Piper as she explores the mighty Mackenzie River.

Click below to download the activity book:

Pepper and the Mighty Mackenzie