Lesson Plan: A Point of View
Direct students to the topic Endangered Species in Canada on the CBC Digital Archives website and have them view the clips 'Rare bears,' 'A fine balance,' 'Industry vs. spotted owl' and 'The Nature Audit.' As they view, they should make careful notes about the issues, conflicting opinions, and the outcomes, if they are known.
Outline the Opportunity
Divide the class into groups of three. Have each group choose an environmental issue, preferably local, by looking at newspapers, online news, and other sources. Possible issues include new dams, local industries, subdivisions, road construction, herbicide use, and so on. They should identify relevant legislation, any decisions that have been made about the issue, and three contrasting viewpoints. Have each member focus on one perspective. They can consider the opinions of business people, environmentalists, politicians, local residents, and so on. They may find it helpful to use a PMI chart (Plus, Minus, Point of Interest) to record their findings.
When they are done, give the groups time to discuss the issue, with each student representing the view he or she studied.
Revisit and Reflect
Students will write a position paper in which they describe the issue, explain the different views on it, and state their own opinions. They should close with recommendations for action or new legislation. If they think no action or new policy direction is needed, they should explain why.
Students can write a position paper on the following statement, being sure to support their views with evidence.
"The habitat of endangered species in Canada is routinely fragmented or destroyed in the pursuit of commercial interests such as logging, mining, fishing, and urban development."