Parks Canada
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Saguenay–St.Lawrence Marine Park

Suggested Activity Plan

Preparatory Activity

  • Present an overview of the activity, a virtual scientific expedition in Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park.
  • Allot time for exploring the website (around 30-45 minutes), in class or at home.
  • Invite students to look up the scientific vocabulary using the glossary, and the region using the cards, whether in class or at home.

NOTE: The Science Log is the tool the students will use to take notes. This log can be used online or in printed version. If using a printed version, photocopies made ahead of time can be distributed to the students.

Introduction to the Activity

  • Suggest a virtual scientific expedition to the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park to discover the "Water, an Environment to Protect".
  • Present the four cards from the “Welcome” page in the Students’ Zone.
    • Explain that the St. Lawrence Estuary is the place where the fresh water of the Saguenay and of the river meets the salt water of the gulf. This confluence of the fresh and salt waters creates a very rich living environment. The marine park we are going to explore as young scientists is situated in the St. Lawrence Estuary.
  • Present the three tabs (Students’ Zone) that correspond to the three steps of the expedition:
    • The Water Column
    • The St. Lawrence Beluga Whale
    •   Take action!
  • Present the qualities and the tasks of the young scientist:
    • Inquisitive for conducting research
    • Organized for note-taking
    • Communicative for sharing discoveries

Section 1: The Water Column

Preparation

  • Divide students into three groups and assign one layer of the water column to each group: Upper Layer, Intermediate Layer and Bottom Layer.
  • Distribute the six specimens from each zone to the students on each team.
    (6 specimens x 3 zones/team = the activity’s 18 specimens)
  • Remind the young scientists of their roles and responsibilities.
    • The Inquisitive Researcher
      • Identifies the specimen(s).
    • The Organized Researcher
      • Records the specimen(s) in the Science Log.
      • Answers the questions in the Science Log.
    • The Communicative Researcher
      • Presents the discoveries to the other students.

    Procedure

    Part 1

    • Have each young scientist individually lead his/her own research on his/her specimen(s), using the Science Log and descriptive cards. This step can be done in class or at home.

    Part 2

    • In groups, have the students share their discoveries and prepare a presentation of their specimen(s) and related concerns.
    • Have the students write three questions on their specimen(s) for the trivia game suggested as an integration activity.

    Part 3

    • Starting off with the upper layer, have the students present the specimens and related concerns that they have studied.
    • The teacher can use the “Summary” provided in this document to focus the presentations. 
    • In an open discussion, the group discusses the concerns that appear to be the most serious and tries to explain why these concerns exist.

    Integration

    Trivia Game

    • The game’s host, a student or the teacher, collects the three questions from each team. Draw questions at random. The points system of the game can vary—points can be awarded to individuals or teams.

    Segue to Section 2, “The Beluga”
    We have done our research, taken notes and shared our discoveries on the marine park’s water column. Now we are going to concentrate our research on the St. Lawrence Beluga who moves around between the different water columns.

    Section 2: The St. Lawrence Beluga

    Preparation

    • Form nine teams and provide each with one of the following themes:
      • Team 1: Reproduction
      • Team 2: Calving
      • Team 3: Breathing
      • Team 4: Feeding Habits
      • Team 5: Communication
      • Team 6: Echolocation
      • Team 7: Evolution
      • Team 8: Distribution
      • Team 9: Pods

    • Remind the young scientists of their roles and responsibilities:
      • The Inquisitive Researcher:
        • Finds which among the pod of nine belugas, is the one covered in the sub-theme assigned to the team.
      • The Organized Researcher:
        • Gathers relevant information regarding the theme.
        • Fills out the Science Log.
      • The Communicative Researcher:
        • Presents the sub-theme to the other students.

    Procedure

    Part 1

    • Have each student research the sub-theme individually, using the Science Log and descriptive cards. This step can be done in class or at home.

    Part 2

    • Have students report back to their teams to share their discoveries with their team-mates and prepare their class presentation.
    • Have the teams write three questions on their sub-theme for the trivia game suggested as an integration activity.

    Part 3

    • Have the speaker(s) from each group present its theme and the related concerns. The teacher can use the "Summary for Teachers" provided in this document to focus the presentations.
    • In an open discussion, the group discusses the concerns that appear to be the most pressing and tries to explain why these concerns exist.

    Integration

    Trivia Game

    • The game's host, a student or the teacher, collects the three questions from each team. Draw questions at random. The points system of the game can vary—points can be awarded to individuals or teams.

    Section 3: Take Action!

    Preparation

    • Inform students that it will be a three-part activity:
      • Review
      • The Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park
      • What You Can Do

    Procedure

    Part 1: Review

    • Using their Science Logs, the students identify the most prominent concerns established in the first two activities (Water Column/Belugas) and their causes, while explaining why these concerns exist.
    • By way of synthesis, students record the main concerns established by the class and identify THE common cause.

    Note:
    Human activity is the main cause for all of these concerns.

    Part 2: The Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park

    • Have students visit the marine park’s website and identify the various measures that have been taken to protect the inhabitants of this ecosystem.  
    • In class, have the students share the information they have found.
    • In the Science Log, have each student write down two measures that have been implemented in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park.

    Integration

    Part 3: What You Can Do

    • In class, ask students to identify the sources of water in their environment (lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.).
    • Have the students to identify how water is threatened in their environment.
    • Ask students which daily concrete actions could be taken to protect water resources and ask them to justify their point of view.
    • In their Science Logs, have students write down two realistic daily actions they could take. Also have them write down the names of people they want to involve in these actions.