Pukaskwa National Park of Canada
Grade 7 students exploring the role of fire in Pukaskwa National Park
Exploring the role of fire in Pukaskwa© Parks Canada
Teachers and students in grade 7 classrooms across Canada can now access newly developed lesson plans and resources that explore fire’s crucial role in the health and functioning of Pukaskwa National Park’s boreal forest ecosystem.
The lessons allow students to investigate the role of prescribed fires, in addition to understanding the crucial decisions that must be made with regards to wildfire outbreaks. Students will examine the effects of fire on national park visitor safety as well as the complex connections between fire, humans, and the environment.
The fire resources were designed by staff of Parks Canada and Pukaskwa National Park, and the lessons were tested in classrooms to ensure they meet the needs of teachers. They are practical and hands-on, and satisfy the grade seven science requirements of every Canadian province and territory.
“Kids are able to apply critical thinking skills and judgment to their learning, and be accountable to their peers,” says Otto Wevers, a Toronto teacher who piloted the lessons with his grade 7 science students. “They also like the idea that they had knowledge and the means to inform others about the way it really is with fires.” According to Wevers, “seeing the Parks Canada Logo on the lessons made it believable for my students. Without the belief, it is just abstract knowledge.”
The lessons can be found on the Parks Canada website at www.parkscanada.gc.ca/education, along with other curriculum-based education resources and lesson plans that increase appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. The free lessons provide teachers with a quality resource, while helping students feel connected to Canada’s national parks through real-life scenarios. Pukaskwa National Park’s website also includes a wealth of information.
Through educational outreach and programming, Parks Canada engages youth and shares with them our country’s unique natural and cultural treasures. This year, Parks Canada is celebrating its 100 birthday and its establishment in 1911 as the world’s first national parks service. Come celebrate with us!