Formal BEAN Resources

Biodiversity-related activities, units and programs that BEAN has developed. These resources are downloadable and free for non-profit, educational purposes.

Water & Biodiversity: Cleaning Up Our Act

Includes case studies for grades 6 and 9, and was prepared to complement the theme of this year’s International Biodiversity Day. These lesson plans are intended to raise awareness of the impact humans have had on aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, they are intended to make students aware of the conservation efforts that are ongoing in their communities, and to inspire hope and encourage action towards the protection of our critically important freshwater resources.

Ontario’s Oceans: Conserving Canada’s Marine Biodiversity

Marine Biodiversity is the theme for 2012′s International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). This package provides marine biodiversity activities for both elementary and secondary students in Ontario. As a multidisciplinary topic, Ontario curriculum connections are made for life sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, and mathematics. The intent of these activities is to help students become passionate about Canada’s oceans, raise awareness of conservation issues, and bring Canada’s oceans just a little bit closer to home.

Invasive Species: A Resource for Gr 7

This resource looks at Invasive Species in Ontario. Students learn about the impacts invasive species have on agriculture, the environment, economy and society. Students will  have the opportunity to research common invasive species, get outside and explore their local green space, work with a variety of media/technology and learn how they can make a difference.  Links to Science, Language, Visual Arts and Health and Physical Education.

Focus on Forests

Celebrate the International Year of Forests with Focus on Forests and BEAN! This lesson plan is curriculum linked, and it features three great activities that you can do to celebrate International Biodiversity Day on May 22nd. Click below to access the English or French versions. Developed in partnership with the Ontario Forestry Association

Pulling for Biodiversity

This unit is designed to: introduce the concept of invasive species, explain in an interactive and engaging manner why they are so destructive to native biodiversity, ecosystems and our economy, and identify what resource managers and ordinary citizens can do about them.

It focuses on two major invasive species in Ontario: Garlic Mustard and Rusty Crayfish. Developed for upper-level Primary and Intermediate students for International Biodiversity Day, 2009.

The Big Picture

The Big Picture program has been developed for Grade 9 and 10 Academic and Applied Science students in Ontario, and in particular for students taking the Climate Change Unit in Grade 10.

Program elements include:

  • Exploring and sharing how students and others value, use and impact local ecosystems.
  • Examining connections between biodiversity, climate change, and human health and well-being
  • Enjoying a local ecosystem in a low-impact manner
  • Taking seasonally appropriate action to mitigate against impacts

The program is designed to be used in a natural area, and is best modified to fit a particular site by teachers in partnership with on-site educators. Teachers with a good grounding in ecology and biodiversity may be able to adapt the program on their own. Many of the resources can also be used independently to get a better grounding in the issues related to biodiversity and climate change.

The Power of Plants

Plants form the foundation of our ecosystems. This plant-rooted program contains 6 distinct activities related to the Grade 3 – 6 curriculum. Students will have the chance to exercise their creativity through botanical drawing and creating a classroom herbarium by pressing and preserving plant specimens. They will learn about plant journeys: from farm to table, and seed dispersal. Finally, they will get to know trees, inside and out, from species identification to age rings.

Biodiversity of Ontario’s Natural and Man-made Islands

The United Nations declared May 22nd 2014 as “The International Day for Island Biodiversity”. At first glance this topic, evocative of remote tropical islands, seems Island biodiv far removed from the realities of Ontario’s landscape. Yet the principles of island biodiversity are as relevant here as anywhere else – after all the Great Lakes are home to more than 35 000 islands. Furthermore, rampant habitat fragmentation has divided our natural landscape into countless small isolated patches that in essence become islands for the organisms that depend upon them. This lesson plan package contains three experiential learning activities for students in grades 9 through 12 and explicit connections to the Ontario science curriculum are included. The entire package is available in both French and English.

Marine Biodiversity

The national motto of Canada – A Mari usque ad Mare; From Sea to Sea, is certainly a fitting description of this majestic country, defined as much by its oceans as its land. Bounded by three oceans – Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic, Canada has the longest ocean coastline in the world.

Most students in Ontario have little interaction with Canada’s oceans, being hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest marine coastline. (Don’t forget, Ontario is bordered on the north by marine coastline!) Despite this, or maybe because of it, students are often fascinated by sharks, puffins, and whales – all Canadian marine animals!

This package provides marine biodiversity activities for both elementary and secondary students in Ontario. As a multidisciplinary topic, Ontario curriculum connections are made for life sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, and mathematics. The intent of these activities is to help students become passionate about Canada’s oceans, raise awareness of conservation issues, and bring Canada’s oceans just a little bit closer to home.

Ontario’s Oceans: Conserving Canada’s Marine Biodiversity

Other Resources:

One Ocean: Many Worlds of Life The ocean covers 71 percent of the surface area of the globe and constitutes over 90 percent of the habitable space on the planet. It contains the largest animals ever to have lived on Earth and billions upon billions of the tiniest: there are more living things in the sea than there are stars in the universe. This booklet was produced by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2012 to raise awareness of the wonders of our oceans, the threats they face, and conservation efforts underway around the globe, through this booklet produced by the UN.

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