Through a series of activities and discussions students become more accustomed to the world at night. With any luck the night is clear and we can also explore the skies above.
Grade 6 Curriculum Connections
Science and technology - Understanding life systems - Biodiversity
- investigate the characteristics of living things, and classify diverse organisms according to specific characteristic
- demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity, its contributions to the stability of natural systems, and it benefits to humans
Science and technology - Understanding Earth and Space Systems - Space
- Investigate characteristics of the systems of which the earth is a part and the relationship between the earth, the sun, and the moon.
- Connect to Big Ideas (Fairness & Equity, Systems, Community, Diversity, Interdependence, Ability to Make a Difference, Equilibrium)
New experiences can be frightening, especially a walk at night. We acclimatize students to the wonders of the nocturnal world through sensory activities to turn their fears into an exciting adventure they wish to do again. During this walk, activities may include star gazing, a solo sit or walk (with or without rope), and a stop and listen (for animals, or nature).
Students will be walking the same way their ancestors did - opening their eyes, using their ears and nose and training themselves how to operate efficiently in nature without the need for technology.
As humans we are not nocturnal creatures. Our eyes are our primary sense and they are made for colour vision using lots of light. To hike at night is to intentionally allow the students to slip out of their comfort zone and connect with the forest in a new and interesting way.
Success Criteria/Learning Goals
- Students will explain how their eyes adjust to the darkness by the rods and cones within their eyes.
- Students will participate in activities which show how the eyes can be tricked at night.
- Students will join in activities that will enhance their other senses, develop trust and develop a greater connection to nature.
- Visibility permitting, students will observe the night skies and locate and identify the more common constellations and planets found in the winter sky.
Explore nocturnal animals of the city and the forest and compare. .
Next Step Environmental Action
Explore how light pollution affects the natural world including plants, birds, mammals and insects. Here's a blog post to start you off. You can connect with FLAP Canada and their programs working directly with students in the GTA through their Birds in the Hood Program whose goal is to have "future generations recognize the beauty of birds, their value in our local ecosystems and be engaged in protecting vulnerable species through bird-safe buildings."
Learn how to bring constellations to life by Connecting the Stars
For more resources please see Learning Resources on our website under Space.
This activity can be done in the fall and winter until the clocks spring forward.