Earth Stewardship

Students putting wood chips in at the base of a large white pine tree to protect its roots Overall Goal

Students learn through inquiry and hands on learning how to assess an environmental issue created by our human impact and plan and develop solutions through restoration and repair.

Grade 6 Curriculum Connections
Science and technology - Understanding life systems - Biodiversity
  • assess human impacts on biodiversity, and identify ways of preserving biodiversity
  • Connect to STEM and Big Ideas (Fairness & Equity, Systems, Community, Diversity, Interdependence, Ability to Make a Difference, Equilibrium)
  • analyse a local issue related to biodiversity, taking different points of view into consideration, propose action that can be taken to preserve biodiversity, and act on the proposal

Grade 7 Curriculum Connections

Sustainability and Stewardship

  • Human activities have the potential to alter the environment. Humans must be aware of these impacts and try to control them.
  • assess the impacts of human activities and technologies on the environment, and evaluate ways of controlling these impacts

Structure and Function

  • analyze personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that need to be considered in designing and building structures and devices;
  • design and construct a variety of structures, and investigate the relationship between the design and function of these structures and the forces that act on them

Program Description

Environmental impacts upon our trails and natural environment require restoration and repair. Students reduce their ecological footprint by completing an earth repair or environment project. These projects allow students to get outside, be active and get into the mud while at the same time restoring, repairing and therefore reducing our human impact on the natural environment at SOES.

Students become environmental stewards as they roll up their sleeves to get into the mud and get involved in solving a real environmental problem on site at SOES. After working using tools and superior strength, students can stand back and admire their work. Many are left with a feeling of accomplishment for a job well done, for helping reduce our ecological footprint on the forest and for assisting future classes in the enjoyment of the wilderness here at SOES.

Projects may include repairing trails through erosion control. This could mean digging a trench to drain water away from the trail, putting in a channel or culvert to divert water. Students have helped build steps to reduce erosion and make a trail safe to walk on. It can also include gardening and greenhouse projects. Talk to your SOES staff member about the projects that are available. Many are weather and resource dependent.

EcoSchool Certification

For schools that are applying for EcoSchools certification. This project can be used to gain points towards EcoSchools certification in section 5. Contribute to Healthy, Safe, and Caring School Communities EcoReview - 5.6 and 5.7.

Success Criteria/Learning Goals

1.  Students will demonstrate an understanding that we need to take care of this earth in order to maintain what we presently use.

2.  Students will explain how humans have impacted the environment we live in.

Pre-Trip Activity
  • Earth Repair Project - Student Worksheet - (Make a copy and edit to your liking - click 'Slide'/Edit Master). This worksheet can be a pre-learning activity where students are sent a picture of an SOES space and determine what the problem with the area is and create possible solutions. As a follow-up activity back at school, students can examine their schoolyard and look for signs of damage due to overuse, erosion, lack of green space, litter etc. Students will define the problem, look at possible solutions, construct a solution and evaluate their results.
Next Step Environmental Action
  • Eco League - Get involved with EcoLeague, “a youth empowerment program that challenges and motivates students across the country to help save the planet through school and community based sustainability action projects.”
Resources

This activity can be done in fall and spring