November Workshop was held in Bemidji

CYCLES’s November workshop was held at Bemidji middle school at Sat Nov 19th. The workshop is for helping teachers to understand Big Ideas in the climate change literacy and how to use the big ideas for their lesson planning to teach climate change.

During the workshop, we began by concept mapping to review what we learned about climate change over the summer and capture our growing understanding of climate change. From the concept maps, we talked about “Big Ideas” in climate change and how they relate to standards. We reviewed two documents – Climate Literacy Principles (from NOAA) and Science Literacy Maps (from AAAS) – that provide helpful language for setting goals for classroom activities and curricula. From there, we discussed a possible way of developing a unit on climate and weather, starting with standards and mapping them onto activities.

One of the activities we looked at was the American Museum of Natural History’s Climate Events visualization. We talked about how this could be used in a classroom as an introduction to weather and climate, and could connect with other activities that look at data. We also try to address the big ideas in Native perspectives. As an example, we read a Native American story – “Gluscabi and the Wind Eagle” – from Joseph Bruchac’s book, Keepers of the Earth. We took turns reading the story as a group and discussed appropriate ways in which teachers could incorporate these into their curriculum.


In the afternoon, we focused more on the Big ideas about “climate vs climate change”, which is addressed in the Climate Literacy Principle 4A and 4C. Teachers spent time in the computer lab manipulating climate data from a user friendly climate data website “NOAA’s US Climate at a Glance” http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/cag3.html.  Teachers looked at different set of climate data by region as well as by different climate condition such as precipitation, temperature, and weather events. They manipulated the data to find if the change of climate conditions indicate climate change. Teachers also looked at different representation of the climate data and interpreted the representations to understand climate change by specific region they chose from the website.

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Climate Literacy Principles

The teacher resources are categorized based on 7 Climate Literacy Principles. You can find the page under the teacher resources tab. Or, Click Here to visit the page. While getting more resources, we will keep sharing them under these principles.

You can also use Blogroll at the right side of the page to see the resources easily.

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The first follow-up workshop for Wild Rice (Manoomin) – Sept 9th-10th

On Sept 9th-10th CYCLE teachers attended the first follow-up workshop for Wild Rice (Manoomin) curriculum. The first day of the workshop were held in the Bemidji State University, MN at Sept 9th. The CYCLE instructors shared curriculum resources for Wild Rice curriculum development with the teachers.The teachers were encouraged to share their experience of teaching wild rice and what other resource they needed to improve their wild rice curriculum for teaching climate change.
                                                                                                                                                          
The second day of the workshop was for practicing wild ricing and learning the processes for wild rice production.

First, the teachers were gathered at the Bug-o-nay-ge-shig High school (Leech Lake, MN) to learn the tools (knockers, pole, basket etc) and processes of wild ricing (parching, dancing on rice, fanning, etc).

While doing this, the teachers were also asked many questions about the differences between peddy rice (produced by farming) and naturally grown wild rice.

After that, the teachers moved to the Mud Lake to wild ricing. We had 9 canoes for the teachers.

As a group of two teachers (one for knocking and one for poling), the teachers gathered wild rice from the lake.

After the wild ricing, we were also discussing about historic reduce of wild rice and climate change.

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Natural Wild Rice in Minnesota – a new resource is added

Natural Wild Rice in Minnesota

Description: A Wild Rice Study document submitted to the Minnesota Legislature by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (February 15, 2008). To study natural wild rice in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) established a Technical Team of wild rice experts from State, Tribal, and Federal governments, as well as academia and the private sector. The MNDNR also established a Partnership Team representing major stakeholders. This document is a report of the study that includes: (1) the current location and estimated acreage and area of natural stands; (2) potential threats to natural stands, including, but not limited to, development pressure, water levels, pollution, invasive species, and genetically engineered strains; and (3) recommendations to the house and senate committees with jurisdiction over natural resources on protecting and increasing natural wild rice stands in the state.

Link: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_wildlife/wildlife/shallowlakes/natural-wild-rice-in-minnesota.pdf

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First Follow-up Meeting in Bemidji

Our first follow-up meeting with the teachers is Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10 in Bemidji. The documents related to this meeting are posted on Curriculum and Cultural Resources page. The titles of the documents are Natural Wild Rice in Minnesota,  Ojibwe Plant Names, and Wild Rice Curriculum Resource.

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