Species at Risk in the Classroom ("SARitc" for short) is the SCCP's unique curriculum resource made for formal and informal educators on the South Coast! Funders for SARitc include The Federal Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, the Vancouver Foundation and the Tula Foundation.
Why the classroom?
Since the SCCP began its work in 2005 a significant gap was identified for locally developed, relevant education resources that took a bioregional approach to species and ecological communities at risk ("SEAR"). The program focus is Grades K-7 and was developed by Olivia Carnrite an educator from School District #35, (Langley). The beautiful evocactive illustrations were done by local First Nation artist Carrielynn Victor.
Some of the key issues that have shaped and informed the development of SARitc are:
The Guidebook is a synopsis providing a high level overview on:
-Why species at risk are an issue on the South Coast
-Legal and public efforts for SEAR conservation
-Why and how everyone can become part of the conservation solution
-First Nations perspectives (i.e. Stó:lō people and species at risk as part of broader Coast Salish tradition and history)
Module 1 Amphibians and Reptiles is an accompanying curriculum activity guide focused on local endangered amphibians and reptiles including life history information, conservation issues, games and project activities. The module ends with how the content links to BC curriculum, further resources and references.
Module 2 Protecting Biodiversity is an accompanying curriculum activity guide focused on biodiversity by using local endangered species from mammals to snails to rare plants to connect the dots on conservation science for elementary-age learners. Each activity reflects the species life history information, conservation issues, games and project activities. The module ends with how the content links to BC curriculum, further resources and references.
Module 3 Discovering Ecological Communities at Risk in the South Coast Region of BC is an accompanying curriculum activity guide focused on endangered ecosystems of the South coast such as Coastal Sands Ecosystems, Coastal Douglas-fir and other forest communities and wetlands. Each activity reflects the ecolgoical connections, conservation issues, games and project activities. The module ends with how the content links to BC curriculum, further resources and references.
Endangered Species Storybooks for young and old alike! In addition to the Guidebook and Modules, the SCCP has commissioned the development of illustrated children's storybooks on species at risk. Also written by Olivia Carnrite they are delightfully illustrated by Carrielynn Victor from the village of Cheam, Pilalt Tribe, of the Stó:lō Nation (“people of the river”) in the Fraser Valley.
About the Lonely Frog: "The forest is unusually quiet this spring and Aurora, the Northern Red-legged Frog, is feeling lonely. She goes on an unforgettable adventure to find another Red-legged Frog meeting many strange creatures along the way. Will Aurora ever find a friend like her?"
About "There's no Place Like Home: "Boomer had things just the way he liked them. He’d worked hard to make his cozy underground burrow and he was finally finished. His elaborate home had several exits and special rooms for napping, feeding, storing food, and even an indoor bathroom! Sumas Mountain had everything a Mountain Beaver, like Boomer, could ever want; lots of clean, fresh water, and juicy plants to eat."
Spoiler alert - our stories have happy endings but the reality is this is not the case in the real world which is why early childhood education around conservation and nature is so critical.
Both books are available for public readings as part of SARitc partnerships with local educators and pilot schools as well as for public events. The SCCP is presently investigating having both books made available via a local "Print on Demand" vendor in hardcopy and e-book form - so stay tuned!
There are also many great resources available for educators and youth to learn about invasive species in BC: Check out the Invasive Species Council of BC's website. The Wilderness Committee has also developed a great secondary curriculum with the first module CONSERVATION IN ACTION: An Educator's Guide to Species at Risk in BC for Grades 8-12 now available. More modules are being developed for 2016.
All SARitc content and images copyright the South Coast Conservation Program 2013 and may not be used without express consent of the SCCP.
Funding for the SCCP's multi-year project "Species at Risk in the Classroom, from Concept to Action" has graciously been provided through the Vancouver Foundation and the Tula Foundation.
Part of the National Conservation Plan, this project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada. Dans le cadre du Plan de conservation national, ce projet a ete realise avec l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada.