217.5 Arc x 13
Arts Education, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
Social Studies, Art, English, Science, Drama
Discovery of our environment: past and present
What can I do to respect our environment and foster equilibrium?
Strategies and Approaches:
Senses; Socratic Questioning; imaginary story; prompting; drama exercises; experiential learning.
Background for Students:
Many believe that nature and life led by mankind are interconnected. At times, a sustainable balance between our ecosystems and human development are in conflict and a sustainable balance can be challenging to achieve. This piece challenges students to consider how they can respect their natural environments and foster equilibrium.
Markers and paper
15-20 mins, Open/Reflect: Welcoming Multiple Interpretations
1. Students are encouraged to disengage from their recent experience and their busy surroundings to practice mindfulness.
2. Direct students to ‘mindfully’ (quietly/individually) explore the piece and develop their own interpretation. More information on mindfulness for the classroom can be found here.
3. Direct each student to share their interpretation of the piece without judgement.
4. Connect students’ individual interpretations to the background information provided above.
40 mins, Two Part Activity: Thinking about Our Environment
20 mins, Part One: Imaginary story
1. Direct students to find a seat in the Arcs and ask them to close their eye
2. Read them the following and debrief:
500 Years Ago – Imagine you are sitting in this location 500 years ago. Tune out the noises and the sounds you hear. What would this area have sounded like? What were peoples’ lifestyles like? Where would you have lived? Would you use the environment to help meet your needs? How did you adjust to these conditions? Was life simpler?
500 Years Forward – Now fast forward your life 500 years from today. What will life be like 500 years from now? Will you hear the same sounds? Will they change? What will your lifestyle be like? Will things still taste the same? Will things still feel the same? Will the environment be healthy for our bodies? Will the place you are sitting even exist?
Today – Vancouver is constantly changing. Where you are sitting used to be home to First Nations communities. The land was respected and used for living purposes. Today, the land where you are sitting is a man made beach along one of the most popular tourist destinations in British Columbia. Not only is it well known for its beautiful landscape, but it is also home to a diverse ecosystem. Fish, birds, humans all live here sharing our basic resources: air and water. When you open your eyes I want you to identify as many things as possible that are occurring in this space that could place your future at risk. (Encourage students to be mindful of responses, for example, the sewage pipe opening into the ocean is dangerous because it will affect the ecosystems in the ocean such as fish).
3. Have students share their interpretations of the stories.
4. Connect the stories to the background
20 mins, Part Two: ‘Fighting’ for our Environment: English Bay and Stanley Park
1. Explain the issue: maintaining ‘green spaces’ within any major city has always been a challenge. This is because ‘green spaces’ hold major potential to be developed into condos, businesses, and so on. Imagine the City of Vancouver has just announced that they are thinking of developing English Bay and Stanley Park for condos/businesses. You will be divided into roles and you will try to protect your interest.
2. Each of your team members will take on one of the following roles:
Mediator (to stand in the middle of the Arc) – the mediator will facilitate the ‘artistic’ conversation between the parties located on the outside of the Arc
Conservationist Environmentalist (to stand on the outside of the left Arc) – wants the area preserved for plants and wildlife
Tourism and Adventure Company (to stand on the outside of the left Arc) – wants the area devoted to recreation sports, e.g. kayaking, cycling, tennis, etc.
Municipal Business Association: (to stand on the outside right of the Arc) – wants to build a small shopping district with a convenience store, gas station, laundromat etc. to serve increasing population.
Community Development Group: (to stand on the outside right of the Arc) – wants to build state of the art condos with a view.
3. Game Instructions:
Determine what side will go first.
First side will draw a picture (using no words) about what they want to happen with Stanley Park. When completed, they’ll throw their picture into the middle of the Arc to the mediator.
Via the drawing, the mediator will interpret what the team is saying and call out the issue for the other team to respond.
The other team will respond via a drawing (no words) and throw it into the Arc for the mediator to call out to the other team (the responses will continue back/forth).
Stop when necessary and debrief the difficult ideas surrounding environmental conservation: communication, mixed messages, different interests, etc. The objective is to demonstrate the challenges associated with fostering equilibrium and the environment.
Total time: 55 mins