Amphibians, Reptiles, and Mammals of the Great Lakes
Teacher Resources

Aquatic Environments

A printable teacher's manual has been incorporated into the CD. Questions and topics for discussion are arranged by topic corresponding to sections on the CD. Answers are also provided. The pertinence of the CD's material to the new Ontario curriculum is addressed, and a gamut of ideas for classroom activities and assignments are detailed for several age groups. Here's an example:

Conservation and Human Impact
It might be useful for students in a large city to discuss the sewer system, beginning with the fact that what goes down the sewer grate flows into local streams and ponds. This topic could be expanded to include a discussion of the types of activities which pollute sewers such as washing the car, the dog, the exterior of the house; using chemical fertilizers or pesticides on the lawn; disposing of pollutants down the sewer, etc. A more advanced discussion might examine the effects of detergents and phosphates on wildlife, or the different pesticides which are commonly sprayed on lawns and gardens.

(Grades 4,6)
Design a poster or pamphlet describing how poisons which are poured into sewers flow into ponds and rivers and hurt the amphibians, reptiles, and mammals that live there. Distribute or post the work in a public place to tell the neighbourhood that pollution down the sewer=pollution of local wetlands.

(Grades 7+)
Trace the path of garbage or pollutants from the sewer grate in front of your home, through the sewer system, to its final destination: local river(s) or pond(s). Consult your local conservation authority to obtain information about the health of the watershed in your area, as well as a list of the animals likely to be found there.

(Grades 4,6,7+)
Study reptile conservation in the CD's virtual book, Reptiles. Using the species descriptions on the CD (and the distribution maps in the Quick Facts sections), find out whether any of the reptiles which have ben designated as being at risk are found in your area. Write a letter to your local government representative voicing your concern for this (these) species. If possible, make a specific suggestion for change which would improve the chances of survival of these species in your area. (E.g. stop development/construction on or near a local wetland).

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