Learning to be Lake Friendly—Online Resources for Manitoba Teachers and Students
The recent announcement about Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre now offering online workshops inspired us here at Lake Friendly. As we've likely all heard many times, these are unprecedented times we live in and it's so important that we stand together and help each other out.
Educators across the world are feeling the pressure of the pandemic, with teachers pulling long hours and some parents pulling double duty as teachers!
We want all Manitobans to stay informed and excited about doing their part to preserve and restore our environment, so this blog is dedicated to educators and those who wish to learn how!
Schools and educational institutions are a key in the Lake Friendly Initiative because our youth have great influence on their families and communities around issues of the environment. But it is also important that schools and school divisions adopt Lake Friendly Practices.
For some quick tips on how schools, as institutions, can implement Lake Friendly practices, check out our online resource here. For more of a deep dive into our resources for teachers and students, keep reading!
Climate Change & the Water Cycle
A fun initial activity for any environmental topic is to take the World Wildlife Foundation's Footprint Calculator quiz. This easy-to-use online tool gives users an idea of ways that they can make small changes to help promote a healthier environment.
*Note: this quiz was designed in the United Kingdom, so some questions refer to the UK, euro currency, etc.**
Classes can share what they learned from their quiz results and discuss ways that each could make one change, starting today, to help promote a healthier environment.
A good place to start when it comes to educating students about surface water is covering the basic question: what exactly does "surface" water mean?
We've created a great and easy-to-understand video about what a watershed is, and how surface water plays a part in our province's environmental health.
After getting students familiar with how surface water works, a great activity is to get outside on the schoolyard and explore the surrounding area. Students can each find five things around the schoolyard t
Activity: Schoolyard exploration - find five things on the schoolyard or in your back yard that could affect surface water conditions. Take samples of water and ask yourself - would I drink this?
Some questions and talking points that students can takeaway from the video include:
- What is one thing you learned about water?
- What's one way we can help produce less wastewater?
Next, students can take part in a "Down the Drain" project to encourage other students and staff to stay away from using sinks, toilets, and other drains as garbage cans.
Brainstorm with your group on how you, as a class or even as an entire school, can do better.
Students can start a compost project within the classroom, or even at home! Composting reduces waste in our landfills, which causes less harmful water runoff to end up in our lakes, rivers, and streams.
Lastly, students can take 5-10 minutes to learn about the EcoLogo! Next time they go to the grocery store or pick up a cleaning product at home, encourage students to look for the EcoLogo.
Lake Friendly also has a video of our team grocery shopping to find EcoLogo products!
A fun and very interesting video for older students is our interview with a local hair salon that's working extra hard not only to preserve water, but to also find ways to reuse human hair!
All of these topics should get students thinking about common water practices that we can change to help preserve and restore our waters.
Similar to the carbon footprint activity mentioned initially, students can also take this quiz to find our their water footprint.
Take the findings from this quiz and discuss with your students.
*Note: this activity is for older students who have an idea of their household income.*
This is a good time to remind students that water conservation isn't just about us—water quality affects the furry friends we share our home with too!
Check out our videos from Oak Hammock Marsh to show students just how important this work is in helping everyone in Manitoba stay healthy.
Videos - Oak Hammock Marsh, FortWhyte Alive,
Sustainable School Landscapes
Now that students have learned all about water quality in Manitoba, it's time to have some fun and keep those wheels turning.
Keep the conversation going with your students. Encourage them to brainstorm ways that we as students, as a school, and as a community can make positive changes toward a healthier Manitoba.
The first step to making positive change is understanding why change is necessary!
Manitoban educators who would like print booklets of our Lake Friendly for Schools resources, simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org — we'd be happy to send you a bundle!