Are you a parent or teacher searching for education resources with an environmental flavour? Clean is here to help!
In Spring 2020, school closures due to Covid-19 meant many children and parents were at home and in need of support.
In response to this unprecedented time, Clean released free educational and engaging activities, videos, experiments, and other resources for parents, teachers, and learners at home. With over 30 years of environmental education expertise to draw from and a bank of curriculum-linked lessons and activities, we aimed to serve the teaching and learning community during this new wave of education.
We also featured some fantastic learning resources from our other excellent environmental organizations. Though there is a focus on grades P-8, many activities can be easily adapted for any learner.
We are happy to continue to offer these resources here, on our Learn at Home page! Happy learning!
Check back here for regular updates or follow us on social media
Your Home, Your Environment
We bring the environment inside, and explore ways that our homes are connected to the environment through energy and electricity!
All About Air
We’ll be exploring air and the atmosphere using our senses, science experiments, and fun video games!
A special week of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, with activities that promote understanding and loving our home planet.
We go on a journey through the water cycle, and dig in to how we can conserve water from our homes.
This week we’ll sing along on one of Eddie’s Litterless Road Tours, turn plants into paper (and back again!), take part in the 3 R’s Olympics, and make an up-cycling project!
What is renewable energy and where does it come from? We’ll explore that this week with activities and videos that highlight the importance of renewable energy for a clean future!
Foundations of Food
A week all about food? Yum! Join us for tips on packing low-waste snacks, examining our food footprints, getting into the kitchen with Bigfoot, and celebrating local growers in Nova Scotia.
This week we look at the important issue of Climate Change – from explaining it in simple terms to little learners, to discovering how to take action and be the superheroes our planet needs.
Exploring nature through the lovely lens of literacy, and celebrating the power of language to shape how we see the world.
We are all connected to the ocean, no matter where we live. Join us this week as part of the OceansWeekHFX online celebrations of the sea!
We all like to have fun in the sun, but how can the sun help us live sustainably on earth? Join us for games, s’mores and more…
Set for Summer
After 12 wonderful weeks of learning, we will be looking ahead with ideas for bringing environmental learning to your summer!
Week 1: Your Home, Your Environment 🏡
We’re starting by bringing the environment inside, and exploring ways that our homes are connected to the environment through energy and electricity!
Monday - Plant Your Name
Eddie chose to draw trees, a squirrel, caterpillar
Kari went all out with everything she normally sees when digging in her backyard. She loves
Subject: Visual Arts
Objective: To have children see themselves as a part of nature. Place children in nature whenever you can, starting with their names!
What to Expect: An art project that can be put on display and be used for discussion.
Materials: Paper and art supplies of choice *Alternatively, using plasticine to create a nature sculpture would be wonderful too!
Step One: Ask students to draw (or sculpt) their
Step Two: Have the students turn their names into their own personal garden/ outdoor space using available art supplies. Eddie likes to use markers and crayons. Students can draw
Step Three: Ask students to talk about what they have included in their garden and post their artwork up for others to see if you have
To adapt this activity for older learners, ask each student to come up with three ways humans are affected by nature. Share answers and send pictures of your student’s work by sending us a message at EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca. We may even post your wonderful pictures on our website!
Here are some of YOUR wonderful creations!
Tuesday - Energy Detectives
Subject: Science, Electricity, Energy
- Energy Detectives – Learner Handout
- Pen, pencil
- Computer and access to internet to watch: Energy Detectives: Episode 1
- Energy Detectives – Reflection Questions
1. Watch the video above, where we will explore and discover the various forms of energy around us and how we use various forms of energy to accomplish different day to day activities.
2. Time to become an Energy Detective. Think about a typical day in your life, what do you do? How do you do it? How often do you do it? Now think about those various activities and how they relate to energy. Click here to download the ‘Energy Detectives Learner Table’. Use the Table to track the activities, and what forms of energy they use.
3. Want to dive even deeper into the world of Energy? Click here to download the ‘Energy Detectives Reflection Questions’ to continue your learning!
Wednesday - Build Your Own Words Nest
Subject: Creative Arts, Literacy
- Large piece of paper (you can glue two pieces together, or even use the bottom of a cardboard box)
- Glue stick
- Pair of scissors
- Small strips of coloured paper
- Twigs, or string, or wool, or other creative nest material!
1. Lay out your large piece of paper on the table. This will be the ‘base’ of your nest!
2. Use scissors to cut up the newspaper into strips. Glue them onto the bottom of the piece of paper to create a ‘nest’ shape.
3. Time to fill your nest with words, inspired by nature! To find them, you’ll need to get reading. You can read magazines (like OWL, National Geographic, or Chickadee), or chapter books. Search for words that remind you of nature. Kari found: feather, burrow, fog, soil, and ice.
4.Write down the words that you find onto the small pieces of coloured paper.
5. Glue your nature words onto the Words Nest. You can even use different colours of paper for different kinds of words, or give members of your family different colours for the words they find. That way you can see who finds the most nature words!
Send us a photo of your creations! Email us at EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca.
Thursday - What is Electricity?
In this video, Raoul takes learners into the world of electricity generation – from tiny electrons, to massive turbines!
Stay tuned for a future video on the many sources of renewable energy that provide electricity to our homes, schools, businesses, and buildings.
– Let’s Talk Energy has some fantastic resources, games, and activities!
Questions? Comments? Email us at EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca.
Friday Feature - Green Learning
Friday Feature: GreenLearning.ca
Who are they? GreenLearning creates free online education programs about energy, climate change and green economy that engage and empower students to create positive change for our evolving world. All lessons and activities are developed and piloted by teachers, and are fun and easy to use!
Suggested activity: Electricity All Around Us
We recommend following up Raoul’s great ‘energy’ videos this week with a fun game from GreenLearning called Electricity is All Around Us!
Questions? Comments? Write to us with what you’d like to see here next! EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca
Week 2: All About Air ☁️
Exploring air and the atmosphere using our senses, science experiments,
and fun video games!
Monday - Eddie and The Air Out There Video Game
Theme: Air Quality and Renewable Energy
Objective: To learn about the importance of good air quality and the benefits of using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels… and to have fun while learning!
What to Expect: A fun video game for young learners with music, and mini games to complete within. You can choose to have the game read to you, or you can read the instructions on your own. Limited computer skills needed (the game prompts learners to click in the right places). Play time will depend on the learner but you can always come back for more!
Materials: Computer (speakers on!), or phone, or tablet. This game does NOT work well with Internet Explorer.
The game can be downloaded for free from the App Store or the Google Play store. Just search for “EnviroEddie:Air”.
Download is also available on the Clean website at: https://cleanfoundation.ca/super-eddie-game/
Tuesday - Build Your Own pH Indicator
Objective: Learners will understand acids and bases using a home-made pH scale and discover the effects of CO2 in the atmosphere on bodies of water such as the ocean.
What to expect: A hands-on experiment using simple home ingredients to illustrate the pH scale.
- Knife and cutting board
- ¼ red cabbage
- Strainer, cheesecloth, or tea towel (Careful! They will stain)
- Clear glasses or containers
- Various solutions (lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, or cleaning solutions like bleach)
- Optional: alka-seltzer tablets, or soda water
The pH scale is what we use to distinguish between acids and bases. Together, we’re going to explore this scale using a simple red cabbage solution as our ‘indicator’. This experiment should be done with adult supervision.
Building your indicator
1. First, we need to chop up our red cabbage.
2. Blend the chopped cabbage in a blender with a bit of water.
3. Put blended cabbage in a container, cover with boiling water. Let sit for 20 minutes, or until the solution is cool to the touch.
4. Strain the solution through a strainer or cheesecloth.
5. Dilute 100ml of your cabbage solution with 500ml of water.
And there you have it! Your pH indicator is complete. The colour of the cabbage water represents neutral (7) on the pH scale. Now, it’s time to explore the scale…
6. Prepare clear glasses or containers with various solutions: Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Water mixed with baking soda, Bleach (be careful when handling bleach)
7. Pour the cabbage pH indicator into each solution container – watch for the colour to change!
8. See if you can arrange the containers in order from most ‘basic’ (1) to most acidic (14).
What happens to water when it absorbs C02 from the atmosphere?
9. Place a container of water in the fridge (cooler than room temperature)
10. Pour universal indicator into the water container
11. Blow bubbles and observe the colour changes!
We hope you have a lot fun exploring pH and how CO2 in the atmosphere can transfer into bodies of water. Send us your photos of your ‘colourful’ results and we’ll share them! EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca.
Wednesday - Senses Make Sense of the Air
Objective: To begin understanding the air/world around us by simply using our senses. All great scientists start out this way!
What to expect: An activity that can be done on your own or as a family. This activity can be a discussion, or you can create a simple chart on a piece of paper to write down your observations. Multiple children in a family can make their own observations around their home or in the neighbourhood and then come together to compare their results. You can also try this on multiple days to see if temperature and weather change your answers. If you would like to share your answers with us, please email us at EnviroEd@cleanfoundation.ca!
Materials: You and your senses! If you make a chart, at the very least, you will need a piece of paper and a pencil. We know you are a creative bunch though, so if you want to add colour or use a computer for your chart, GO FOR IT!
Discuss what you can’t see! We breathe the air every second of every day but how do we know that it is really there? Use your senses to bring air to life. Have children identify which of the five senses they can use to sense the air around us.
Can you name all of your 5 senses before you begin?
Sense of Sight: What do we see that tells us that there is air all around us? Or a question for younger students: What do we see that tells us the wind is blowing?
Examples: moving tree branches/leaves, long hair blowing around, wind turbines spinning.
Sense of Hearing: Can you hear the wind blowing? What does it sound like?
Added questions: Can you hear someone breathing or a pet snoring? Have you ever heard the wind make a whistling sound when it moves around a building or in a tunnel?
Sense of Touch: What does the air feel like on your skin?
Added questions: If it is cold, do the hairs on your arm stand up? If you waive your hand back and forth, can you feel the air? If you blow across your fingers do you feel or hear anything? Has the wind ever pushed you forward?
Sense of Smell: What does the air smell like outside your home vs. Inside your home? Does it smell differently at certain times of the day or during different temperatures?
Added questions: Sometimes the air has a scent depending on what’s around you. Many scents won’t hurt your lungs but that’s not always the case for people with Asthma. Things like strong perfumes or air fresheners can do more harm than good. Can you think of scents in the air that are okay to breathe? Have you ever smelled the rain? Does the air smell like trees when you walk through a wooded area? Other examples: Flowers, various types of cooking/baking, salt water.
Sense of Taste: Can you taste the air? Perhaps our sense of taste should be left to the food we eat!
Note: If you are not able to get outside or there isn’t a tree within view of your home, you can use an open window on a windy day, a pinwheel, fan or even a heating vent to prove that air is all around us. Alternatively you can have a child blow bubbles into a glass of water with a straw (straight from their little pink lungs!).
We love seeing how home learners are using our resources! Below, Levi and Regan share what they explored using their senses. Great work – thanks for sharing, Levi and Regan!
Thursday - Greenhouse Effect Gallop
Subject: Science, Phys. Ed
Objective: Learners will discover the fundamentals of the greenhouse effect within Earth’s atmosphere.
What to expect: An informative and engaging video, followed by an at-home physical activity that uses body heat and blankets to demonstrate the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Here we offer an effective, short and educational video explaining the ‘Greenhouse Effect’. Carbon dioxide is acting like a ‘blanket’ on our planet, trapping in the sun’s rays and increasing the temperature on the surface of the planet. We’ve also got a fun and simple activity for learners to try at home to replicate the greenhouse effect using your own body and some blankets!
- Blankets (or: sweaters, sheets, jackets)
- Space to run around (indoors or outdoors)
1. Watch “Climate Change: Earth’s Giant Tetris” video:
2. Start a timer.
3. Try and touch all the doorknobs (on one floor) in the house, or, run as fast as you can between two points outside the house.
4. Write down how long it took.
5. Put on a blanket.
6. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4
7. Put on a 2nd blanket
8. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4
9. Put on a 3rd blanket
10. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4
So, what happened?
As you run around, your body is generating heat. The blankets act to trap in the heat you are generating as you run around the house, just like how our atmosphere traps heat from the sun. Touching all the doorknobs or running between two points as a timed and repeated activity is how we show the sun’s rays heating up the surface of the earth.
Adding blankets is how we show we are adding carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. The more CO2 (the more blankets) the more heat will be trapped by the Earth’s atmosphere, increasing the temperature. Feeling the warmth under the blankets is just like what is happening to the earth with the greenhouse effect and increasing levels of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide.
We hope you liked today’s activity! Questions? Comments? Email EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca
Friday Feature - The Gaia Project
Friday Feature: The Gaia Project
Who are they? Our friends at The Gaia Project are based in New Brunswick. Gaia is a non-profit charitable organization with the mission to empower youth to take action on climate change through education. They work with students of all ages, in both English and French, incorporating inquiry-based education, curriculum links, and local action in each of their projects.
Suggested activity: Climate Quest Energy Read-a-long Activity
We recommend checking out their Climate Quest: Energy Read-a-long activity! Listen as Ainslee reads “Why Should I Save Energy?” by Jen Green. Then, use the activity sheet to crack the code to find a climate action!
Questions? Comments? Write to us with what you’d like to see here next! EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca
Week 3: Earth Week 🌍
A special week of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, with activities that promote understanding and loving our home planet.
Monday - Putting Plants to Paper (with Robert Plant!)
Subject: Air Quality, Plants, Building Empathy
Description: In the video posted above, Kari and Eddie are attempting to settle Robert Plant for bedtime. He sure has a lot to say before he hits the hay! Kari assures Robert Plant that he is appreciated and that there are a lot of other people (like you!) that care about plants and clean air too! See if you can spot Eddie – he’s quick!
Objective: To build empathy toward the natural world and appreciate what plant life can do for our Earth and air quality.
Follow-up Activity: Putting Plants to Paper
Materials: Plant life of any kind! Paper and something to colour with (markers, pencil crayons, crayons). Optional: A camera to take a photo of your work.
Objective: To help learners connect with the natural world.
Find a plant growing in your home, yard or close-by in your neighbourhood. Draw a picture of it and share it with us at Clean! Eddie likes to draw pictures of his plants and hang them up nearby to encourage the plants to grow. So cute!
If you have a backyard, front yard or balcony garden go outside and see what is growing. Spring is an exciting time! You might find little plants starting to pop through old leaves or even flowers starting to bloom.
Note: If you have house plants be sure to help your parents’ water them when needed (some plants like to be watered each day in the spring, some only once a week). You can be responsible for marking their watering schedule on the calendar. That way they don’t get too little or too much water. We don’t want them to go sailing away!
If you like, you can send us your pictures of your chosen plant and your drawing of that plant (in a picture!) to the address below. We may even share them on our website.
Send your artwork here: EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca
Thanks everyone and come back to visit us each week!
Kari and Eddie
Tuesday - Netukulimk & Your Nature Spot
Theme: Two-eyed seeing, Netukulimk (harmony with nature), Sustainability, Ecosystems
Subject: Science, Social Studies
Objective: Learners will be introduced to the Mi’kmaw concept of ‘Netukulimk’, or ‘harmony with nature’, and encouraged to reflect on their own connections with ecosystems around us.
- A nature sit-spot: indoors near a window, or outdoors in a space that respects social distancing (at least 6 ft away from others)
- Optional: a journal and writing utensil
Today, we’re sharing with you some resources and activities around the Mi’kmaw concept of Netukulimk. Watch the video above from Elder Albert Marshall to learn more about this important concept.
Then, check out the video below from our friends at Ocean School, who have shared a beautifully illustrated video, explaining the concept in relation to cod and sustainable fishing practices. Ocean School is also offering fantastic Learn at Home resources every week on their website here.
Suggested reflection activity:
For this activity, learners are asked to find their own ‘Nature Spot’. This could be a comfortable chair near a window, a space on a deck or porch, a stair of your front stoop, or near a tree in a yard or garden.
Once you have found your spot, take a few deep breaths here.
After a few moments, begin to explore the area with your senses. What do you notice around you? Close your eyes – what do you hear or notice differently when focusing on sounds? What does the air smell like?
Using a journal or sketchpad, reflect on the questions below:
1. Find one animal or plant that you can see. What else is it connected to in its environment? Think about:
- What does it eat? What eats it?
- Where does it live? What else lives there?
- Does it look different in different stages of its life cycle?
- How does it hunt, or gather food?
2.What do you see that was made by humans? What is not human-made? How do the two interact?
3. What are ways that you interact with the natural world on a daily basis? Think about the food you eat, the energy you use, or the air you breathe.
Other Interesting Links:
Learn more about Netukulimk and the Mi’kmaw Conservation Group: https://mikmawconservation.ca/mission-netukulimk
Wednesday - Earth Day! Counting on Nature
Objective: To put an environmental lens on any mathematical problem to keep environmental awareness alive and well, even during math homework!
What to Expect: Simple math sentences that connect to the environment.
First, check out Kari’s fun video where she demonstrates math sentences with Big Foot! Have your learner draw pictures of the items they are adding or subtracting. Then write a math sentence to solve each one. Choose any amount of math equations that interest your learner. You can also just read and solve them out loud. Keep it light and fun!
We hope you enjoy doing these at home. We’d love to see photos of what your math-solvers come up with! Send them to EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca.
Thursday - Photosynthesis: Live (with experiment demo!)
Objective: Learners will observe the process of photosynthesis using specialized sensors, and have the opportunity to connect with photosynthesis at home through some plant-based activities.
Check out this video where we explore the relationship between the sun, plants, carbon dioxide and oxygen. We take a deeper ‘look’ at ‘live’ photosynthesis of a kale plant using a specialized instrument called a ‘Pasco’ CO2 sensor, and the SparkVue app.
A Pasco sensor measures the amount of CO2 in the air around it.
Using the SparkVue app connected to the Paso CO2 sensor, we can track the amount of CO2 in a graph over time. Tracking over time helps us see a trend in the amount of CO2 in the air when the kale plant is placed in two different conditions
1) in sunlight
2) in the dark
What do you think will happen?
Suggested at-home activity
- a plant or tree with leaves
- some cardboard, or, masking tape
Find a plant in your home with leaves, With permission from the plant’s caretaker, select 2 leaves to be in your experiment.
Cover one of the leaves. You can tape a section of it with masking tape, or cover both sides with cardboard and tape it together. Leave the other leaf uncovered. We will use this leave as a comparison.
Wait about 5 days to 1 week, then uncover the leaf. What happened? How is the covered leaf different than the other?
The cardboard or masking tape stopped sunlight from reaching the leaf. Without sunlight, that leaf could not perform photosynthesis.
At-home activity adapted from: Eco Fun: Great Projects, Experiments, and Games for a Greener Earth by David Suzuki and Kathy Vanderlinden
- PBS has a very neat interactive game that illuminates the process of photosynthesis here: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/methuselah/photosynthesis.html
Friday Feature - Maritimes Backyard BioBlitz
Subject: Science, Biodiversity, Technology, Environmental Action
In this video we explore the three main features that make up biodiversity, and explain how it reflects the strength and resilience of a system. We also look at an app called iNaturalist and get out and measure biodiversity in our yard, garden or jungle nook.
Once we’re comfortable with the application, we’ll join the City Nature Challenge 2022: Halifax Regional Municipality, but you can take part in the BioBlitz from anywhere in Nova Scotia, other parts of Canada, or anywhere in the WORLD!
The BioBlitz challenge and all contribute to the community database and be citizen scientists.
Some of you have already submitted photos to our BioBlitz Bingo Contest!
• iNaturalist app (available on Android Play Store or the iOS App store)
• Phone or tablet (must have working camera, GPS and access to the internet)
How to Use the iNaturalist App
1. Find the iNaturalist app, in the Play store or App store (inaturalist.org)
2. Login: Google account or Facebook account (talk to a grown up if you aren’t sure
which to use. You can use your Google Classroom account)
3. In the search field type: “EnviroEd – Bioblitz practice” select “join”
4. In the search field type: “City Nature Challenge 2020: Halifax Regional Municipality” *
(In case you live outside the HRM, replace the last part with your municipality name)
5. To add an observation, press on the plus sign at the bottom of the “My Observation”
6. Use the “EnviroEd -Bioblitz practice” project to get comfortable making observations
7. Go out and record sounds, take pictures and make observations, fill out the
observation sheet as much as possible, don’t forget to pick the project at the bottom
of the form.
8. Repeat steps 5 as often as you’d like, the more observations you contribute the better
it is for the community.
Do you want to collect observations with your friends? Family? Neighbours?
If you go to the inaturalist.org website, you can create your own project and invite whomever
you’d like to participate. It’s a great way to catalog and compare your surroundings with your
socially distant circles, have fun, learn and discover with your friends.
After you’ve participated in the City Nature Challenge, you can keep using the iNaturalist app
as a pocket encyclopedia and discover new plants, animals, insects or any living creature on
Biodiversity video from Planet Earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6Ua_zWDH6U
iNaturalist website: https://www.inaturalist.org/
City Nature Challenge Website: https://citynaturechallenge.org/
Week 4: Water Cycle Week 💧
Water you going to be doing this week? We’ll be taking you on a journey through the water cycle, and dig in to how we can conserve water from our homes.
Monday - Eddie's Dripless Road Tour CD
Description: Mini activities and a humorous exploration of water, the critters that rely on it, and why we need to keep it clean.
What to Expect: Meet the “Dripless Road Tour” characters and try out their mini- activities to start. Once you get to know them, take a listen to their music and conversations about water here: Eddie’s Dripless Road Tour Tunes
The album is around 20 minutes long but you can always skip ahead to your favourites.
A few years ago, Eddie and Kari met some new friends while travelling around Nova Scotia. Together, they started talking about how important water is and why we need to keep it clean. They made some music together and learned a lot at the same time. You can listen to the music and meet their friends below.
Wayne Dwop (Fresh from the tap and ready to rap!)
Wayne Dwop sounds a lot like Rain Drop, doesn’t it? That is because Wayne is water and he does not like to be wasted.
Mini Activity: Can you think of one way people waste water at home?
Sally the Salmon (Watch out for her wet kisses!)
Sally is a fun-loving fish that likes bubbles in her dish! Bubbles in the water allow her to breathe. When water rushes over big rocks and fallen trees, that creates bubbles.
Mini Activity: Try moving your hand quickly through water next time you have a bath or when are doing the dishes in the sink. Do you see bubbles?
Sagar Jha (No photo available but just imagine one of the nicest, coolest people you could ever meet)
Also known as Sugar Jaw, Sagar stops by to rap a really cool song about water. I bet you could rap along with him once you catch on to the song! Or, just get up and dance!
Mini Activity – Dance to his rap song on track 11!
Eddie the Cat and Kari (Best buds!)
You know Eddie but have you ever seen a cat in a wet suit and flippers? He wants to stay dry while talking to Wayne Dwop and Sally the Salmon. Sounds like a cat to me! Cat’s do not like getting wet, but they still need to drink water like the rest of us.
Mini Activity: Can you name three drinks or foods that have water in them?
If you would like to share your answers with us at Clean you can send them here: EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca. We may even write you back!
Tuesday - Exploring the Water Cycle with EdPuzzle
What to expect: Did you know that the water you’re drinking is older than you? Today, we’re going to watch a video on the water cycle.
Wednesday - Water Conservation with Wayne Dwop
Theme: Water cycle, Water conservation at home
What to expect: A read-along (or, listen-along) story with photos from Kari and her friend Eddie the Cat and special guest Wayne Dwop! Together they learn about the Water Cycle and how to take care of water from our own homes.
Wayne Dwop and The Water Cycle
Eddie and I were thinking about this thing called the WATER CYCLE the other day and it brought up some good questions. Asking questions is how we learn in school and at home, so I hope you are asking questions too!
Eddie wanted to know how water could ride a bike. “Oh Eddie”, I said, “the water cycle has nothing to do with bicycles but maybe the wheel of a bike can help you understand what it is.”
He looked interested through his goggles, so I continued on.
“A bike wheel goes round and round, there is no end and no beginning of a proper circle. Not like the ones I try to draw free hand where the ends don’t always meet up! Water goes round and round too, becoming clouds, rain, puddles and then clouds again!”
Eddie still needed some help understanding the water cycle, so we found this really cool video that put my words about the water cycle into art and music. I don’t know about you, but it really helps me to learn new things when I can see them, so check out the video below and then read on!
The Bazillions “Water Cycle”
Pretty cool, right? We learned some big words too!
Just as we were talking about water, we got a visit from our old friend Wayne Dwop! He showed up while I was brushing my teeth! “Hi Wayne!” Eddie promptly put on his black wet suit to stay dry. Cats!
Wayne Dwop does not like being wasted. In fact, he stayed with us for quite some time making sure we were not wasting water. We need to conserve, which is another way of saying: USE LESS!
Wayne Dwop kept his eye on me while I was brushing my teeth. Brushing on, taps off!
He reminded me to take shorter showers too…He also reminded Eddie to only flush the toilet when you need to, not just for the fun of it! “Ah hem, did you hear that Eddie? That is good clean water in there!”
Eddie will now go back to playing with proper cat toys!
“What’s the big deal?” meowed Eddie, “There seems to be lots of Wayne Dwop coming out of our taps all the time. Why do we need to conserve?”
“Oh, good use of the word ‘conserve’ Eddie! It may seem like water is always available in Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada but there isn’t much drinking water on the Earth for the billions of people and critters that need it. Sure, there’s oceans out there but that’s salt water. We can’t drink that, so we need to protect the small amount of clean water we have by only using what we need. Conserve; use less!”
Wayne also reminded us that water is everywhere and doesn’t always look like him. It can be frozen into ice or it can be very tiny, rising up in the air, and we call that ‘water vapor’.
“Yikes”, said Eddie, “I didn’t know there was going to be snakes in the air!”
“No, no, Eddie not a viper” I assured him, “We are talking about ‘vapor’. Two great words that start with the letter ‘V’ though, well done! And by the way, snakes need water too!” Yessssss, pleasssssssse.
You can see the water vapor coming out of the pot of boiling water on the stove. It is going up and will eventually become a cloud, and then become rain, and then it will be a part of a lake or an ocean, and then it will rise-up again as water vapor, and become a cloud… whoa, I’m getting dizzy!
Eddie was catching on. He understood that water moves in a circle kind of like a wheel on a bike. He knows that water can be hot steam, a cool mist, and ice too! And he knows that we need to conserve water so that everyone can enjoy the best drink in town!
“The water cycle is my new favourite kind of circle” said Eddie.
Thanks for the visit Wayne Dwop. Now I need to mop!
Hope you enjoyed reading or listening along today! You can learn more about water conservation in your home here.
Thursday - What is a Watershed?
Theme: Science, Watersheds, Pollution sources, Human impact on the environment
What to expect: Did you know that the area you live in is part of a watershed? Today, we’re going to take a look at a scaled down ‘model’ of a watershed, to help us see how water all around us is connected. We’ll also examine different kinds of pollution, and watch how it enter of the bodies of water where we live, which can affect the health of the watershed and its inhabitants.
After watching the video above, we know more about how important precipitation is in a watershed, it’s time to take action at home!
How do we know how much water falls in an area? Turns out that lots of scientists and meteorologists turn to helpful ‘citizen scientists’ who track this at home!
One organization that is doing this is the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network – or CoCoRaHS for short!
Check out this great animated video which tells the story of how and why we started tracking precipitation. It all started one VERY rain day…
So, how can you track rain in your own watershed? Time to build your very own rain gauge!
We’d love to see your measurements. Try tracking precipitation in your yard for 1 week and send us your results to EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca.
Friday Feature - Mi'kmaw Conservation Group Education Corner
Friday Feature: The Mi’kmaw Conservation Group – Education Corner
Who are they? The Mi’kmaw Conservation Group is a part of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’maq. Their mission is to promote and restore the concept of Netukulimk in the Bay of Fundy Watershed. Netukulimk is a way of life; the Mi’kmaw took only what was needed and wasted nothing.
The Mi’kmaw Conservation Group Education Corner has lots of online and offline activities for learners at home, including colouring pages, species and track identification, interactive games, and more. Many of these activities are offered in English and Mi’kmaq.
Suggested activity: Learning About the Riparian Zone (P-6)
We recommend checking out their ‘Exploring the Riparian Zone’ interactive activity! Learners will discover different parts of this important ecosystem by clicking around the image. Can you find the salmon?
After, download the colouring book to learn more about the salmon and other endangered species.
Week 5: Waste (Less) Week ♻️
This week we’ll sing along on one of Eddie’s Litterless Road Tours, turn plants into paper (and back again!), take part in the 3 R’s Olympics, and make an up-cycling project!
Monday - Eddie's Litterless Road Tour Sing-a-long
Description: Eddie and Kari talk about litter and waste reduction and sing the songs that have been performed in classrooms all-across Nova Scotia to the delight of young learners and teachers. A special funny, furry guest just might come by for a chat!
Subject: Music, writing/literacy, community, health
Objective: Learners practice rhyming, learn about empathy and can sing (and move along!) to Eddie’s songs. Then, consider what rules you might create to help your classroom or household be waste warriors!
Listen to Eddie’s original waste-less recording where learners are reminded about the importance of living litter-free and creating less waste. Then, think about this…
Does your classroom or even your school have rules against littering? If they don’t, try to make up a set of rules that your classmates could follow.
What about your home? Are there rules your family want to create to reduce, re-use, and recycle together? You can write them together and place them somewhere that everyone can see.
Eddie’s first rule is to REDUCE YOUR WASTE IN THE FISRT PLACE! That means coming to school with food that is not in wrappers and throw-away packaging. Eddie says you can use this rule if you would like to! What would this rule look like at home?
Every province and municipality have laws surrounding littering. Older learners can research those laws and answer some questions: What are the laws? Are there fines? How much are the fines?
You can send your answers or pictures of your rules and laws to EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca. We may even write you back!
Tuesday - Make a Seed Bomb
Have you ever wanted to brighten up an area outside? Maybe you want to surprise somebody for for Mother’s Day? Today, we’re going to make a sneaky bright explosion of colors using wildflower seeds and scrap paper. We’ll prepare a seed bomb that will brighten an area in just under a week! After all, April showers…. brings May flowers ?
- Large bowl (or any receptacle)
- Water (1/2 cup)
- Paper (from newspaper, flyers or other scrap)
- Wildflower seeds (try to ensure they are local species – ask your garden store)
- Screen (from a window)
- Cutting board (something flat to lay on top of drying seedbomb)
- Cast iron pan (something heavy)
- Hair dryer (optional, dries faster)
1. Tear up your paper into small bits
2. Put half a cup of water in the blender with torn paper
3. Blend into paste
4. Place screen on bowl
5. Sprinkle seeds onto screen
6. Get a grown up to scoop some of the paper paste into your hands
7. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can
8. Place it on the seeds on the screen
9. Shape and flatten
Optional: run hair dryer to accelerate the drying process
10. Place something heavy on your seed and paper mixture. (We used a cutting board and cast-iron pan!). Then leave to dry.
There you have it! An easy home-made seed bomb packed with wildflower seeds.
How to plant:
When you decide where you want your explosion of bright to happen and wildflowers to grow, place your seed bomb onto some soil, and water until it is damp to the touch.
The next few days, you should ensure your seed bomb remains moist. The seeds are germinating inside the moist paper and soon after they will root and spread into the soil. Not before long, you’ll have a wonderful burst of wildflower colour!
How did your seed bomb turn out? We’d love to see your photos! Send them to EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca.
Wednesday - 3 R's Olympics - Going for Gold
Theme: Waste management, sustainability
What to expect: A fun and easy craft to get learners thinking about the 3 “R”s – Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle. You can use the medals around your home as a way to encourage environmentally friendly actions.
- Glue stick or a glue-gun
- A cup
- Coloured markers (yellow, and copper/bronze/brown)
- Thick paper, cardboard, or the back of a cereal box – use what you have!
- Ribbon, string, or twine
1. Cut out 3 circles on your cardboard or cereal box. You can use a circle shape to help you trace, like an upside-down cup.
2. Colour 1 circle yellow, and another brown or bronze. You could also use coloured paper in the shape of a circle and glue it on to the cardboard.
For the silver medal, you can cut a piece of tinfoil and wrap it around the medal for a shiny ‘silver’ look!
3. Glue the ribbon to the back of the medal. Be careful if you’re using a hot glue gun!
4. Write your ‘R’ word on the medal. Remember, ‘Reduce’ is the most important of the ‘R’ words, so it will be on the gold medal. Then, ‘Re-use’ is silver. Finally, ‘Recycle’ goes on the bronze medal.
When you are done making your medals, think of ways you can use them around your home. Maybe you will decide to hang them to remind everyone to practice the 3 “R”s, or maybe you will hand them out when you see somebody doing one of the 3 “R”s each day.
Hey look! Eddie got a gold medal for ‘Reducing’!
How are you using your 3 R’s medals around the house? We’d love to see! Send us a photo to EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca.
Thursday - Upcycling! Making a Greenhouse
What to expect: Today, we ‘dig in’ to the idea of ‘upcycling’ – taking materials that might otherwise have been thrown away to make something new and useful! Follow along with Raoul in a step-by-step video that explains how to build a simple greenhouse using materials found around the house. Ready to kick start your summer veggie garden?
And did you know it is International Composting Week? Check out these free WasteLess Gardening Webinars from Halifax Solid Waste.
What is seed germination? Video from AumSum
Reduce Through Upcycling Challenge from Divert NS
Friday Feature - Divert NS
Friday Feature: Divert NS
Who are they? Divert NS works with Nova Scotians to improve the province’s environment, economy, and quality of life by reducing, reusing, recycling, and recovering resources.
Their educational efforts are province-wide, spanning from social media campaigns, in-school curriculum materials, industry-specific summits, to face-to-face communication in community settings.
Suggested activity: Single_use Plastic: From Producer to Pro-Reducer!
“In this activity. learners explore “silly” and “smart” ways to package our everyday items. They have the opportunity to learn about how the Mi’kmaq traditionally transported and stored various foods and everyday items. Students explore the concept of a plastic-free grocery store; think about alternatives to single-use plastic; and make a pledge to refuse plastic.“
“Silly packaging” from www.instagram.com/pointless_packaging
Mi’kmaw baskets: photos from Nova Scotia Museum – Ethnology Collection. Text adapted from Pa’skite’kemk (Mi’kmaw Basketry) 2007 Mi’kmaq History Month Poster. Eastern Woodland Print Communications, Millbrook, NS Mi’kmaq History Month posters: www.mikmaqhistorymonth.ca
The Tare Shop: Photos used with permission from The Tare Shop www.instagram.com/thetareshop
Above images from: Divert NS Grade 6 Learning Experience: Single-Use Plastic: From Producer to Pro-Reducer
Week 6: Renewable Energy Week
What is renewable energy and where does it come from? We’ll explore that this week with activities and videos that highlight the importance of renewable energy for a clean future!
Monday - A Windy Workout
Subject: Renewable Energy, Air Quality, Environment, Health, Physical Fitness
Description: While Kari is working out at the gym, she gets a surprise visit from Windy Wendy the Wind Turbine. She’s there to stay fit and become one of the strongest sources of energy.
Uh Oh, it looks like fossil fuels have also been to the same gym!
Try answering these 5 True or False Questions after watching the video!
True or False?
1. Windy Wendy uses the flow of water to make energy.
2. Fossil Fuels are the same thing as non-renewables.
3. Windy Wendy has two good friends, Solar Panel Sam and Hydro Power Henry.
4. Burning Fossil Fuels is good for our air.
5. Eddie likes cupcakes.
Tuesday - Build A Waterwheel
Theme: Physics, Science, Energy, History
What to expect: Learners get an introduction to the concept and history of hydropower – an important renewable resource. Then, they can build their own ‘waterwheel’ to see how this kinetic energy machine works!
The following text is adapted from Teach Engineering’s Activity: Waterwheel Work
Today we are going to talk about hydropower. Hydropower is a renewable energy resource. Hydro means water, so hydropower is something that gets power from water. Hydropower captures energy from the movement of water or water’s kinetic energy.
What is a waterwheel?
A waterwheel is an example of how people have created a machine that uses and produces hydropower. A waterwheel is also called a turbine.
How do they work?
The waterwheel is one of the oldest known sources of power. A waterwheel spins as a stream of water (which is being pulled down by gravity) hits its paddles or blades. The first reference to its use is about 4000 BC. More than 2,000 years ago, farmers used waterwheels to grind wheat into flour. Waterwheels use the kinetic energy of moving water to perform many types of mechanical work. Waterwheels were used to power farm equipment, drive pumps, trip hammers, saw timber, grind grains into flour, forge iron, and power textile mills. Often, towns were built close to a river so waterwheels could be built nearby.
Copyright © 2010 Jean Parks, ITL Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder
Three types of waterwheels are the horizontal waterwheel, overshot vertical waterwheel, and undershot vertical waterwheel. In the horizontal waterwheel, water flows from an aqueduct or pipe from the side of the wheel and onto the wheel. The forward motion of the water turns the wheel. In the overshot vertical waterwheel, water drops down from a water source above onto the wheel, turning it. Undershot vertical waterwheels are large vertical waterwheels placed in a stream such that the wheel is turned by the moving water.
How do we use this technology today?
Today, engineers around the world develop hydroelectric plants to meet growing energy demand. The waterwheel concept is used in dams to generate electricity. Dams are some of the largest human-made structures on Earth. The same concepts that are employed in a waterwheel are used in these gigantic hydroelectric power plants.
A waterwheel is a simple turbine—a device with buckets, paddles or blades that is rotated by moving water, converting the kinetic energy of water into mechanical movement. Hydroelectric power plants use huge and more complex turbines to generate electricity.
Using hydroelectric power plants can reduce the amount of fossil fuels needed to generate electricity. The biggest advantages of using hydropower for electricity are that it is a renewable resource and it does not give off air pollution during operation. Engineers design (and redesign existing) dams to be friendlier for fish and wildlife, and to work better at making electricity.
Ready to build your own waterwheel?
Wednesday - SuperNOVA Solar Powered Desalinator
Feature: SuperNOVA at Dal
Who are they? SuperNOVA is a not-for-profit initiative of Dalhousie University that promotes science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) to youth in Atlantic Canada.
Based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, SuperNOVA offers engaging and innovative workshops, summer camps, clubs, and community events throughout Atlantic Canada that provide youth with rewarding experiences in STEM and nurture a life-long love of exploration, creativity, and academic achievement.
SuperNOVA has been putting out great activities this Spring – check them out here!
Suggested Activity: Solar Powered Desalinator
In this activity, learners build a simple ‘desalinator’ that uses solar power! This is also a great way to observe the process of evaporation and condensation, and reflect on the importance of fresh water for all humans.
The Power of Sunlight! Science Project for Kids from SciShow Kids on YouTube
Thursday - Renewable Energy: A bright future for all
Theme: Science, technology
What do you know about renewable energy? Today, we’re going to learn about four different renewable energies. We’ll look at the similarities and the differences, and how each of them work. After you’ve watched the video, click on the link below for the reflection questions and instructions on how to make your own wind turbine.
Friday - 'Power Up' to 'Save The World'!
Today we are featuring two great online games that both teach about renewable energy. Younger learners will have fun ‘powering up’ homes in a simple game showing optimum conditions for both solar and wind energy. Older learners can try to ‘save the world’ by understanding how renewable energy sources work, and placing them accordingly.
Capture clean energy from the wind and the Sun to produce enough electricity to run the town. Move your wind turbine up and down to keep it in the strongest, fastest winds. Keep your solar panels in the bright sunlight and out of the rain. See if you can light up the whole town. Win the clean energy Platinum Award!
Save The World
The world’s energy supplies are in crisis, and it’s up to you to save the world! This game will teach you all about different power sources, alternative energy, and how we generate electricity to power our lives.
Week 7: Foundations of Food🍽️
A week all about food? Yum! Join us for tips on packing low-waste snacks, examining our food footprints, getting into the kitchen with Bigfoot, and celebrating local growers in Nova Scotia.
Monday - Waste Free Lunches with Eddie
Welcome to food week!
Food is one of Eddie’s favourite topics because it is often food at school or on the go that creates so much waste. Wrappers, straws, cups, plastic packaging – some of it goes into the garbage but a lot of it ends up out in nature.
Food itself can also be wasted. We take too much, or we buy it and just let it rot in our refrigerators… what can we do?
Let’s start by packing a lunch that has no waste.
- A plastic or metal sandwich container is a great thing to have around the home because you can put so much more than just sandwiches in it! Nachos, rice wraps, sushi, hummus and pita, pancakes, cheese… you name it!
- A smaller container for snack items is also great for crackers, fruit or even yogurt.
- Don’t forget your water bottle! You don’t need to drink sugary juice boxes at lunch that wear away at your teeth. Your body needs water and it can be easily filled up at school when you need it.
- A small thermos is also handy if you like to keep things warm for lunch.
- Bring a metal spoon with you – something you don’t mind if it gets lost. We have a few mismatched spoons here at home that we got at a second-hand store. Hey, that’s double re-using! Woo hoo!
- A cloth napkin is also handy if you are filling your thermos with saucy spaghetti! Just pop it in the laundry when you get home.
All these items can be taken home to be washed and used again and again and again and again!
As for food waste – only take what you think you will eat. If a full sandwich is too much, try taking a half sandwich and some snacks. If you don’t finish the snacks, you can easily eat them after school when your belly might be rumbling again!
Check out what Windy Wendy and Robert Plant had for lunch. Can you guess what they might eat up today?
Activity: Draw a lunch for Eddie!
Description: Draw Eddie a lunch that is packed with reusable containers. You can look at what you have at home to get some ideas or design you own perfect lunch. Feel free to draw Eddie too! Eddie is always looking for ideas on what to bring to school or on a picnic…can you make some delicious suggestions?
Materials: paper, markers, pencil crayons or crayons
Subject: Art, Literacy
Send your drawings to Eddie at EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca and he will put the first 3 entries on our website to inspire others!
Here are some food jokes to brighten your day. If you have a good one, send it to us with your drawing!
Why did the banana go to the doctor? Because he wasn’t peeling well.
Why can you never tell a secret on a farm? Because the potatoes have eyes and the corn has ears.
Why was the cucumber mad? Because he was in a pickle.
Why did the orange stop in the middle of the road? Because she ran out of juice.
What do you get when you put a bunch of ducks in a box? A box of quackers.
How do you feel when you eat peas fresh from the garden? Hap-pea!
What did the taco say on the phone? What do you want to taco ‘bout?
Tuesday - What's a Foodprint?
Theme: Science, nutrition
Do you know what your carbon “food print” is? Like your “carbon footprint”, it has to do with choices: in this case the choices we make with regards to food waste, transportation, production.
Today, we’re going to take a look at how our choices in the grocery store, market and restaurant affects the world around us.
First, check out these videos below, which explain the concept of a foodprint and dive into the complex food systems on our planet!
Activity : Make your own re-usable bag!
The find folks at FoodPrint have lots of ideas on how to live sustainably and cut down on our foodprints. Check out this resource on making your own re-usable bags, bowl covers, and snack bags!
Wednesday - Baking with Big Foot
Description: Listen and read along to “Baking with Big Foot”. Characters include Kari (K) and Big Foot (BF). When you are done listening, give this recipe a try!
Subject: Reading/literacy, Healthy Living
K: Hello and welcome to Baking with Big Foot. Big Foot is going to share with us one of his favourite recipes for a waste-free snack that can be eaten on the go, or right at home. And I’m totally terrified to taste it. What do you have for us Big Foot?
BF: Energy Boulders.
K: Great. That’s great! Wait, you mean energy balls?
BF: No, boulders, I’m hungry. Here’s what you’re going to need…
K: Oh, Big Foot is handing me the recipe… it says:
- ½ cup coconut
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup of a nut butter – we can use sunflower seed butter today
- 3 tbsp ground flax – you can throw in wheat germ or wheat bran if you don’t have flax to grind up.
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- ½ cup chocolate chips or dried berries/raisons
- A bowl
- A log
K: A log?
BF: To stir it with.
K: We have something called a spoon that might work better.
BF: What? Why doesn’t anyone tell me about these things. Do you know how hard it is to stir things with a log?
K: How do you not know about a spoon? You are 333 years old and I’m only 19.
BF: Well I know you’re not 19! Now, put all ingredients into a bowl.
K: Oh fine. I’m pouring all the measured ingredients into a bowl.
BF: Now stir everything with this wooden spoon, which is just a baby log, I guess.
K: Ok, stirring – oooo this takes some muscle.
BF: You’re not making a bag of feathers Kari, it’s a boulder!
K: Alright, alright I got it. Now what?
BF: Roll it into a boulder shape, obviously.
K: Ugh that bag of feathers is sounding pretty good right now.
BF: Ok stop, it’s a boulder. Now… put it in a snowbank for one annoyingly long hour.
Ki: Uh, we have a fridge that can cool it and harden it right here in the house.
BF: You have a big box of snow in the house?
K: Um, kind of yes, it’s that big silver box over there.
BF: I thought that was a time machine.
K: Let’s put our, um, boulder on a tray and in the fridge for an hour.
BF: If we had a time machine, we could speed this up you know. Hungrrrrrrrry!
K: While we wait, let’s just think about how great it is that we are making something in our own kitchen. We know exactly what we will be eating and when we are done eating it, there won’t be any wrappers to throw away. I think that deserves a gold medal for reducing. Eddie would be proud. Less waste, less litter!
–One annoyingly long hour later–
K: Ah, time to take our creation out of the fridge. Here you go Big Foot!
BF: What are all these little pebbles?
K: I took the liberty of breaking up the boulder when you weren’t looking, so that we had more snacks to enjoy for several days instead of all at once.
BF: I think I’m going to need a smaller mouth.
K: Hey everyone out there, there are plenty of energy boulder, I mean ‘ball’ recipes out there on the internet or maybe in a cookbook on your shelf. Choose one you like best and have fun making it and eating it! Feel good about your waste-free snack and let your friends know all about Big Foot’s recipe.
K: Hey Big Foot, Can Eddie have one of these?
BF: Yeah, he can have one that is already in my mouth. Come get it kitty.
K: Never mind, never mind! Thanks for joining us for: Baking with Big Foot!
Keep your energy boulders in the fridge in an air-tight container. And don’t forget to share!
Thursday - Finding Local Food in Nova Scotia
Theme: Science, nutrition
What’s your favourite food? Maybe it’s a delicious, steaming lasagna, or perhaps you love a heaping, healthy, bowl of greens? Or maybe you’d rather a yummy hot dog with a sweet apple pie for dessert?
Whatever your favourite – chances are you can source much of it from right here in Nova Scotia!
And by buying local, we support families and small businesses that are a part of our communities.
Do you know about what fantastic foods are available to you locally? Today, we’re going to look at some of the different ways we can support the local economy and reduce our carbon footprint by shifting the way we live and the daily choices we make.
Food and Climate Change
On Tuesday this week, we learned a bit about ‘food prints’, and how our choices in the grocery store, market and restaurant affects the world around us. Here’s a great short re-cap: What you eat has a climate impact! From ‘The Queen of Green’ at the David Suzuki Foundation
But, we bet you’re wondering – what’s MY footprint?! Luckily, there are lots of great resources out there to help you understand your own personal climate impacts. By knowing our own impacts, we can make better choices and support sustainable systems in our communities, and country!
Ready to find out? Click on this link to do your own carbon footprint quiz.
Source Local Scavenger Hunt
Now that you know about the importance of eating local food to reduce our carbon footprint… it’s time to get hungry!
Right now there are many producers in Nova Scotia who are offering safe delivery and pickup of delicious, locally grown food. Can you find the following 5 items from local producers?
Here are some resources to help you out:
1. EAC’s Local Food Guide – Full list of farmers, markets, and CSA’s (community supported agriculture) in Nova Scotia
2. HRM Food Delivery and Pick Up – Includes easy-to-find categories of food items available in HRM
Send your answers to EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca … we’d love to see what’s on your plate!
1. So, now that you know a bit about food footprints and how important it is to source and support local – let’s reflect! Cick here to find our Carbon Foodprint reflection questions to help you take action to lower your carbon footprint…and foodprint!
2. Have you ever seen a food labelled ‘Organic’? What about ‘Fairtrade’? These are called ‘Eco Labels’, and there are over 100 different labels in Canada alone! Each label means something different about the producer or the product. Take a peek at this huge list of eco labels in Canada. Which ones have you seen before?
Friday Feature - Nourish NS
Friday Feature: Nourish NS
Who are they? Nourish NS was established in 2012, to help students be healthy learners so they can reach their potential in the classroom and in life.
They equip students with knowledge and food literacy skills so they can better understand what nourishment means to the body, what local farmers mean to the economy and how to connect the dots between the garden and table. By teaching kids to eat real food early on they will be great eaters throughout life… good food = good thinking!
Check out their fantastic recipe page featuring tons of local ingredients available in Nova Scotia.
Suggested activity: Nourish Food and Film Challenge
What we eat affects the environment, and the environment affects what we eat. Youth across Nova Scotia care about climate change and food plays a big part.
Tell a story about what interests you on this topic. What makes you mad, sad, happy or glad? Maybe your film is a call to action for you, your family, your community, province, country or planet.
Films must be:
- Made by school-aged kids
- 3 minutes max
- Related to the theme
- Creative and fun!
Week 8: Climate Change🌀
This week we look at the important issue of Climate Change – from explaining it in simple terms to little learners, to discovering how to take action and be the superheroes our planet needs.
Monday - Weather Time Capsule
Welcome to Climate Change week! We thought we should begin by explaining what climate change is because we hear it on the radio and television every day. And that’s not always been the case, so you know that times are changing!
Below are two links that can help you understand what climate change is, and how your actions on Earth can play a part – you can make things better or you can make things worse. We hope you will choose ‘better’!
Later this week (Wed May 27), Eddie and Kari will talk to someone who can really give us an idea about changes, we can’t wait for you to meet her!
1. Start by reading about Climate Change here. (if you are comfortable reading and exploring, this site is for you. Alternatively, you can have a parent or more experienced reader help you.)
2. Here is a great video, ‘Climate Change according to a kid’! Watch or listen learn about Climate Change (This video was made a few years ago so the information at the end about the meeting in Paris has already happened!)
3. Now that you know a bit about the problem, here are some tips from National Geographic on what you can do to help our changing climate:
Activity: Build a Weather Time Capsule
- A ruler
- The great outdoors (go outside or look out your window)
- An envelope or alternative containers for your capsule
Subject: Nature, Literacy, Science
Description: Humans like yourself love looking back in time to see what the “olden days” were like. Here is a chance for you to create something that will let your older self, look back in time when it comes to the weather.
We want you to record the daily weather on a chart for one week. You can make your own chart or print out the one we have made here. You can write words like “sunny” or “raining”, you can record temperatures like “15 degrees” (if you listen to the radio you can hear the temperature each day), or you can draw pictures of what you see or what you feel. The more detail, the better!
When you are done, tuck your chart into an envelope, seal it tight and write this message on the front: Do NOT open until May 2030. (sign your name)
You can give it to your parents to put away or you can find a special place in the home all by yourself. You can alternatively put it in a tin can or glass jar and put it up on a shelf.
Your older self will be able to look back and compare the weather during the exact same time period in the future. Do you think you will notice any differences? Perhaps there will be changes in the climate… (visit our web page on Wednesday May 27th to learn more about difference between “weather” and “climate change”)
Please feel welcome to send us a picture of your awesome time capsule: EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca
We would love to share them!
Tuesday - The Carbon Cycle
Theme: Science, ecology
All living things on this planet are considered to be carbon-based lifeforms. This carbon moves around through something called ‘the carbon cycle’. The various forms carbon takes in this cycle are crucial to the function of our planet.
Over the last couple hundred years, humans have been affecting this cycle. This impact has stressed the conditions that make life possible on the planet.
Check out this great video ‘What’s the Deal with Carbon?’ which takes us through the cycle!
So now that you’ve learned a bit about the cycle, it’s time to reflect! Click here for our carbon cycle reflection questions.
Activity: What contains carbon?
Carbon is all around us! But do you know where? Take a look at the images below and write down which ones you think contain carbon, and why. When you’re done, click the answer key to see how you did.
Did you write down you answers? Click here for the answer key.
Wednesday - Interview with an Elder
Today, Kari and Eddie try to understand the difference between Weather and Climate with a little help from one of Eddie’s dearest relatives. We can’t wait for you to meet her!
When you are done watching the video, scroll down for suggested questions to bring to a trusted elder in your own life.
Follow Up activity: Interview an Elder
Subject: Literacy, communication, research
Ask an elder in your life about weather and climate change. They can be your own grandparent, an elderly relative or trusted elderly neighbor. A video call or phone call is best right now but if you talk to someone in person be sure to practice proper social distancing.
If you are shy like Eddie and Kari when it comes to talking to adults, we have listed a few handy questions to help you get the conversation started. And be sure to say “Thank you!” when you are done talking.
Materials: A phone or computer to make the call, a pencil and paper for making notes.
Questions you can ask to understand climate change:
I want to understand climate change, so can you tell me what summers or winters were like when you were a kid?
Do winters seem different now a days?
Does winter seem shorter to you now, or longer?
Did you ever hear the words ‘climate change’ when you were a kid?
Do you remember when you first started to hear about climate change?
Can you tell me about a big storm when you were young?
How hot did the summers get when you were young?
Feel welcome to share the stories you hear with us at EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca. We would love to hear them too!
Thursday - EnviroNews: Greenhouse Gas Special Report!
Theme: Science, Climate change, Chemistry, Human Impacts, Environmental action
Greenhouse gasses are all around us. But do we know what they are and where they come from? Today, Raoul bring us a ‘Special Report’ on the state of the atmosphere and the future of the planet – featuring a very special guest.
Are you curious about how you can take action to reduce Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs)? There are lots of ways individuals, families, and communities can work together to reduce the amount of GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Check out this awesome guide from Earth Guardians: 50 Simple Things – A Guide to Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
We challenge YOU to read the list, then pick 3 ways you will take action in your own life, home, or community!
Friday Feature for Teachers - Teaching About Climate Change
Today, we’re highlighting a new Program at Clean – Climate Action School!
Clean Climate Action School’s objective is to help youth develop a solid foundation in climate science and to empower them to understand how to make change in their community.
Geared toward Grade 8 learners, students explore the scientific basis of climate change and build their understanding of climate change, including carbon dioxide in our environment, ocean acidification, the greenhouse effect, and the albedo effect.
We can’t wait to be back in classrooms doing this hands-on curriculum-aligned workshop program – but until then, there are lots of activities and experiments from the program that can be done at home! Like this pH indicator experiment that Raoul showed us how to make in Week 2 of Learn at Home.
The Clean Climate Action School Teacher Resource is designed to lay the groundwork for a series of learning experiences for middle school learners to explore the interconnected topics of climate change and environmental action.
Monday - Exploring Your Naturehood
Theme: Nature literacy, Community, Health
- Piece of paper to record your findings
- Clipboard, thin hardcover book, or a good piece of cardboard
- Hat and sunscreen
Description: Spring has sprung, so now is a great time to discover what types of plants are in your “naturehood”. Take a walk around your block with a trusted adult and take note of the different types of plant life that surround you. You may discover a plant that you’ve never noticed before while rushing off to school each day. Slow down, look down.
Can you come up with 20 or more nature words while you are walking around? Eddie is up to 27 words – can you beat him?
If you see someone out tending their gardens, ask them if they can tell you what they are growing. You might learn some new nature words and make someone feel special about their garden! Remember to practice social distancing too!
If there aren’t many gardens near where you live, focus on the trees or hanging baskets from balconies or storefronts. You might even find something green growing between sidewalk cracks. Nature always finds a way!
Send us your list of nature words – we would love to see what you found! And if you beat Eddie (more than 27 nature words) we will share some of your words on our website send you a thank you note from Eddie himself! Oh and don’t worry about proper spelling, some plants have big names – just do your best!
Some of the plants Eddie found in his naturehood…
Tuesday - Animal Name Match Game
The words we use have a huge impact on how we see the world around us. And there are over 6,500 spoken languages around the world!
The word for ‘dog’ is different in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese… etc! So how do we find common ground?
To help scientists communicate about plants and animals across languages, we use something called ‘binomial nomenclature’. Yeah, say that 5 times fast! Also called the ‘scientific name’, every known species in the world has one – so no matter where you are and what language is spoken, the species ‘scientific name’ remains the same.
Check out this video before playing the ‘Animal Name Match Game’ below!
Activity: Animal Name Match Game
It takes experts years to memorize scientific names of species within their area of expertise – and even then they might not know them all!
Below are 5 common animals found in Canada. Can you match them to their correct ‘scientific name’?
Wednesday - Story Time with Kari!
Subject: Literacy, Language Arts, Art
Materials: Your ears and your imaginations!
This week we are focusing on words, so naturally, we need to have a story time! Kari and her little friend ‘Yellow’ will enjoy a tale written and illustrated by Leo Lionni called Fish is Fish.
Listen along with us and imagine the two worlds that the author paints with his wonderful words! Yellow has a few questions along the way, which is great because asking questions is how we learn!
Who is Yellow? Well, Yellow is very bright and loves learning new words. Their favourite colour is… you guessed it, yellow! Eddie helps Kari take care of Yellow from time to time. They are so sweet together!
Ready to use your imaginations? Get comfy, and click below to start listening…
Tip: If you made a ‘Words Nest’ during Learn at Home Week #1, feel free to add some of the words you hear in the story to your nest!
If you crave visuals for this story you can find a short animation of this very book at this link.
Follow–up Activity – Create a Critter!
- Pencil or colourful markers/crayons (don’t forget to include yellow!)
Ask a partner (perhaps a sibling or parent) to join you for this activity. Describe an animal to them without telling them what it is. Ask your partner to draw the animal you describe, and see if they can guess what type of critter you are talking about.
Example: In the story, the frog tells the fish about a cow. He says “They have four legs, horns, eat grass, and carry a pink bags of milk.”
When you are done, have your partner describe a critter to you as well, and draw it as best as you can!
If you want to share your fun drawings with Eddie and Yellow, please do! You can send them here: EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca
Thursday - Learning Mi'kmaw
If you are reading this from Nova Scotia, that means you’re in Mi’kma’ki, home of the Mi’kmaq people. Here, the native language spoken is Mi’kmaw, a verb-based language that is rooted deep in the way people see live and experience the land.
Learning more about the native language in your area might help you see from a different perspective. For example, in Mi’kmaw, there is a special word that describes the concept of ‘two-eyed seeing’, called netukulimk.
You might remember this word from Week 3 of Learn at Home (if you missed it – make sure to check it out!)
Netukulimk is a word that describes a way of living with respect and harmony with nature. It describes the relationships a person has with the world – physical, emotional, cognitional, social, spiritual. This includes the relationship with the physical features of the land, the rhythms and cycles and patterns of Wskitqamu (Mother Earth), and all her living beings and nonliving things.
Ready to learn some Mi’kmaw?
There are lots of great resources online for learning about the Mi’kmaw language.
You could start by following this Facebook page, Learning Mi’kmaq – One picture at a time, which helps learners with basic everyday words and pronunciations, like this:
For a deeper dive into the Mi’kmaw language, check out Learn Mi’kmaq Online, which has an extensive curriculum to help learners with new vocabulary, practice short dialogs, do practice exercises, and listen to recordings of different Mi’kmaw speakers.
If apps are more your thing, the Listuguj Mi’kmaq Government has created an easy-to-use app (Android Play store) to put on your phone for quick reference of how to pronounce, spell and translate common words. You can download the app here.
Finally, a huge ‘spoken dictionary’ project exists online at Mi’gmaq/Mi’kmaw Online, where you can search words and hear stories and songs.
Ready to try it out for yourself? Here we go….
Activity: Name that Critter… in Mi’kmaw!
Using the resources provided, find the names for these animals. All of them can be found in Mi’kma’ki/Nova Scotia!
Send your answers to EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca to receive the answer key!
Friday - Black Birders Week
Did you know there are over 10,000 species of birds in the world? That is a huge diversity of birds!
Some are tall and slender, like Whooping Cranes, others are small and fast, like Anna’s Hummingbird, and some don’t fly at all, like the Emperor Penguin! All birds are unique and beautiful in their own way.
This week, the National Audubon Society celebrated the first #BlackBirdersWeek, inspired by the Central Park incident threatening Christian Cooper and in response to the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. It aims to raise awareness about the challenges black birders face, encourage emerging birders and scientists to pursue their passions, and to build diversity in birding and conservation.
A person who studies birds is called an ‘ornithologist’. Woah, that’s a big word! Let’s unpack it.
In Greek, “orni” means ‘bird’ and “logos” means ‘science’ or ‘study’. So, an ornithologist engages in the scientific study of birds.
Below, ornithologist Jason Ward shows us how to use a very important tool for ‘birders’ – binoculars.
No binoculars at home? Here is a video to help you make your own play set at home. And remember Kari and Eddie’s tip: if you don’t have the exact materials in the list – just look around your home and improvise!
Suggested Activity: Build-a-Bird!
Birds have some very interesting names. Many of these names are descriptive, meaning they describe how the bird looks. For example, the Black-bellied Whistling Duck looks like this:
And can you guess what kind of noise it makes? That’s right – it makes a whistling sound! Another little bird you might see in Nova Scotia is the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher:
As you can see it’s a blue-gray in colour, and catches gnats and other insects to eat!
If you could name a bird, what would you call it? Let’s find out!
- Coloured pencils, crayons, or markers
- Your imagination!
You are going to build your very own imaginary species of bird!
To build-a-bird, start to think about what colours or shape you want your imaginary bird to be. Is it tall and slender, like a crane? Is it small and fast, like a hummingbird? Or maybe it doesn’t fly, but glides through the water like a penguin!
Once you have drawn your bird, think about what name might best describe it. Here are some fun examples: the ‘White-winged Swamp Stork’, the ‘Little Red Long-Tailed Honeysucker’, or the ‘Great Yellow-legged Fish Finder’!
Send us in your birds and their names – we’d love to see what you create! Email us at EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca
This week, children may be asking questions about big issues like racism. While we at Clean EnviroEd are not experts in this area, we recognize the importance of having these discussions with our families, especially right now.
Here are some resources that may help you engage and navigate these conversations with your children.
- How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism
- How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources That Can Help
- How to Talk with Kids About Racism and Racial Violence
- How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race
- Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice
- Books to teach white children and teens how to undo racism and white supremacy
Monday - World Oceans Day...for a whole week
Happy International Oceans Day! 🌊
If you are reading this in Mi’kmaki/Nova Scotia, that means you are near the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, because of the province’s shape, here you are never more then 80km from the coast!
But what about people who don’t live near the ocean – what does Oceans Day mean for them?
Well, you might remember back in Week 4 when we explored the Water Cycle. There, we learned that all water on Earth is connected through a never-ending cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
And waaaayy back in Week 3, we learned about Photosynthesis – that magical process where plants create food for themselves using only sunlight, water, and nutrients from soil… and produce oxygen in the air that we breathe! Well, there is a LOT of plant life in the ocean, which adds to more than 50% of the total oxygen in the air.
That means that no matter where you live – even in the middle of the Canadian prairies – you are connected to the oceans!
How will you celebrate Oceans Day and Oceans Week?
Today, we want you to go over to OceansWeek.ca and explore their huge schedule of events for this special week! Here’s just a sampling of some of the awesome events you can join virtually this week:
- ‘Shell & Tell’ with Back to the Sea Society
- Draw-a-long virtual fish dissection with SUPERNova
- Ocean Week Trivia
- Meet a local Ocean Scientist: And learn about whales
- Movie & Craft with Ella, Halifax’s 9-year-old Ocean Ambassador
- Coastal Restoration Workshop (with the Clean Coasts team!)
Have an awesome Oceans Week and remember – we’re all connected to the ocean, no matter where we are!
Tuesday - Rockin' Reef Balls
All around the world, humans are working to protect and restore shorelines and coastlines. And in Canada, we have a LOT of coastline, 243,042 km to be exact!
One of the interesting methods used to help protect and restore shorelines are called reef balls.
What’s a reef ball?
Reef balls are large, concrete structures full of holes – they sort of look like a ball of swiss cheese! These holes are important, because they offer ‘hiding spots’ and habitat for many kinds of ocean animals.
When these structures are placed underwater, they help naturally ‘rebuild’ a shoreline by enhancing habitat and slowing wave energy down.
It’s important for reef balls to be ‘pH neutral’. Remember in Week 2 when we explored pH using a home-made cabbage pH sensor? (If not, check out the activity here!). By making the reef balls pH neutral, they don’t affect the pH of the water around them – that’s a good thing!
Reef balls are especially helpful to enhance and restore tidal habitats. They offer homes for creatures that need to be in the water, but can stand to be out of water at low tide. Not all organisms can tolerate and survive in these unique conditions!
Modelled after Mother Nature
Sometimes when we want to restore a coastline, we lay down gravel or sand to ‘build up’ a beach. However, putting down sand to create a beach is only a temporary fix. It can be costly and can disturb salt marsh life, sometimes covering reefs and exposing the shore to more erosion.
Mother nature has made stable beaches for millions of years! But how? Beaches are stable when they are protected from waves by reefs, or by ocean plants like kelp or seagrass.
As we see natural reefs decline due to human activity, reef balls can fill the gap – saving millions of dollars of effort and at the same time enhancing the habitat instead of harming it.
What’s happening in Nova Scotia?
On Nova Scotia’s Northumberland shoreline, the Clean Coasts team with working closely with Mi’kmaq knowledge keepers and local communities to protect and restore salt marsh habitat.
Part of this project includes installing reef balls! You can think of these like ‘building blocks’ for the rehabilitation of the shore. They will help slow down the movement of water and build up sediment for ocean plants to thrive!
This ‘artificial reef’ will also be prime habitat for many salt marsh species like crabs, mussels, periwinkles, whelks, oysters, algae and barnacles.
Suggested Activity: Build a Tidal Pool!
Here’s a super easy science experiment for kids all about tide pools! Children will create their own mini tide pool and then add water to explore what happens during low tide and high tide. (And when they’re done, they’ll be left with a really fun tide pool sensory box to play with outside!)
- Dish pan or plastic bin
- Lots of rocks and stones in various sizes
- Mini toy sea creatures (You can use toys, or make your own out of clay!)
1. Start by filling your pan on bin with rocks. (If you have some sand nearby, throw that in too!) Arrange them so there are varying levels of rocks in your pan, creating a tide pool.
2. Place your mini ocean animals in the tide pool model.
3. Before adding water, discuss which animals will be underwater first as water is added.
4. Begin to add water one pitcher or cup at a time. (Pay attention to which animals are covered with water first.)
Continue adding water until you reach high tide. Notice how all the animals are underwater during high tide.
5. Before dropping your water level to low tide, discuss which animals will be exposed to the air first. Begin removing water one pitcher at a time until you’ve reached low tide. Notice how at low tide most animals are exposed to air. (This is a great time to talk about any body parts or movements sea creatures have to help them with low tide!)
Simulating low and high tides can help learners visualize what’s going on at local shorelines, and why certain areas of coasts and beaches are sometimes exposed and sometimes under water.
Sea animals that live in or near the rocky shore have to deal with fluctuating tides. Because the water level changes, these animals are sometimes in air and sometimes in water.
Tides are influenced by the gravitational forces of the moon, sun and Earth, the Earth’s rotation, and the shape of the shoreline.
Wednesday - A Trip to the Beach!
We are currently celebrating Oceans Week, and Eddie wants to remind you that what is hurting our oceans and aquatic life, comes from…. the land.
When we go to the beach, we tend to bring a lot of things with us. It can be like packing up a campsite just for a few hours on the sand. It is important to make sure that whatever you bring to the beach, goes home with you at the end – everything!
Activity: Beach Toy Round Up!
Paper, pencil, and your beach toys
You can help protect the oceans by making a beach toy check list for your family. Write down how many pails, shovels, balls, frisbees, that you are bringing. Make sure that you bring the same amount home.
The beach tends to be windy so you can keep your list in the car or just be sure it is secure in a beach bag for example. You can call out your list (as you are packing up for the day) and your family can shout “CHECK!” to make sure all the items are ready to go home with you.
Eddie’s Top 5 Beach Tips
#1 Tip: If you find an abandoned toy it is OK to adopt it. Better for a beach toy to come home with a child than be left behind and swept out to sea. Just ask families around you if it is their toy before you take it.
#2 Tip: Don’t bring tiny toys that aren’t meant for the beach – they can get lost in the sand or ruined in some cases. You want to bring things that are easy to spot, or hard to lose because of their size and colour!
#3 Tip: Keep an eye on your beach toys if you walk away for a snack or bathroom break. Bring them back up near your towels or just make sure they aren’t too close to the tides.
#4 Tip: Don’t forget to also pack waste-free snacks for your trip to the beach. Leave the granola bar wrappers at home and place them in a secure container. Bring reusable water bottles or thermoses for cool drinks so there are no items to throw away such as straws or plastic lids.
#5 Tip: Have a great time at the beach!
Thursday - Creating a 'Carbon Sink' with your Kitchen Sink
In Week 8, we learned about the Carbon Cycle – we learned that carbon is all around us, and inside us! We are carbon-based creatures, living in a carbon-based world.
Some of that carbon is in the air, or the atmosphere, where it is exists as Carbon Dioxide or CO2 – a greenhouse gas.
But it doesn’t just exist in the air… carbon dioxide enters into our oceans too! Yep, CO2 is soluble, meaning it can dissolve from the air, into a liquid.
You can think of the ocean like a big ‘carbon sink‘. Just like turning on the tap fills up your sink, the higher the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, the more the ocean ‘fills up’ with carbon!
So, with warmer days of summer in mind, how does temperature affect the solubility of CO2 in water? Is cold or warm water a better “carbon sink”?
Today, we’re going to investigate this hypothesis using carbonation tablets.
Activity: Make a Carbon Sink with your Kitchen Sink!
• 2 glasses
• 2 containers large enough to submerge glasses
• Warm water (approximately 40 C°)
• Cold water (approximately 5 C°)
• 2 Acetylsalicylic Acid Effervescent Tablets for Oral Solution (Alka-Seltzer)
1. Fill the cold basin about half full of cold water, with ice if needed.
2. At the tap, fill the glass entirely full of cold water so there is no air inside; carefully and quickly invert and place upside down in cold basin. There should be no air inside.
3. Place a carbonation tablet under the beaker in cold basin. Wait until it fully dissolves.
4. Record the volume of the air space created in the beaker in the cold basin.
5. Repeat Step 1, 2 and 3 with the warm beaker in the warm basin (as hot as is tolerable).
The process happens much quicker in the warmer water. Note and record the volume of the air space.
The North Atlantic is a critical carbon sink, dissolving atmospheric CO2 and carrying it deep into the ocean. But CO2 dissolves less readily in warmer water than in colder water, so as water temperatures rise, the carbon sink capacity of the ocean will decrease.
Friday - Oodles of Ocean Orgs
Today we’re taking a ‘dive’ into some of the wonderful organizations offering fun, educational experience for learning about the oceans. Some are located right here in Nova Scotia!
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Back to the Sea Society & The Touch Tank Hut
Back to the Sea Society is a registered charity dedicated to sparking curiosity for local marine life off the coast of
Nova Scotia and to fostering a desire to protect our ocean.
In summer 2017 they opened a miniature marine interpretive centre on the Dartmouth waterfront – the Touch Tank Hut! Visitors can get up close and personal with local marine wildlife. All animals are collected from the sea by professional divers, and returned ‘back to the sea’ at the end of the Summer Touch Tank season.
This Spring Back to the Sea is providing some great “Shell & Tell” videos for kids to learn about creatures that you might find in the Touch Tank Hut – like this one on Sea Urchins!
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Ocean School is a groundbreaking educational experience that uses powerful storytelling techniques, immersive technologies and interactive media. Its inquiry-based approach advances critical thinking, innovation and environmental awareness.
Their mission is to provide learners, the next generation of ocean citizens, with the knowledge and tools to understand our influence on the ocean and the ocean’s influence on us.
And now you can learn at home with Ocean School! Their top educators have combed through Ocean School to put together a few weeks of their favourite materials There’s an educational video and a student activity for each week day. No login required.
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Live.It is a BC-based organization that designs, produces, and delivers cutting edge fun, engaging online educational experiences. They specialize in 35-minute highly produced livestreamed programs that are accompanied by additional learning activities such as creative challenges, science experiments and games.
They have recently released a FREE 10-week educational series, sign up here: https://www.liveit.earth/10-week-free-series
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COVE: Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship
Dartmouth-based Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE) has released Wave of the Future, a resource book that connects children to the value of the ocean. The book teaches children about industries that work in, on and around the ocean, and how we use the ocean’s resources to explore and study the ocean.
The book is geared towards children aged 10 to 12 years old and is a visual and interactive resource that introduces young people to the Blue Economy. Featuring quizzes, online resources and interesting facts, this resource highlights how industry plays a powerful role in establishing a sustainable blue economy, and also raises awareness about the range of industries and careers involved. Each chapter of the book is available in both French and English and can be downloaded here.
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Week 11: Solar Week🌞
We all like to have fun in the sun, but how else can the sun help us live sustainably on the planet? Join us for games, s’mores and more…
Monday - Solar Oven Cookout
Solar energy comes from the sun, an energy that is always available and will never run out, so check it out! This oven can be made anywhere but we thought you might like to see how ‘anywhere’ can include a day at the beach.
It is sure to impress fellow beach goers and you will be promoting solar energy at the same time.
Build Your Own Solar Oven
- Medium sized cardboard box
- Duct tape
- Grilling rack
- Hot dogs/Veggie dogs, or anything else you want to heat up
- Don’t forget to bring a little beach shovel if you are going to secure your oven in the sand on a windy day!
Directions: Check out the video below and follow along to build your own.
You can also try Eddie’s solar oven at home and make one of Eddie’s favourite treats – chocolate covered graham crackers! Scroll down for the recipe.
Eddie’s Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers
- One small solar oven
- One graham cracker
- Around 25 chocolate chips
Step #1: Cover one graham cracker in chocolate chips and place it on your solar oven.
Step #2: Wait for the chocolate chips to melt and then spread the chocolate evenly on the cracker.
Step #3: Place the cracker in a container and put it in the freezer for 1 hour to let the chocolate harden.
Step #4: The chocolate covered cracker is ready to eat! You can eat it as a whole or break it up and share it. Eddie also likes to break it up over ice cream on a warm summer’s night. Enjoy!
Tuesday - Build a Solar Racer
In Week 6 we learned about renewable energy. We learned that there are alternative technologies that exist to create electricity.
You might remember that electricity is all about the flow of charge.
One of the ways we can achieve the flow of charge is using photovoltaic cells, or, PV cells. PV cells use a material such as silicon to absorb energy from sunlight.
The sunlight energy causes some electrons to break free from the silicon atoms in the cell. These ‘free’ electrons move to one side of the cell, creating a negative charge and leaving a positive charge on the other side.
When the cell is hooked up in a circuit with wires, the electrons will flow through the wires from the negative side to the positive side, just like a battery! This electron flow is electricity, and it will power whatever you connect to its path – a light bulb, a motor, etc.
PV cells today are still only able to capture a small fraction of the sun’s energy, so acres of them are necessary to collect enough light to create electricity on a large scale.
A lot more scientific work needs to be done to make them more efficient and take up less space. Despite the challenges, solar panels are used to power many things such as emergency signs, school crossing lights, and more.
Many people are also able to power their homes by mounting solar panels on the roof, and this will only get easier as the technology continues to advance. Maybe you’ll be the one to improve solar technology when you grow up!
Activity: Build a Solar Racer
What You Need:
- 2 solar cells*
- 2-4 alligator clip leads
- Rubber bands
- Small electric motor (Try hobby or electronics stores, and make sure you get one with a motor pulley)
- For the car body: cardboard milk carton, water bottle, cardboard, foam board, or similar materials
- For the wheels: plastic bottle caps, film canister caps, toy wheels such as K’nex, etc.
- For the axles: Stiff wire or wooden shish-kabob skewers
- Straws or eye screws to mount the axles
*The solar cells can be sourced from various places, such as from an old solar path light from the garden, most of these stopped working for reasons that don’t relate the solar panel.
What You Do:
1. Choose a material for the car body, which is called the chassis. Think carefully about this: you want something strong, but also something lightweight so it needs less power for the motor to move it. (But be careful — if it’s too light, it can easily get blown about by the wind.) A big part of engineering is finding the right balance between weight and strength.
2. Use a nail to poke a small hole in the center of your wheels. Make sure the stiff wire or wooden skewers you use for axles fit in the holes tightly. Take an extra cap and cut off the sides, leaving just the top part, which usually has a small inner rim to help keep the bottle from leaking. Glue this cap to one of your wheels. You have just created a pulley for your driving wheel; the inner rim of the extra bottle cap will support your car’s drive belt. (You can try using a film canister cap for this step instead of cutting a bottle cap. If you are using toy wheels like K’nex, you can just use a smaller wheel mounted on the inside of your main wheel to act as the pulley.)
3. Now, mount your axles onto the chassis. Depending on what your chassis is made of, you can thread the axle through eye screws mounted on the bottom. Another easy method is to tape straws on the underside of the chassis and thread the axles through them.
4. Attach the small motor pulley to the motor shaft. Determine where to mount the motor by connecting the driving pulley with the motor pulley using an elastic band as a drive belt. Position the motor so the band is slightly stretched (but don’t stretch it too much!). Mount the motor with glue or tape it in between a small frame of wood or cardboard blocks.
5. Use clear plastic tape to attach the two solar cells together side-by-side; then connect them in a series circuit using the alligator clip leads. Connect the positive terminal of one cell to the negative terminal of the other. Connect the remaining terminals to the motor. If the motor spins the wrong way, switch the leads where they connect to the motor. Once it’s connected properly, you’ll probably want to use to tape to help keep the wires under control.
6. Mount the solar cells on the chassis at an angle where they will receive the most sun. Take your car outside to a sunny sidewalk, connect the drive belt, and watch it go!
Designing and building a car from scratch involves a lot of perseverance and trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if yours doesn’t work perfectly right away.
Experiment to see if you can improve the design of your solar car. How fast does it go? Does it drive straight? How would it perform with only one solar cell? What if you used smoother wheels for less friction?
Keep testing new ideas to make your car work better!
If you want to buy a ready-made car: https://www.homesciencetools.com/product/solar-powered-car/
If you want to buy a solar car kit: https://sunwindsolar.com/
Wednesday - Solar Spotting
In today’s video, Kari discovers the difference between renewable resources and non-renewable resources.
Solar power is one of the great renewable resources we have. The sun can give us power to turn on our lights, heat up our toaster and even warm up our showers. Solar panels collect the sun’s energy for our homes and businesses.
Activity: Solar Spotting!
Materials: Pencil and paper (optional)
Take a walk around your neighbourhood with a trusted adult and play Solar Spot! Your eyes will be mainly on the rooftops where solar panels live to collect the sun’s energy. Some houses only have a few, while others have enough to cover one whole side of a roof top! Smaller solar panels may also be found in gardens for outdoor lighting.
When you spot them call out “Solar Spot!” And then count how many panels there are. They will look like large dark rectangles or even squares. You can keep track of your score with a pencil and paper or just try to remember the numbers in your head. Add them on the spot or tally the numbers when you get home.
If you live in a city centre where there aren’t many homes nearby, you might see some on top of businesses or alternatively you can go for a family bike ride to another part of town and take a look around. You can even play this on a road trip of any length!
If you like, you can come up with a fun prize for the winner. For example: One extra scoop of ice cream for dessert or no chores for one day. Bragging rights are pretty cool too!
Safety tip: The sun is very powerful and can heat our homes, so imagine what it can do to little you! Protect yourself while having fun. Eddie and Kari like to play Solar Spot after our supper time so that the sun isn’t as bright, especially when we are looking up all the time!
Feel free to let us know how many solar panels you find and on what type of buildings you found them. You can send us your observations here: EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca.
Thursday - Albedo: Turning Your T-Shirt into a Science Experiment
How does the color of a material affect its capacity to absorb more solar radiation (heat)?
Today, we’re experimenting with albedo – the amount of light/heat that is either reflected or absorbed by an object!
We will start with two bottles of water, a dark and a light bottle of water. Both bottles will be filled with 500 ml of 23 C°. We will then place the bottles under heat lamps with the same lamp intensity and distances.
Both bottles have the same amount of water and start at the same temperature
We will then check back every few minutes and monitor the changes.
*Things to keep in mind: The materials of the bottles are different; therefore, the thermal properties are not the same and will not truly exhibit a pure albedo effect.
Both bottles are placed under the heat lamp at 23 C° and temperature is observed every 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes we verify the temperature of the water in the bottles and we observe that the white bottle is at 25 C° while the black bottle is at 29 C°. We continue to observe the temperature of the water and we can clearly see the discrepancy between the temperatures grow. (See table below)
|Temperature of water bottles under heat lamps|
|Time (Minutes)||White bottle (C°)||Black Bottle (C°)|
This experiment shows how regardless of the scale, the albedo effect exists. From the polar ice caps that are melting and the arctic regions getting darker, down to different colored water bottles – different colours will absorb solar radiation at different rates, which in turn, affects their temperature.
This experiment has been adapted from our Clean Climate Action workshop and the full version including analysis, reflection and extension is available here : https://cleanfoundation.ca/tools-resources.
Now it’s your turn: time to turn your t-shirt into a science experiment!
This next part is to help you feel the albedo effect, we’re going outside!
Step 1: Find a suitable location, you want to make sure you’ll have about 20 minutes of constant sunlight in a given spot, this spot should not cloud over or be affected by shade as the planet moves around the sun. (Avoid anywhere near any trees or buildings)
Step 2: Find some clothing of similar thickness and material but of different colors. You should have at least one light and one dark, but anything in between will be useful. It’s up to you to decide how many colors and shades you want to test.
Step 3: Put on the lightest color and go outside, sit in the sun for 5 minutes
Step 4: Come back inside and write down how you feel, if you have a thermometer handy, measure the temperature the clothing by folding the thermometer inside a sleeve.
Step 5: Change for a different color, repeat Steps 3 and 4
*It’s important that you sit in the same place, don’t exert yourself, and that the sun’s contribution is as constant and consistent as possible. Oh – and don’t forget sunscreen!
Friday Feature - Solar Schools Canada
Solar Schools Canada creates smart, local climate solutions by collaborating with schools to develop, fund and deliver renewable energy projects and related educational programs.
By supporting schools to develop renewable energy projects, they accelerate the transition to a low-carbon society.
Their programs prevent emissions tomorrow by using renewable energy to lead students in exploring STEAM, sustainability, climate and leadership, equipping the next generation with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to combat the climate crisis.
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Are you a teacher that would like to use renewable energy to lead students in exploring STEAM, sustainability, climate and citizenship subjects?
Check out the Renewable Energy Curriculum: Grades Primary-Six. The guide contains twenty-two lessons designed to lead teachers and students in exploring STEAM, climate, sustainability and energy subject matter through leveraging school-based solar projects to create situated, hands-on learning opportunities for students.
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Featured Activity: Make Sun Art!
Students will use sunlight and surrounding nature to create art on fabric, canvas or paper. Students will create a design or pattern using collected objects from nature. They will develop an appreciation for the beauty of shapes found in nature and the power of the sun.
• Natural objects such as collected leaves, flowers, or flower petals that can be pressed flat
• Method 1- White fabric or small art canvasses and Acrylic paint or fabric paint
• Method 2 – SunArt (also called Nature Art paper), basin with water and line and clothespins for hanging wet
What to Do
Tell learners that they will be using the power of the sun to make some beautiful artwork today. Explain that the sun’s rays provide us with heat and light, which is called solar energy. Today you will use that solar energy to help create a special painting.
First, leaves, flower petals, and any other natural items must be collected. A nature walk is a perfect opportunity to do this. Dried leaves and flowers tend to not lay flat because of their crisp edges, so fresh is recommended for this project. Try not to pick or disturb living plants, just collect fallen items!
Method 1 – If you are choosing to do this project on something that will be washed, such as a tea towel, t-shirt, or tote bag, use fabric paint. Otherwise, acrylic paint will work. If fabric will be used as the canvas, make sure it will lay flat, it might need to be ironed first. Any double layered fabric pieces will require a piece of cardboard placed between the layers to prevent paint bleeding.
After collecting materials, distribute pieces of white fabric or small art canvasses to students and have them choose a colour(s) to use. They will paint the surface of their canvas and place leaves and other materials collected on the wet paint, ensuring it is nicely flattened for clearly defined edges. After the leaves are positioned, students will place their art pieces in the sun, whether outdoors (watch out for wind) or near a sunny window. After 2-3 hours, the paint should be dry. Students will remove the leaves and reveal their masterpieces.
Tell the students that with the help of solar energy, the leaves absorbed the pigments from the paint, leaving their design behind!
Note: Light energy from the sun provided energy for an absorption process to occur as the paint also dried. The
leaves absorb particular pigments from the paint, leaving the design behind.
Use coloured construction paper, and adhere the leaves using rolls of tape, sticky tack, or other removable glue. Place the artwork in the sunlight for several hours until the construction paper has faded and remove the leaves and adhesive.
Method 2 – Using cyanotype paint and paper, or SunArt paper
Paper is coated in iron-based chemicals that are sensitive to light. When light waves touch the paper, a chemical reaction takes place that causes a colour change. By placing objects on the paper, light is blocked from hitting it, but will change the surrounding areas, creating a silhouette. Submerging your paper in water stops the process and fixes the silhouette on paper.
Learners will first design the layout of their art and then in a shaded area will carefully place objects on the exposed paper. This must be done quickly because even indirect light may start to create the chemical reaction. The students expose their paper with objects on top to sun until it starts to change (approximately 2 minutes, but this may vary depending on the sunlight intensity). To stop the colour change reaction, the students will quickly remove the objects and move their drawing into a basin of water, soaking it for a minute. Then the paper is hung up to dry.
Mathematics: Use natural objects (plant leaves and flowers, cones, twigs, shells, etc.) and examine natural patterns
and shapes. Are there symmetries? Do some shapes repeat? Can species of plant have different symmetries? Any
evidence of complicated geometry or repeating patterns at different levels of scale?
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Week 12: Set for the Summer!
After 12 wonderful weeks of learning, we will be looking back at some highlights, and looking ahead with ideas for bringing environmental learning to your summer!
Monday - Really Rad Rainforests
Happy World Rainforest Day!
When we think of rainforests, we often think about monkeys, parrots, and tropical trees… But did you know that Canada has a rainforest?
Take the Canada Rainforest Quiz here!
Do you want to learn more about rainforests? The Rainforest Alliance has oodles of awesome online games for kids at home to learn about these wonderful ecosystems and the creatures who call them home.
For Parents: If your kids are raving for rainforests, check out this great list of activities to do at home: https://www.weareteachers.com/rainforest-activities/
National Geographic Kids: Rainforest Habitat https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/nature/habitats/rain-forest/
Rainforest Habitats: https://www.theschoolrun.com/homework-help/rainforest-habitats
Tuesday - Eddie's 3 Favourite Fun Summer Outdoor Activities
Congratulations on 12 weeks of enviro-learning from home!
July and August are all about taking a break but that doesn’t mean we take a break from being environmentalists, explorers, observers, or even teachers in our own way. Dig in the dirt, listen to the birds singing, catch a critter or two – love your time outdoors.
Eddie’s suggested list of things to do this summer:
1. Be a collector! Choose an item you would find in nature that you would like to collect this summer.
Fallen flower petals, tiny rocks, seashells, 4 leafed clovers, leaves from trees or shrubs, rocks with funny shapes. You can turn your collection into an art project or write about it in a summer journal. It will be fun to read about what you found years from now!
2. Name the trees on your street.
Mr. Barky and Leafetta live in front of Eddie’s house. There is even an old tree stump nearby that Eddie calls “Old Stumpy”. We like to stand on Old Stumpy to feel a little taller and we also like to count its rings and imagine what the world would have been like when it was just a tiny seedling.
3. Make a Fairy House or an Old Elf House at the base of a tree.
Use only natural materials – no plastics please! We don’t want birds or other critters to mistake parts of your fairy/old elf house as food. You can use twigs, rocks, wildflowers, pinecones or any other cool item you might find outside.
And finally, please check out the many available activities our team has put together for young learners for the past 12 weeks. Activities for grades P-3 are typically posted on Monday’s and Wednesdays but if you are looking for something more challenging, check out the activities posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Build a solar oven on a beach, plant your name, go solar spotting, bake Energy Boulders with Big Foot… there’s so much you can do!
Wednesday - Rockin' Rockhounding
Summer is here! Have you noticed how the trees are full of leaves now? Have you noticed any new sounds? Perhaps you’ve noticed some new smells? Have you been outside helping in the garden? Have you noticed any new creepy crawly friends?
Today’s activity will allow you to create your very own database, a collection of items for you to bring back to school and show your friends or share with family. It’s a great inexpensive way to keep souvenirs of places you’ve visited or places you’d like to remember.
Rockhounding is a hobby – sort of like being an amateaur geologist! But you don’t need special skills or equipment to rockhound. You can collect rocks from places you visit, and label them! You can write where you found it, what kind of rock you think it might be, and any other descriptions you may want to add.
There’s no wrong way to do this, have fun with it!
Here’s a link for some more information on rockhounding and how to get started: https://rochester.kidsoutandabout.com/content/getting-kids-rockhounding
Why stop with Rockhounding? Have you been to the beach lately? Do you plan on visiting various beaches? You can make a similar collection of shells you find at the beach and compare the differences in colors, shapes and sizes.
Thursday - Flip The Tables on Teaching
Here at Clean, we love the environment, and love sharing what we know about it with learners – like you! And we bet it hasn’t just been you doing these activities…
Have your parents or guardians been participating in the activities with you? How about your grandparents? Siblings? Cousins? Uncles, aunts? Have they been paying attention? Do you think they learned anything?
Together, let’s teach them something!
Today, you’re going to create your very own activity to share with your family and friends. Go through the Learn at Home website and find an activity you enjoyed doing, once you’ve found it, review the activity and make sure you’ve got all the necessary materials. You can follow the steps below for maximum success!
If you’ve got any questions, please write to us at EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca, we would be delighted to help you teach your parents what you’ve learned.
5 Steps to ensure you succeed in delivering your activity:
Step 1: Pick an activity you enjoyed
- It can be one you liked for the activity or perhaps because you felt it was an important lesson
Step 2: Review the materials required
- Make sure you ask an adult for help gathering the materials required for your activity.
Step 3: Evaluate how you want to deliver
- Now that you’ve reviewed your materials and the content, decide if you want to the activity the same way we did it together or if you’d rather put your own twist on it. When you did it, did you feel like it took too long? Was it too short? What would you add to make it more fun?
Step 4: Try it out!
- Set a timer, figure out how long it takes you to get through the information and the material. Take notes and practice!
Step 5: Take pictures!
- Don’t forget to take pictures or video of your audience performing the activity and share it with us! We’d love to see what you’ve chosen to teach your parents and how you’ve chosen to do it. Send them to: EducateEngage@cleanfoundation.ca
Friday - FREE NextRide Colouring & Activity Book + WIN a Solar Car Kit!
Wow! Just like that, 12 wonderful weeks of learning has come to a close. But the fun doesn’t stop here…
We’ve worked with our friends at NextRide to bring you something fun – the NextRide Colouring & Activity Book! A perfect companion for summer road trips, beach days, or rainy days t home.
Join Zevvy the Electric Car, Doug the Plug, Windy Wendy, and Eddie the Superhero Cat for word games, mazes, quizzes, and more.
And even better is that this is avialable for FREE for you to print and enjoy at home.