Parks Climate Challenge

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Found or developed a particularly useful lesson plan or activity that you've used in your own classroom? Upload those documents here.

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“Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban (Guiding for Tomorrow) Changing Climate, Changing Culture Initiative
Shared by: Cathy Techtmann, Apostle Island National Lakeshore Project , WI
Target grade: 7

The “Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban (Guiding for Tomorrow) or “G’WOW” Initiative takes a unique approach to increasing learner's knowledge of climate change by integrating scientific research with place-based evidence of how it is affecting traditional lifeways of the Lake Superior Ojibwe people. It brings Native perspectives to addressing issue of climate change and incorporates Ojibwe language and cultural components. The project’s service learning approach promotes community level action to mitigate or adapt to a changing Lake Superior climate by:

Key G-WOW message points are:
• Climate change is real
• Humans contribute to climate change
• Weather and climate are different
• Climate affects culture
• We can make a difference

Link #1

PDF Download:
PDF #3

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G-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture
Shared by: Cathy Techtmann, University of Wisconsin-Extension, WI
Target grade: 6

This video demonstrates how to make a traditional Nooshkaachinaagan or wild rice winnowing basket while sharing place-based evidence of how climate change is threatening wild rice and Ojibwe cultural practices. It asks the question, how might climate change be affecting you and your culture?

For generations Ojibwe families have harvested "manoomin" or "wild rice." Manoomin is called “the food that grows on water" because it thrives in Lake Superior's coastal wetlands, inland lakes and rivers. Today, manoomin remains a staple of Ojibwe diets. It is culturally and spiritually important to the Ojibwe people and a necessary item to be served at important community feasts and ceremonies.

Climate change models indicate that warming temperatures in the Great Lakes region will cause species adapted to cooler habitats to decline including manoomin and species used in its harvest like paper birch, spruce, and cedar. This threat is not just about economic loss, but also about a loss of culture. The cultural practices of wild rice harvesting—passed down through generations—might vanish. Manoomin may not be available for sustenance, tradition, and important ceremonies.

We cannot eliminate all the risks that climate change presents, but we can make a difference in slowing its impacts. The culture and life ways of future generations will be affected by the choices we make. What path will you choose?

This video was produced at the 2012 Apostle Island National Lakeshore Changing Climate,Changing Culture Institute. The Institute was part of the Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban (Guiding for Tomorrow) or "G-WOW" Changing Climate, Changing Culture Initiative. Learn more at

Making An Ojibwe Birch Bark Winnowing Basket

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Let's Visit A National Park
Shared by: Stephanie Samuel, Sage Canyon, CA
Target grade: 1

1st grade introduction to our National Parks system.

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Let's Visit A National Park!

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Let's Go Green!
Shared by: Stephanie Samuel, Sage Canyon, CA
Target grade: 1

1st grade introduction to carbon emissions and how as an individual, family and class we can lower our carbon footprint.

PDF Download:
Let's Go Green!

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Salmon Symposium at Cape Cod National Seashore
Shared by: Elizabeth, Capitol Region Education Council, CT
Target grade: 9

Project descriptions and invitation to the Salmon Symposium at Cape Cod National Seashore.

Final projects attached.

short video shows why we can't eat wild Atlantic salmon
Prezi shows the impact humans have had on wild Atlantic salmon

PDF Downloads:
Project Overview
Salmon Symposium Flyer
research paper on global warming and fishways in CT

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Seeding Native Grassland
Shared by: Heidi Karr, Des Moines Municipal School, NM
Target grade: 7

In-class lessons on niches and biodiversity, followed by a field trip extension to collect and plant native grass seed heads.

PDF Download:
Niche and Biodiversity Lesson

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