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Lesson Plans

Page history last edited by Michel Lacoursiere 13 years, 11 months ago

Case Study and Example Lesson Plans


Case Study:

Mr. V's grade two class is in the process of studying the life cycle of Pacific salmon.  Mr. V is trying to teach one of the final lessons relating to salmon smolt.  The objective of the lesson is to teach the students:

  1. The potential hazards to the salmon smolt.
  2. The relationship between the number of hazards and the effect on the size of the salmon population.
  3. Consequences to the other members of the ecosystem.


(CAUTION: Remember this is a grade two class and the correlation between two variables may be difficult for them to initially understand.)


Background Information:

During the smolt stage of the salmon life cycle, the salmon leave the fresh water streams and rivers and enter the ocean through the estuary (where salt and fresh water mix).  During this stage the salmon smolt are exposed to many hazards and dangers as they leave the safety of their home streams.  Hazards include predators (birds, sea mammals etc.), and the degradation of the environment caused by pollution and other human encroachments (damns, farms etc.).


The Lesson:

Mr. V begins the lesson by allowing the students to have a brief "buddy talk" with another student in order to review the previous class' lesson.  Mr. V then asks the students a few quick recall questions and begins the new lesson.


Mr.V continues the lesson by showing and explaining a brief PowerPoint slide show of the potential hazards faced by the salmon smolt.  A few children ask questions regarding specifics including damns, farms, chemicals, and unknown animals.  Mr. V then addresses any further questions the students may have regarding specifics about a hazard. 


The students are then provided with a list of the following questions and are expected to respond working in groups.


a) Why are hazards dangerous for the salmon population?

b) What happens to the smolts if humans build more farms or damns?

c) What would happen to the heron population if humans pollute the water?

d) How could humans help the smolt population, and what benefits would humans see?


After 20 minutes the students are asked to share their responses.  Mr.V observes that only one of the students has made the link between the increase in hazards and the decrease in salmon population.  None of the students have made the link that a decrease in the smolt population caused by humans activities has an impact on other animals and natural predators in the ecosystem.


Additional Constructivist Lesson Plans: 

 Lesson Plan 1.doc

 Lesson Plan 2.doc



  1. Do you feel that Mr.V's lesson employs constructivist methodologies? If so how? If not suggest how the lesson could be modified?  
  2. After reading through the constructivist lesson plans above do you think they accurately engage constructivist theory?  Which aspect show evidence of constructivism in practice?



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