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Lessons in a Backpack

Supporting Your School

As a community partner to schools and other education organizations, we offer quality learning resources and adapt to your needs. Our educators are here to do safe online sessions and outdoor guided learning. We can:

  1. Provide Biosphere educators to deliver outdoor education.
  2. Offer virtual learning with “Ask a Naturalist” sessions on a variety of topics.
  3. Customize presentations, walking field trips, hikes, and more to suit your needs.
  4. Support projects such as food or pollinator garden construction, signage creation, grant writing, and others.
  5. If there are additional ways Biosphere staff can support you students this year, contact us.

Lessons in a Backpack

The Lessons in a Backpack (LIAB) program is:

  • Over 10 years old! It was developed in 2009 in partnership with teachers and educators.
  • Designed to engage children in making personal connections with nature and in thinking critically about human impact.
  • Complete with resources and extension activities in each lesson, so teachers can continue with key messages.
  • Created with a “prop box” of materials stored at the Classroom Support Centre West.

Below you will find all current lessons in the program – lessons that reflect the unique natural environment of our area.

Interested in having Biosphere staff deliver a LIAB or other program with your class? Fill out the short form at the link below!

Grade 1 Lesson Plans

Amazing Maps

Introduces students to the concept of maps as representations of places to develop spatial thinking and basic mapping skills.

The Monarch Butterfly

Designed to for use with Grades 1-3 over the course of several weeks. Activities can also be used independently.

Grade 2 Lesson Plans

Animal Tracks

Students will investigate animals through their tracks! Includes the basics of track identification, make animal tracks using molds, how animals move, and more.

Winter is Coming: Changes in Animals

Students learn about the changes that local wildlife go through in the fall to prepare for the winter season through games and exploration of animal habitat.

Our Environmental Footprint: Introduction

Everyday our actions have an effect on the Earth. We call this effect an Environmental Footprint. Students consider how their behaviours and habits impact the environment.

Our Environmental Footprint: Introduction Slides

Use the Our Environmental Footprint: Introduction Lesson.

Our Environmental Footprint: Energy

Energy comes from nature, and in different forms. Students will explore sources of energy and the amount of energy they consume everyday.

Our Environmental Footprint: Food

Every time we make a choice about food, we have an effect on the environment. Students will look at the environmental impact of their food consumption.

Environmental Footprint: Food Slides

Use this slideshow with the Our Environmental Footprint: Food Lesson.

Our Environmental Footprint: Garbage

When we pollute the air, water, and land, we are polluting ourselves. This lesson asks students to assess their own waste production.

Our Environmental Footprint: Transportation

The way that we move around in the world makes a difference. Students explore how the transportation decisions they make impact the environment.

Our Environmental Footprint: Water

We use water to grow our food, support industry, and of course, to drink. Students look at the way that they use water everyday.

The Monarch Butterfly

Designed to for use with Grades 1-3 over the course of several weeks. Activities can also be used independently.

The Monarch Butterfly: Warning Colouration Slides

Accompanies the Grade 2 Lesson 4 activity on the Monarch’s Warning Colouration.

Grade 3 Lesson Plans

Healthy Soil=Healthy Plants

Students explore soil and learn how it is a resource plants, animals and humans depend on. Students discuss how soil can be impacted by human activities and how we can protect it.

Pollination Power

Students will recognize that pollinators play an important role in food production, gain an understanding of parts of plants, and see the way pollinators disperse pollen.

The Monarch Butterfly

Designed to for use with Grades 1-3 over the course of several weeks. Activities can also be used independently.

Grade 4 Lesson Plans

Bats are Brilliant

Students will see bats are not scary but complex animals. They will gain an understanding of Ontario’s bats adaptions, life histories, echolocation, and White Nose Syndrome.

If Teeth Could Talk: Examining Mammal Skulls

Animal skulls can tell us many things about creatures and how they survived: what the animal ate, predator or prey, and which senses were important to the survival.

If Teeth Could Talk: Slideshow Presentation

Use slideshow with Grade 4 If Teeth Could Talk.

Macroinvertebrates: What Wetland Bugs Can Teach Us

After learning to identify some macroinvertebrates, students play Macroinvertebrate Mayhem, which demonstrates how human activity can impact wetland habitats.

Movers, Sleepers, and Tough Guys: Wildlife in Winter

Students explore the strategies and adaptations of local wildlife for coping with our cold and snowy winter environment.

Nice Gneiss! The story of the rocks of the GBB

Students should be familiar with minerals vs. rocks and the rock cycle. Students will connect locally: What are common rocks and minerals in eastern Georgian Bay? How were the rocks here formed? What is the evidence?

Grade 5 Lesson Plans

Water Conservation: Becoming Water Wise

Students will recognize only a small amount of water can be used by people and will become familiar with the need for water conservation. Can be used to supplement to the Georgian Bay Water Festival or independently.

Water Conservation: All the Water in the World

Students will learn about the amount of water Canadians consume and how this is divided within the home. Students will compare their water use to averages. Can be used to supplement to the Georgian Bay Water Festival or independently.

Water Protection: Solve a Pollution Mystery

Students will be introduced to groundwater pollution and the impacts this may have to the surrounding environment. Can be used to supplement to the Georgian Bay Water Festival or independently.

Water Protection: Clean Water Challenge

Students design and test their own water filtration system using plastic bottles and become aware of how natural soil filters work.

Water Ecology: Invasive Species

Students will observe, answer questions and play a game together, followed by discussion of the results and potential issues. Can be used to supplement to the Georgian Bay Water Festival or independently.

Invasive Species Jeopardy Game

Use with the Invasive Species: Understanding Ecology lesson plan.

Water Technology: After the Drain

Students develop an understanding of the wastewater treatment process in an interactive way, as well as a constructed wetland. Can be used to supplement to the Georgian Bay Water Festival or independently.

Water Technology: Power from Water

Students develop an understanding of what renewable energy is, why it is important, and the role of water in generating electricity. Can be used to supplement to the Georgian Bay Water Festival or independently.

Grade 6 Lesson Plans

Five-lined Skinks: Life On the Rocks

The five-lined skink is listed as species at risk of special concern. Students participate in a game that examines the reason for the decline of five-lined skinks and discuss actions to preserve biodiversity.

Sturgeon Hurdle: A Game of Obstacles to Survival

Lake sturgeon are a threatened species – they are likely to become endangered if the threats to them are not reversed. Students participate in a game that examines the historical interactions between lake sturgeon and humans.

Intro to Biodiversity: More than the Spice of Life

An introductory lesson to learn what biodiversity is, the three levels of biodiversity, its importance, and about the biodiversity found in the Georgian Bay Biosphere.

Alien Invaders: Threats to Biodiversity

Students learn how invasive species reduce biodiversity in local environments – specifically the threat of common reed to coastal wetlands of the Georgian Bay – by engaging in a game based on “Murder Handshake”.

Grade 7 Lesson Plans

Bare Rock to White Pine: A Look at Forest Succession

The rocky shoreline of the eastern Georgian Bay is an excellent location to see primary succession in action. Students will investigate and hypothesize about future changes.

Fungi in the Forest: Community Creators

Without fungi, forests not survive. Students are introduced to the ecological roles of fungi in the forest, relevant vocabulary, and various forms of the fruiting bodies. Students will search for fungi in surrounding forested areas!

Life Under a Log: Death, Decay, and Decomposition

Students will discuss the importance of decomposition in the cycling of nutrients in the environment. They will be introduced to the main decomposers of rotting logs. Students will have an opportunity to roll rotting logs and record their observations.

Grade 8 Lesson Plans

Parry Sound Water Treatment: Then and Now…

Students will explore the history of water treatment in Parry Sound and explore the processes used in treating the water.

The Old Parry Sound Pumphouse: A Part of Our Local Heritage

Students will consider the Parry Sound Pumphouse as a piece of our local heritage. They will explore the key players in its development, and how it worked.

Grade 9 Lesson Plans

A Study in Change: The Rose Point Trail

Students will hike along the Rose Point Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario. They will look for evidence of human change, and learn how macroinvertebrates can be used to measure the impact of change. We also consider the history of this trail and area.

Rose Point Trail Powerpoint Presentation

Use this slideshow with the Rose Point Trail Lesson. Railway Building through Rocks, Trees and Wetlands

Support Your Biosphere

With your support, we can expand our impact in the Georgian Bay region through conservation and education.

We are a registered Canadian charity #87100 1335 RR0001