Walruses, the next victims of climate change?

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In the last few days, nearly 35,000 walruses have been forced to wash up on the mainland in northwestern Alaska. Let's take a closer look at whether this new phenomenon is directly linked to climate change affecting the Arctic.
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“The increasingly marked retreat of the ice, however, forces these animals to dive deeper and deeper to feed. But the pack ice has now receded so much that the closest seabed is now 3,000 meters deep, making it completely inaccessible to walruses. "
Source: The duty
The next activities will allow students to learn more about this mammal and fully understand the climate impacts on the ice sheet.


Goals

At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Understand one of the consequences of climate change;
- Encode a message using Morse code;
- Write an informative text on an endangered species.


Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Walruses

Start the activity by presenting this short video which relates this phenomenon which has already occurred in recent years, but never of this magnitude.
Continue the activity by questioning the students to test their knowledge of this marine mammal.
Display the descriptive sheet of the Morse code for collective reading.
Display the following Notebook File (TBI) to record the information the students provide to you in order to record their knowledge and thus keep track.
Ask them about the following:
- What are the physical characteristics of the walrus?
- How does it eat?
- What is its habitat?
- How does it reproduce?
- Other information

Download the file in SMART Notebook (.notebook) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)
No BIT? Download the SMART Notebook version and open it using
of the online application SMART Notebook Express.

ACTIVITY 2: Species at risk

Suggest that the students learn about an endangered animal species.
Display it register Species at Risk Report produced by the Government of Canada
In small work groups, have them choose one of the species from the list and write an informative text based on the information they collect either from the school library or from the Internet.
You could give essential elements to find in their informative text such as:
- the type of diet of the species at risk chosen;
- the reasons why the species is endangered;
- the impacts of its disappearance on the food chain;
- etc.
ICT TRACK:
You might suggest that students distribute the results of their research in the medium of their choice. Some might write an article for a encyclopedia virtual, an article in a discussion forum or on a blog class created by yourself or by them.

ACTIVITY 3: Let's learn about the Morse code

Begin the activity by asking the students if they know Morse code and if they can name its use.
Continue the activity by presenting this folder full description of the origin of Morse code, its inventor and its uses.
You could also introduce students to the operation of a telegraph used to send messages encoded with the Morse code.
Continue the activity by showing them this video describing the different ways to encrypt messages using Morse code.

Click on picture to enlarge.
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

ICT TRACK:
Now ask the students to write a short text using the Morse code generator available on the website of Lexilogos or with the site Dcode which also allows the encoding of words into symbols.
ALSO SEE:
This animation from the collection Edumedia explains the effect of global warming on biodiversity.


More about the magazine

Accelerating melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet
Le Monde, December 12, 2013
The invasion of walruses
GéoAdo, October 8, 2014
35,000 walruses wash up in Alaska, global warming to blame
The Press, 1er october 2014
Alaska: 35,000 walruses run aground due to melting arctic ice
Le Parisien, October 2, 2014
The multiple consequences of the retreating ice in the Arctic
Météo-Paris, October 24, 2014

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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