At-home education resources from Learning for a Sustainable Future
Welcome to Week 6!
This week in Learning Inside Out we take a look at how spring is a time for metamorphosis and change! Everywhere you look, things are changing: plants flowering, trees budding, birds singing and butterflies migrating.

Physical distancing practices are still in place in many areas and it is critical that we respect these boundaries. But this doesn't mean we have to miss out on spring!

The activities below will help you learn more about the natural magic happening right outside your door, and you can watch it all happen from your window or balcony, in your own yard, or in any outdoor spaces you're able to access safely. 
About Learning Inside Out

Below you will find a selection of activities, broken down by various grade levels. These guides will be released weekly and archived on our Learning Inside Out page , so you can always access the full catalogue.

All activities have been modified from resources on our R4R database, simplified and adapted for at-home learning as needed. The activity descriptions below should contain all the information and links that you need!

If you'd like to view the full original resource on R4R, including curriculum connections for every province/territory, click the activity title.

We want this guide to work for you, so your feedback is invaluable to us.
Use the feedback button at the bottom of this guide, or email us at .

Step Outside™ Nature Activities
Week 6: Decoding Loon Language
LSF's Step Outside Nature Guides highlight flora, fauna and climate events happening in your neighbourhood right now (or maybe a little sooner or later, depending on where you are in the country).

The Early May guide is all about Decoding Loon Language . It's full of links to learn more about loons, other birds, plants, invasive species, and many more spring happenings! Step outside with your kids today and see what nature is up to.
Grades K-2
This storybook takes the young reader through the life stages of a butterfly from egg to adult, then follows the insects as they look for the flowers that provide the nectar they need for food.

You can listen to the book being read aloud here .

After reading the book, discuss these questions:
  • Where do the butterflies hide their eggs?
  • What hatches from the eggs? What do the caterpillars do when they first hatch?
  • Describe what the caterpillars do to change into butterflies.
  • What do the butterflies eat? How do they find the flowers? How do they get nectar from flowers?
  • What do the butterflies do at the end?
  • Explain why this is a good example of a life cycle.

What do you think of the Waiting for Wings activity?
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Learn more about the butterfly life cycle through egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult insect with this activity.
You'll identify each stage and the threats they face, and you'll learn about the magic of butterfly migrations.
What do you think of the Butterfly Life Cycle activity?
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Loons are perhaps Canada's most iconic bird. Their distinctive calls are a hallmark of summer for many, and you can recognize them from our dollar coin—the "loonie!"

Start by reading about loons in our latest Step Outside Guide . Follow the links in the Guide to hear the different sounds they use to communicate and watch the short video clips of loon behaviour (more info on loons here ).
After reading the Guide, discuss:
  • What do think is most striking visually about loons?
  • Which is your favourite loon call? What message does it send?
  • Are loons better adapted for movement on land or in water? Why? 
  • Why do you think loons can fly so fast and dive so deep?

Next, play the Incredible Loon Journey board game (2+ players)! Click to find the printable game board and migration challenge cards , as well as the instructions . If you have enough space and materials, there's even an option to turn the game into an obstacle course !

After playing the game, discuss:
  • Identify all of the threats to loon survival that were revealed in playing the board game
  • Separate these threats into two categories: naturally caused and human caused
  • These disturbances collectively have resulted in fewer loon chicks being born each year. Can you contribute to loon conservation in any of these ways

Bonus activity: read these loon legends , then write your own legend about the loon!
What do you think of the Decoding Loon Language activity?
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Grades 6-12
Schoolyard Bird Blitz from Birds Canada is an annual citizen science event. This year, they're making the shift to Bird Blitz: At Home so everyone can participate! Spring is a great time to spot bird activity in your neighbourhood, whether you can go outside, or just observe from your window or balcony.

To complete the activity:
  • Enter your region to download your personalized Bird ID guide featuring the most common birds in your area this time of year
  • Print or recreate a Bird Tally Sheet to record your observations
  • Complete your bird observations on any day in May—you can do them as many days as you like, for as little as 1 hour, or all day!
  • Optional: become a citizen scientist and submit your observations to Birds Canada to contribute to their data! Even if you don't submit your observations, you can see the data here.
Remember to respect the physical distancing practices in place in your area while exploring outdoor activities!
What do you think of the Bird Blitz activity?
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As insect season begins in many parts of our country, let's take a look at this often-asked question!

First, watch this video .

Then summarize:
  • reasons why we would want to rid the world of mosquitoes
  • how this might be accomplished

The video highlights the CRISPR gene drive as the biotechnology “tool of choice” for eradicating mosquitoes. Can you explain:
  • How the technology works
  • What problems it solves that were inherent in earlier-used techniques 
  • What concerns are created by its use 

Watch this short presentation , then complete this chart .

Finally: what do you think, should we rid the world of mosquitoes?
What do you think of the Could We Rid The World of Mosquitoes activity?
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Virtual connection is more important than ever—share your learning with us using #LearningInsideOut and don't forget to tag LSF!
Let us know how this helped your learning & teaching from home experience and what you'd like to see more of by filling out our brief feedback form!
Please share widely with any parents or teachers in your life!
Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) is a Canadian charity with over 25 years of experience working within the education system. Our Resources for Rethinking (R4R) database is an award-winning collection of resources that are peer-reviewed by certified teachers and connected to curriculum in all provinces and territories. R4R is recommended on many Ministry of Education websites.
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