At-home and at school learning resources from Learning for a Sustainable Future
Week 34:  International Day for Biological Diversity 
This week's LIO is all about Biodiversity Day, which is taking place on May 22nd this year! The slogan for this year is "We're part of the solution", which serves as a reminder to us all that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges we face and that we can all play a role in making a difference.

The activities below introduce students to exploring our surroundings and uncovering biodiversity in our everyday environment. In addition, students will learn about the impact climate change plays in hurting our biodiversity and learn about some of the ways we can all take action in our communities to make a difference.

Remember to respect the physical distancing practices in place in your area while exploring outdoor activities!
Grades K-4
Students become nature reporters in this outdoor experience that involves detailed investigations of the plants and animals in the local community. A scavenger hunt process actively engages learners in making discoveries while strengthening science skills in observation, classification and communication. Through the production of a classroom nature guide, students are encouraged to think deeply about their observations and appreciate the remarkable biodiversity in their local community.

  • Complete the Get to Know Nature activity. Begin by watching the Zoom In video, where students are on a mission to observe a small patch of Earth and record what they found
  • Tell students it's their turn to practice what the children in the video just showed them. Have students choose one thing to observe closely, such as a spider web, the bark of a tree, or a squirrel. They should take notes in their notebooks or make drawings that show what they are observing
  • Get outside and play biodiversity bingo, watch the video, then complete your bingo card
  • Climate Connections has students play a variety of non-competitive games that explore the connections between human actions, climate change, and positive and negative impacts on wildlife habitat
  • Have students Make a Miniature Habitat with a shoebox using natural materials to mimic the real-life habitat for a chosen animal. As students observe the habitats made by others, they learn that different animals need different resources to survive 
  • Become a Budburst Buddy! Read the story of Lily and Sage as they learn what stories plants can tell from making observations. Then use the observation sheets to go outside and make your own observations and become a budburst buddy
What did you think of Get to Know Nature?
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Climate change affects the habitats of several species, which must either adapt or migrate to areas with more favourable conditions. This teaching resource will allow teachers and students to explore Canada's biodiversity in a fun and interactive way at any time of the year. The resource offers a series of engaging outdoor activities that help students learn about biodiversity and how to protect the environment. The suggested activities provide students with a better understanding of the relationships among species within an ecosystem and the dangers threatening biodiversity.

  • Play the Web of Life (p. 3 to 6) to make students aware of the impacts of habitat modification on the survival of the species that live there
  • Get outside and see how many different species you can locate in your backyard with My Backyard Biodiversity. Compare your backyard creatures with other students
  • The role-play activity Climate Change Challenge has students identify ways in which climate change may threaten the delicate balance of nature
  • Complete the Pollinators in Peril activity, where students become wildlife researchers by studying the diversity and abundance of pollinators in the schoolyard. The data then forms the basis of an awareness project where the class creates "Help Wanted" posters that highlight the crucial role of insects like bumblebees in producing the foods that humans eat every day
  • Play Musical Mussels: An Invasive Species Simulation Game; this activity has students role-play lake animals in a version of musical chairs to discover how and why zebra mussels are spreading through the lake
What did you think of Biosphere Biokit Activities?
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This resource helps students develop a better understanding of the factors that contribute to climate change and the effects of climate change on biodiversity and the living world. They will also explore the notion of adapting to climate change, both its existing effects and expected ones, to help maintain a healthy and balanced environment.

  • Watch How Does Climate Change Affect Biodiversity; after viewing, have students discuss if the biggest climate change threat to biodiversity is the amount of CO2 humans are adding to the atmosphere, the faster rate, or both? Have students describe some of the impacts that global change in temperature is expected to have on biodiversity
  • Complete the Climate Change Mind Map activity by having students sketch their mind map, including the impacts of climate change and the consequences of these impacts on biodiversity and the living world
  • Natural Inquirer has students use interview techniques to research and write about an animal or plant affected by climate change
  • Have students participate in a Biodiversity Audit of their local grounds, following similar steps as scientists in the field. Based on their findings, they will evaluate the property based on how well it can support species and devise a plan for how they can increase its biodiversity score
  • The Biomimicry Design Challenge has students learn how scientists are using adaptations found in nature to devise products that use Earth's resources more sustainably; students will then use their creativity to develop an idea for a product that is healthier for the planet by mimicking the behaviour of an animal or plant
What did you think of Canada in a Changing Climate: The Living World?
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Biodiversity is currently under threat from climate change conditions on planet Earth. This highly experiential learning resource explores the relationship between biodiversity, climate change and human health. In addition to drawing attention to the importance of species diversity, the resource provides both ideas and support for students to take action in their community. 

  • Watch the Bio Da Versity Code video to learn how we are intricately related in the web of life 
  • Get outside and complete the Tipping Point learning activity on page 2; the activity conveys the interconnectedness of biodiversity, climate change, and human impacts
  • Climate Change and Your Ecological Area has students investigate interrelationships among plants and animals in an ecosystem and explore how climate change might affect those interrelationships and the natural community 
  • Complete the Big Picture activity on page 4, an enviro-thon style collaborative exercise. Students race to complete a set of challenges in the pursuit of a common goal. The final goal is the completion of a collage of images linking climate change and biodiversity concepts
  • Learn more about vertical vegetable gardens. Launch the lesson by showing this video on a topic that affects everyone — our food supply. Discuss measures that could be put into place to adapt to the repercussions of climate change concerning agricultural pests
  • Have students complete the Vegetable Wall activity. Students implement an adaptation strategy to reduce water consumption and counter the effects of plant diseases and harmful insects that are increasing due to a warmer climate. They will rethink the traditional vegetable garden by building an interior vegetable wall that maximizes space, reduces water consumption, and promotes crop diversity while keeping harmful insects out
What did you think of The Big Picture on Biodiversity and Climate Change?
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About Learning Inside Out

Above 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 both outdoor learning in the school yard or at-home as needed. The activity descriptions above 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.

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Use the feedback button at the bottom of this Guide, or email us at We would also love to see photos of students engaging in the activities, please e-mail us any pictures or videos you have!
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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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