Beaver Fever

Theme:Water Protection
Location:The Challenge Course/The Pines
Map #:39
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Students will be introduced to the unique adaptations of the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) to their aquatic environment.  Students will investigate the interdependence of these large rodents to their aquatic habitat with the use of metaphors, props and discussion.

Key Messages

  • Beavers  are  industrious  creatures  and  are  well adapted for their role as an aquatic mammal
  • Beavers  are  considered  furbearers and  are  the largest North American rodent
  • Beavers play an important role in the dynamics of the forest ecosystem

Ontario Curriculum Connections

Science and Technology:
  • Understanding Life Systems, Grade 4 (Habitats and Communities)
    • analyze the positive and negative impacts of human interactions with natural habitats and communities, taking different perspectives into account, and evaluate ways of minimizing the negative impacts
    • identify factors that affect the ability of plants and animals to survive in a specific habitat
    • use scientific inquiry/research skills to investigate ways in which plants and animals in a community depend on features of their habitat to meet important needs (e.g., beavers use water for shelter{they build their lodges so the entrance is under water}, food {cattails, waterlilies, and other aquatic plants}, and protections {they slap their tails on the water to warn of danger})
    • demonstrate an understanding of habitats as areas that provide plants and animals with the necessities of life
    • demonstrate an understanding of a community as a group of interacting species sharing a common habitat
    • describe structural adaptations that allow plants and animals to survive in specific habitats
  • Understanding Life Systems, Grade 6 (Biodiversity)
    • describe ways in which biodiversity within and among communities is important for maintaining the resilience of these communities
    • identify and describe the distinguishing characteristics of different groups of plants and animals and use these characteristics to further classify various kinds of plants and animals
    • describe interrelationships within species, between species and between species and their environment, and explain how these interrelationships sustain biodiversity
Social Studies:
  • Heritage and Identity, Grade 5 (First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada)
    • describe some of the positive and negative consequences of contact between First Nations and Europeans in New France (e.g., with reference to the fur trade), and analyze their significance
    • analyze aspects of early contact between First Nations and Europeans in New France to determine the ways in which different parties benefited
    • describe significant aspects of the interactions between First Nations and European explorers and settlers during this period (e.g., with reference to sharing of beliefs, knowledge, skills, technology)


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