Just Dam It!

Theme:Water Protection
Location:The Challenge Course/The Pines
Map #:40
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At this activity centre, students will get a hands-on approach to beaver dam building and pond creation.  Participants will learn the importance of the building materials used by beavers and will learn the benefits of the flooded area.

PLEASE NOTE: In response to popular demand, there are two models to accommodate more students.

Key Messages

  • Beavers are industrious creatures and are well adapted for their role as a keystone species
  • Although the construction of a beaver dam and the resulting flooding may seen destructive, it creates habitat not only for the beaver but also for many other species
  • Beavers play a 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, water lilies, and other aquatic plants], and protection [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 Earth and Space Systems, Grade 5 (Conservation of energy and Resources)
    • analyze the long-term impacts on society and the environment of human uses of energy and natural resources, and suggest ways to reduce these impacts
  • 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 biodiverity
Health and Physical Education:
  • Living Skills, Grade 4 (Movement Competence: Skills, Concepts and Strategies)
    • perform different combinations of locomotor movement with and without equipment, alone and with others, moving at different speeds and levels, using different pathways, and going in different directions
  • Living Skills, Grade 5 (Movement Competence: Skills, Concepts and Strategies)
    • explore different combinations of locomotor movements with and without equipment, alone and with others, moving at different speeds and levels, and using different pathways
  • Living Skills, Grade 6 (Movement Competence: Skills, Concepts and Strategies)
    • perform a wide variety of locomotor movements, in combination, at different speeds, in different directions a, and using different pathways, while moving around others and/or equipment


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