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The North at their fingertips


Students can now track icebergs and explore diamond mining in Canada’s Arctic — right from the classroom. To recognize International Polar Year (IPY), the Canadian Council for Geographic Education, in collaboration with the Canadian Polar Commission, has developed a set of 38 bilingual lesson plans about the North.

Designed by teachers for teachers, the plans are intended to introduce students from kindergarten to grade 12 to Arctic issues and to inspire the next generation of polar scientists. While IPY, a worldwide scientific initiative focused on the Arctic and Antarctic regions, will end in March 2009, the hands-on lesson plans are meant to serve well into the future. Classes across the country can discover northern realities and challenges through such engaging topics as Inuit shamanism and spirituality and the impact of global warming on polar bear habitat.

— Erin Kristalyn

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Did you know that a 2005 National Survey determined that one-third of adult Canadians can be considered “geographically illiterate”?

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“Geography is the lens for the soul of the earth. With the knowledge of geography, one can examine the earth’s past, assess the present and predict future situations. You can literally be ‘lost’ without geography!”



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