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Welcome to The Canadian Atlas Online (CAOL) Learning Centre. With the terrific learning resources available here, you can make geography and history come alive in your classroom like never before! Our lesson plans and classroom activities are available to download in several formats to help both teachers and students engage more fully with this site’s content. Teacher-members of the Canadian Council for Geographic Education have prepared these free resources that meet curriculum learning objectives based on the topics featured throughout the CAOL.

You may select the resources by province, grade level, and topic. Alternatively, you can simply view all available lesson plans.

To view all available lesson plans click here.

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Sustainable Forestry

In this lesson, students will watch short video clips that show forest harvesting in the boreal forest. Next, they will complete a research assignment on the effects of forest harvesting and access the Forest Products Association of Canada website to determine five key principles of sustainable forestry in Canada’s boreal forest.


Collaboration and Compromise: The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

In this lesson, students are introduced to the concept of stakeholders. They will collaborate and cooperate to explore the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement during a round table discussion from the perspective of various stakeholders in the agreement.


To cut or not to cut, that is the question!

In this lesson, students will explore different perspectives associated with forest harvesting in Duck Mountain provincial park in Manitoba. They will assume the position of a stakeholder and defend whether or not logging should be allowed in provincial parks.


Sustainable Forestry Practices in the Boreal Forests of New Brunswick

Canada’s forestry industry is beginning to integrate traditional pulp, paper and sawmills with new innovative technologies to maximize the fibre harvested in the creation of new bio-products. New innovative products include bio-fuels, bio-energy, bio-chemicals and other bio-materials. In this lesson, students investigate the benefits and challenges of biomass as an alternative fuel source in the province of New Brunswick. They will focus on the boreal forest and the recent Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.


Soil-Vegetation Connections in the Boreal Forest

The boreal forest is identified as being a key ecosystem which contributes much to the world and Canada. Understanding its formation, role, fragility, resources, and maintenance will enable the nurturing of sound sustainable practices. This lesson involves two components. First, students will observe and measure a soil profile in the field. Next, they will analyze and interpret the profiles in the classroom. This process will enable students to make connections between soils and forest cover.


The Boreal Forests of Nova Scotia: An Alternate Energy Source?

The nature of this lesson is for students to research the topic of biomass fuel, develop a thesis statement and write a 1000-word essay on the use of biomass as a sustainable fuel source for Nova Scotia.


Biomass Community Task Force – A Simulation for Decision Making

A Northwest Territories community on the fringe of the boreal forest strikes a task force to examine the possibility of converting to biomass fuel generation as it faces rising costs and other logistical challenges in supplying traditional fossil fuels to its community.


Housing in Nunavut: Human and Physical Challenges

This lesson will examine both the human and physical limitations associated with the construction of homes made of wood in Nunavut.


Clearing the Log Jam

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement is a historic agreement that signifies a new era of joint leadership in the Canadian boreal forest. In this lesson, students will map the extent of Canada’s boreal forest and analyze the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The Canadian Atlas Online (CAOL) will be used to highlight the significance of the Canadian boreal forest ecosystem.


The Woodland Caribou: A Multi-Media Exploration of a Species at Risk

This lesson examines the Canadian boreal population of the Woodland Caribou, a species at risk. Following an introduction to the extent of the woodland caribou range on the Canadian Geographic/FPAC Boreal Forest poster-map, students look at two videos: one that offers a visual introduction to the caribou, and another that offers some insight into Aboriginal peoples’ perception of the caribou. The class reviews a caribou facts sheet. Then, in groups, students prepare multi-media presentations on the caribou. The lesson concludes with a student-written paragraph about the importance of protecting the caribou.


Conservation of forest land: What will the consensus be?

The lesson plan is based on the structure of strategic teaching or a learning and evaluation situation (LES) structure recommended by the Contemporary World Program for Secondary 5 in Québec.


Town Hall Forestry Forum

Students assume a role and then carry out research, summarize their findings and defend a position in relation to a notice to expand local forestry operations in a community located in the boreal forest area of Saskatchewan. Students must consider the impact of such a decision for the community and create a recommendation on whether or not to expand forestry operations to submit to the provincial government.


Is the Global Boreal Forest a Priority Place?

In this lesson, students investigate features of the global boreal forest and the criteria required to be considered as a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Priority Place. Students will decide if the global boreal forest region should be protected as a Priority Place. Students will present their findings in a position paper, poster or presentation.