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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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Wind Speed and Height: “Why do wind turbines have to be so tall?”

In this lesson, students will investigate the relationship between wind speed and height, through both experiments and quantitative analysis. Students will be able to explain why turbines are built at heights of 50-80 m, rather than being taller or shorter.

Turbulence and How to Avoid It

Wind turbines work best when they are exposed to consistent winds moving with constant speed and direction. Turbulence (“swirling winds”) causes problems. In this lesson, students will investigate turbulence generated by obstacles such as school buildings or trees. Simple analysis and measurements illustrate the concepts of turbulence, and indicate how it can be avoided in site selection for wind turbines.

Wind Energy Generation in Northern Communities

In this lesson, students will critically consider the use of wind energy in the Northwest Territories. The key critical question is: Is wind energy a suitable alternative for your community?

Wind Energy: A Global Comparison

In this lesson, students will critically consider the use of wind energy in Canada as it compares to other countries.

Winds of Change

In this lesson, students will investigate the changes in Nunavut’s energy requirements and the impact of meeting those demands. They will also investigate local concerns about harnessing wind energy.

The Answer Is Blowing In the Wind

In this lesson, students will confront and investigate some common misconceptions about wind energy and devise a way to educate the public about their findings.

Mapping Wind Energy

Wind is the horizontal movement of air across the surface of the Earth. The energy of the wind can be harnessed to create electricity. The stronger the wind, the more energy is potentially available. Students will investigate their schoolyard for the best location for a wind turbine using an anemometer constructed in the classroom and a map of the yard.

Wind Energy Awareness

In this lesson, students will create, administer and analyse a questionnaire to evaluate the public’s knowledge of and attitudes towards wind energy.

Harnessing the Wind’s Energy Potential: Wind Farms on Prince Edward Island

Renewable energy sources such as the wind are becoming more attractive to people and governments. In Canada over the last decade we have seen increased building of wind farms. The question that needs to be answered, ”Is wind energy the best way to promote cheap sustainable energy, keep the environment clean and improve PEI’s economy?” Students will do online research, complete two graphic organizers to answer the above question, and create a map of wind farms on PEI.

Surveying Canada’s Wind Energy Sites

In this lesson, students will look at three sites in Canada that use wind energy to produce electricity. Students will first have to use map skills to identify each location on a map of the country and then they will look at a number of elements – location, size of operation, number of generators or windmills, cost, and number of kilowatts produced. Students will then record all this information in a worksheet. There is an extension activity also available for this exercise.

Analysis of Wind Energy Development Impact on the Physical Environment in Quebec: An Information Campaign Using Computer-Assisted Presentations

Raise students' awareness about the impact of wind energy development on the physical environment in Quebec and how this form of energy can influence the landscape and people. Lead students to understand the various positions of different groups on wind energy development in Quebec.

Can wind energy ensure sustainable energy development in Canada?

Students must answer the question: "Can wind energy ensure sustainable energy development in Canada?"

Wind Energy: A Real Alternative?

In this lesson, students will analyze whether wind energy is feasible. The lesson will have the students explore the following: How is wind used to create electricity? How much does wind energy cost? Analyzing the average wind velocity in their area with the aid of an online calculator, can typical homeowners create their own energy, or do they have to rely only on large utility companies to provide it?

Case Study Summaries of Wind Energy Use in Saskatchewan

In this lesson, students will compare and contrast case studies already created for other wind farm locations in Canada available at the Canadian Wind Energy Association website, and then create a similar case study for wind farm locations in Saskatchewan. The completed case study will provide a structured 2 page summary of the history of wind power in Saskatchewan, the local economic impacts of wind energy creation in the region and the public attitudes towards wind energy development and use. There is the option to expand on the summary with additional information related to wind energy as interest and time allow.

Wind Farm Atlas Scavenger Hunt

In this lesson, students will complete an atlas activity to find and map the location of several existing and proposed wind power sites across Canada. They will conduct research to identify the wind farms and describe the features that make the location viable for wind power.

The geographic potential of wind energy in Canada

In this lesson, students will evaluate the potential of wind energy in terms of geographic location. Students will spend a lesson building a simple card windmill and through activities on their school campus, deduce the best locations for the production of wind energy using their mini-wind turbine models. Students will then apply their understanding to current and potential wind energy production locations across Canada.

Wind and the Forging of Canadian Identity

“How has the experience of wind affected our sense of place as Canadians? What role does wind play in the formation of our national, regional, and spiritual identities?” This lesson is primarily teacher-led and proceeds through the investigation of Canadian art, literature, maps and music. Student inquiry may begin with a class discussion about what makes them who they are as Canadians, as Albertans, and as residents of their city, town, or municipality. What formative experiences do they have that give them a sense of who they are as individuals? What role does geography play in the formation of identity? In particular, what role does Canadian geography (i.e., land, water, and wind) play in the forging of our identities as Canadians? How might our modern experiences of nature differ from those of early Canadians? How might the manner of our experience of the natural world affect our dispositions and attitudes towards it? Teachers ought to lead students in an investigation of how our experiences of the land

Wind Storms, Desertification and the Canadian Dry Belt

“What role does wind play in the progress of desertification in Canada as well as globally?” This one or two period lesson is devoted to the investigation of windstorms in the history of the Canadian prairies, how the threat of desertification may affect the future of the Canadian west, and how this threat may loom as part of a larger trend in global climactic changes. Student understanding during this inquiry may be gauged by means of group presentations and/or position papers based upon the suggested readings.

Wind and Weather Forecasting

There is a lot of potential in wind power as a source of energy for human purposes. Some areas have more wind than others, however, and the wind can vary in consistency and reliability. It is helpful to be able to predict what the wind will do in your area: which direction it will come from and how strong it will be. It is also useful to have an idea about the accuracy of the forecast data. This lesson increases students’ knowledge of how to access wind and weather forecasting information, and how to evaluate the accuracy of the data.

The benefits and challenges of wind energy

In this lesson, students will evaluate the potential of wind energy in terms of its benefits and challenges. Students will use critical thinking skills to consider the pros and cons of wind energy and appraise it as a renewable energy source.

Where there’s a wind, there’s a way!

The lesson investigates geographic features and natural resources in Manitoba with a demonstration of wind energy production and the production of pamphlet regarding its use.

The Wind Beneath Your Wings: A Debate

The lesson investigates the affects of installing wind turbines for the production of electricity and the resulting impact on both the environment and society by engaging the students in a debate.

Harnessing Wind Energy at Kent Hills, New Brunswick

Students will understand the workings of a wind turbine. They will also understand the phrases and definitions associated with accessing and harvesting wind energy.

Small Wind Energy: Is it one of the green solutions for rural Canada?

In this lesson, students will have an opportunity to learn about an alternative way of supplying energy to rural Canadian homes. The students will use several sites to locate information that will allow them to compare small wind energy as an alternative way to heating and lighting homes.

Wind at my back! Wind Turbines in Newfoundland

In this lesson, students will learn about the importance of wind as a renewable energy source by exploring their surrounding area, and through this exploration gain an appreciation for its distinctiveness.