Curriculum guides are designed as a teaching aid to educate the teacher and students about the particular resource the client is managing – a river corridor, a habitat type, a heritage river.
The key to an interpretive curriculum guide is to make it both educational and entertaining, to be provocative and provide insight, to be more than just information. Today teachers are insisting that curriculum guides be based on a specific grade and curriculum unit. Curriculum guides are designed for the teacher and include background information, activities, field trips, and resources such as websites and videos.
Here are four curriculum guides we have created for clients.
Award of Excellence in Interpretation, Interpretation Canada 2006
The Habitat Means Home Curriculum Guide was a Rivers West project. It was
developed for Grade 4 science, focusing on the Habitats and Communities Unit. The
objective of the guide is to teach students about the riverbottom forests of the Red
River Basin. You can download the guide in French or English along with all its materials.
This guide is activity based:
There are many innovative activities in the guide.
The artwork that illustrates the guide was produced by the students of St. Adolphe
School who also focus tested the curriculum package.
This Grades 4 to 6 Social Studies curriculum guide was developed for Rivers West.
Volumes I and II are now translated into French as well and available for download
from Rivers West.
Rivers West is an innovative non-profit organization that wanted students to learn more about the Red River. They contracted S. Dangerfield Interpretive Planning to develop a package for middle years teachers. The best fit was the Grade 8 Water Systems Unit. The guide can be downloaded from the Rivers West website.
The guide was designed to encourage site-based learning, to get the students out in the field to experience the Red River first-hand. To develop the guide we worked with a number of groups, e.g. Roseau River First Nations and Grand Beach Park Interpreters, to develop curriculum-focused field trips, in addition to the activities provided in the guide. The curriculum package was focus tested with Grade 8 students and teachers on five different field trips.
Hayes River: Highway to the Interior Curriculum Guide was researched and written by historian Ruth Swan.
Manitoba Conservation brought S. Dangerfield Interpretive Planning into the project to prepare the guide for distribution to teachers.
The guide targets Grade 5 Social Studies, focusing on the Fur Trade Curriculum Unit. It tells the story of the fur trade along the historic Hayes River, a Canadian Heritage River.
Our role in production of the guide was to write an introduction for teachers, provide additional activities for the students, and develop a teacher resource chapter. In the editing stage we worked with graphic designers to provide illustrations, charts, maps, activity pages and a number of other resources for the guide.
Once the curriculum guide was completed we worked with Manitoba Conservation to produce an Edu-kit for the guide. The Edu-kit included many supplemental materials such as classroom maps, resource books, video/DVD on the Hayes River and more, all bundled up in an old-fashioned packing crate.