Ignition Pack - Wetland Ecosystems Unit

Ignition Pack is a curriculum-based comprehensive learning resource that supports the teaching of a whole unit of science, and engages students in learning fundamental scientific concepts through exploration, experimentation and critical thinking.

The Grade 5 Wetlands Ecosystems Ignition Pack is made up of:

  1. Online teaching resources (including lessons, PowerPoints & videos), and
  2. An easy to use, durable kit that contains hands-on materials for completing classroom activities.

All the teaching resources in the Ignition Pack have been carefully developed to:

  • Fully integrate interactive digital tools with real-world, hands-on activities to meet student needs.

  • Appeal to diverse learning styles and support various teaching approaches.

  • Address knowledge outcomes for this unit and many of the skills and attitudes outcomes for Grade 5 Science from the current Alberta Program of Studies.

Each Ignition Pack is built-to-order and ships within 6 to 8 weeks from date of purchase.
Contact us if you have questions about the packs or prices?

Physical Kit and Online Access

Ideal for grade 5, Wetland Ecosystem Unit pack provides 20-25 instructional hours, each of the five unit sections has a suite of resources with common elements:

  • Introductory Videos: Students feel better prepared to learn when they know what to expect.  In these videos, host Jonathan Love introduces students to the concepts and key vocabulary of each section topic in a fun and engaging way.
  • Lessons: These comprehensive PowerPoint presentations use illustrations and examples to provide opportunities for classroom discussion and exploration of key concepts.
  • Activities: Hands-on activities and experiments give students the chance to explore the science concepts of each topic through active investigation. They are accessible on the Ignition Pack website and in the Activity Book.
  • Real World Videos: These videos feature scientists, educators and artists who demonstrate real-world applications of the science presented in each topic and make meaningful career connections for students.
  • Cards: The Wetland Files, Discussion Cards, and Discovery Cards engage students with interesting Wetland facts and thought-provoking questions.  The Vocabulary Cards support students with learning and reviewing new science vocabulary.
  • Build a Wetland: This comprehensive and cumulative project helps students learn about all of the living and non-living parts that make up a wetland by building one of their own.
  • Teacher's Handbook: This handbook explains how to use all of the Ignition Pack resources, including a summative assessment in the most impactful way.
  • Physical Kit: This kit contains many of the specialized items needed for a variety of the activities, including all the cards, plant samples & materials for the Build a Wetland project.

The unit begins with an introduction; the provided Discussion Cards are a good way to do this. Other unit resources that can be included in the introduction are Discovery Cards and Vocabulary Cards.

Following the introduction, the unit is broken into five sections:

    Section 1: "What's a Wetland?" is approximately 175 minutes long and includes: 

    1. Introduction Video: Jonathan, our host, gives a quick introduction to wetland types.
    2. Lesson: What's a Wetland?: This lesson introduces the importance of water and wetlands, different types of wetlands, and how living and non-living things work together.
    3. Dead or Alive Activity: The outdoors is a great place to investigate living and non-living things and how they interact.
    4. Wetlands Suck it Up Activity: Students use the scientific method to explore how three wetland materials compare in their ability to hold water, absorb water and allow water to flow through them.
    5. Video: What's a Wetland?: Wetlands are important today just as they were in historical times. Explore some historical uses for wetlands.
    6. Do it Yourself Watershed Activity: How do watersheds and wetlands work together and what types of things affect them? Explore some basic functions of wetlands and their relationship to a watershed during a flood.

    By the end of section 1 students should be able to:

    • Recognize and describe one or more examples of wetland ecosystems found in the local area; e.g., pond, slough, marsh, bog, fen.
    • Understand that a wetland ecosystem involves interactions between living and nonliving things, both in and around the water.

    Section 2: "What Lives in a Wetland?" is approximately 135 minutes long and includes:

    1. Introduction Video: Jonathan lists some of the many plants and animals in a wetland, talks about metamorphosis and describes types of plants.
    2. Lesson: What Will You Find in a Wetland?: This lesson introduces how to identify plants and animals found in a wetland and the life cycles of those plants and animals.
    3. Drama in the Wetland Activity: This activity will bring out the creative side in students as they learn about and describe the life cycles of different wetland animals.
    4. Video: What Lives in a Wetland?: Jonathan meets Connie, a naturalist who loves teaching people about nature and teaches Jonathan a thing or two about wetland plants and their adaptations.
    5. A Key to Wetland Life Activity: This activity will allow students to sharpen their observation skills while exploring characteristics of plants and the smaller creatures of the wetlands.

    By the end of section 2 students should be able to:

    • Identify some plants and animals found at a wetland site, both in and around the water; and describe the life cycles of these plants and animals.

    Section 3: "How Do Plants and Animals Live in a Wetland?"  is approximately 135 minutes long and includes:

    1. Introduction Video: Adaptation! That’s the concept that Jonathan introduces this time.
    2. Lesson: How do Plants & Animals Live in a Wetland?: This lesson introduces the concept of adaptation, how wetland plants and animals have adapted to their environment, and how plants and animals get oxygen under water.
    3. Animal Insulation Activity: Students use what they have learned about adaptation to build an experiment that tests an animal’s ability to insulate itself.
    4. Interesting Invertebrates Activity: As they watch these elusive creatures on video, students see for themselves that wetland invertebrates have fascinating adaptations.
    5. Video: How do Plants and Animals Live in a Wetland?: Erick is a scientist who is up to his ears in a wetland when Jonathan spots him. Together they discover some interesting animal adaptations while Erick shares his passion for researching wetlands.

    By the end of section 3 students should be able to:

    • Identify and describe adaptations that make certain plants and animals suited for life in a wetland.
    • Understand and appreciate that all animals and plants, not just the large ones, have an important role in a wetland community.
    • Recognize that some aquatic animals use oxygen from air and others from water, and identify examples and adaptations of each.

    Section 4: "How Do Living Things Interact in a Wetland?" is approximately 135 minutes long and includes:

    1. Introduction Video: Jonathan introduces students to food chains, food webs and what consumers, producers, and decomposers are.
    2. Lesson: How do Living Things Interact in a Wetland?: This lesson introduces the roles of different living things in the food chain of a wetland and how to draw and understand food chains and food webs.
    3. In Living Colour Activity: Students use diagrams to explore the interactions between plants and animals, and put them into food chains and webs.
    4. Video: What is Happening in the Wetlands?: Jonathan and his artist friend Lorne try to make sense of how the plants and animals in the wetland around them form a huge food web.
    5. Wild Wetlands Games: Give students a chance to let loose with games designed to reinforce concepts regarding habitat needs, food chains and food webs.

    By the end of section 4 students should be able to:

    • Identify the roles of different organisms in the food web of a pond:
      • Producers: green plants that make their own food, using sunlight.
      • Consumers: animals that eat living plants and/or animals.
      • Decomposers: organisms, such as molds, fungi, insects and worms that reuse and recycle materials that were formerly living.
    • Draw diagrams of food chains and food webs, and interpret such diagrams.

    Section 5: "How Do Humans Affect Wetlands?"is approximately 190 minutes long and includes:

    1. Introduction Video: Jonathan explains how humans can damage as well as restore wetlands.
    2. Lesson: How Do Humans Affect Wetlands?: This lesson introduces how humans affect wetlands, how changes to one part of an environment can affect the whole environment, and how students can help wetlands grow and survive.
    3. Support Your Local Wetland Activity: Students consider how to get everyone in on the action as they plan ways to educate themselves and their classmates about threats to wetlands and how everyone can help.
    4. Video: How Do Humans Affect Wetlands?: Companies plan for restoring wetlands before they even start disturbing land. Jonathan interviews Carla, a land reclamation scientist who works with Syncrude, to find out how some fens are being restored in Alberta’s far north.

    The unit ends with the Build-a-Wetland Project, which is divided into four parts taking a total of 140 minutes.

    By the end of section 5 students should be able to:

    • Identify human actions that can threaten the abundance or survival of living things in wetland ecosystems; e.g., adding pollutants, changing the flow of water, trapping or hunting pond wildlife.
    • Identify individual and group actions that can be taken to preserve and enhance wetland habitats.
    • Recognize that changes in part of an environment have effects on the whole environment.