Introduction For Teachers
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the leading source of authoritative data on wildlife, environment and conservation in Scotland. A large amount of interesting research information and data is readily available from SNH that can be used to deliver the Scottish school curriculum. The material is up-to-date, topical and much of it is available online and free. This includes numerous relevant and attractively presented graphs, bar charts, pie charts, maps and diagrams which secondary schools can easily use free of charge.
The following 24 pupil activities are based on SNH data and information, with some data from other sources in Scotland. The activities are intended to help teachers meet the requirements of the Scottish curriculum for 11-18 year olds.
All the pupil activities described here can be carried out in the classroom with the use of computers. Information that pupils need can be downloaded using the websites provided, although pupils can also be encouraged to search for additional information using the internet. Carrying out these activities should give pupils practice in improving their ICT skills and so help to meet the requirements of the curriculum. The activities provide pupils with opportunities to:
- create and present their ideas and other material;
- collect and analyse information; and also
- make their own internet searches.
Information that pupils need to carry out a few activities is also provided in text boxes.
There are 17 pupil activities for 11-18 year olds covering species and habitats, including 14 activities on the following seven species:
- red and grey squirrels;
- water vole and American mink;
- great yellow bumblebee,
- pine hoverfly and
- freshwater fish focusing on vendace.
These are all species covered by Scotland’s Species Action Framework. Launched in January 2007, the Species Action Framework is a five year plan for 32 species where targeted management action is particularly needed.
In addition to their rarity and the importance of Scottish populations, several of the species were chosen because of their familiarity to pupils. Red squirrels can be seen at a number of places in Scotland and many pupils will know grey squirrels. Although most are unlikely to have seen water voles, many will be familiar with this species as Ratty in ‘Wind in the Willows’. The great yellow bumblebee and pine hoverfly are rare with localised distributions, but pupils will be familiar with bumblebees and hoverflies.
There are also five activities on Scotland’s protected areas for 11-18 year olds, one activity on recreation for 11-14 year olds, and one on access for 16-18 year olds.
Scottish Natural Heritage Education & Teacher Resources
A full list of all the resources and details of the resources are given on the SNH website.
All are free and all except the Advances posters are available online.
SNH resources include Teaching Space, a website for teachers taking their pupils (suitable for 11-14 years) to natural heritage sites. It includes:
- a searchable directory of sites to visit with your pupils. You can search by location, site name, features of site and age.
- A searchable directory of activities on peatlands; sea, shore and sand; landscape; woodland; freshwater; biodiversity; school grounds; and people, past and present.
- Things to think about before your visit; and
- Where to find additional information and contacts.