The short documentary, Guardians of the Grasslands, has earned a wide variety of audiences through premieres across the country, national and international film festivals and on broadcast television through RFDTV. Now, thanks to a pivotal funding partnership with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Foundation, the film will reach another vital audience – students.
Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) has developed Guardians of the Grasslands in the Classroom, which complements the 12-minute documentary through viewing and reflection questions, an online scavenger hunt, and a student-developed board game based on their investigative research.
It also connects to further readings exploring the key topics of biodiversity, soil health, climate change, and land management.
“It is important for students to make the connection between the food they eat and the farmers and ranchers that produce it,” explains Melissa Galay, Education Specialist with AITC-C. “Guardians of the Grasslands is an amazing resource as it explains the role that cattle play in preserving native grasslands and connects agriculture with sustainability in a way that is short and sweet.”
“While teaching agriculture in the classroom is important, it is even more imperative that the information is accurate and linked to curriculum outcomes in each province. Like all of us, teachers are busy, so we scanned all provincial curriculums to link these resources to the appropriate grade level and subject. For example, in the prairie provinces Guardians of the Grasslands in the Classroom fits well in the middle school years in social, food and science courses.”
Galay is excited to see the uptake of the resources in this school year but has already identified future opportunities for expansion of the program. “One key opportunity would be identifying careers for students in those corresponding areas of agriculture.”
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