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Activity Book 6: Elementary Level

Best suited for ages 5 to 10

Air Patrol

Health Canada

Be on the lookout for the words that have something to do with air pollution.

Words can be found forwards, backwards and diagonally.

Air Patrol

  • AIR
  • CAR
  • SICK
  • SMOG

Answer Key

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The Emerald Ash Borer

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The emerald ash borer attacks and kills all species of ash, except mountain ash which is not a true ash. With artificial spread, where people move infested ash materials and firewood to new areas, this insect can quickly spread to other areas of Canada.

Life Cycle

  1. Eggs are laid in clusters on bark
  2. Larva hatches and bores into tree
  3. Larva becomes pupa under bark
  4. Adult beetle emerges from tree

Life Cycle

Crossword Puzzle

Crossword Puzzle


1. The emerald ash borer munches on ash trees under the bark when it is in this stage of life, before it becomes a pupa. (Hint: look at the life cycle!)

2. The emerald ash borer is a tasty meal to this bird.

3. Typically, in what month does the emerald ash borer begin to emerge from the tree?

4. Ash wood can be used to make furniture, baseball bats and hockey _______.

5. Typically, in what month does the emerald ash borer begin to emerge from the tree?


5. Which continent is the emerald ash borer from?

6. The emerald ash borer has been found in this French-speaking province. (Hint: It is also Canada's largest province.)

7. The emerald ash borer lays these on the bark of ash trees, which eventually hatch larvae. (Hint: Look at the life cycle!)

8. The emerald ash borer has been found in cities across Ontario, including this city. (Hint: It's Canada's capital!)

9. What tree species does the emerald ash borer attack?

Answer Key

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The Clean Air Game

Environment Canada


  • board game
  • one die
  • playing pieces for each student
  • paper and pencil for keeping score


Suggested play time is 20 to 30 minutes.

To play the game

  • Form teams of four or five students.
  • Each student has a playing piece and each team has a die.
  • Players start on one of the Green Spaces and move clockwise around the board.
  • As players land on spaces, they read aloud the description and add or remove pollutants from their 'atmosphere' (or score) as directed.
  • When landing on pollutant spaces, players must add one of those pollutants to their atmosphere.
  • Players may wish to keep track of their own scores but the team score is what matters.
  • The team with the lowest score (cleanest air) wins the game.


Scoring can be done on score sheets or by using manipulatives, such as cheerios and fruit loops, to represent the pollution. When using the cereal, each student starts with 15 pieces of cereal and a handful in the centre of the game. To remove pollutants, players eat the cereal pieces. To add pollutants, they take pieces from the centre of the board and add them to their own pile. Depending on your class, students can keep track of the six individual pollutants and a general pollution score or just the general pollution.

The Clean Air Game

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Counting Leatherback Turtles and Marine Mammals

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

In this activity you will explore how scientists use aerial surveys to study whales and other marine animals. You will also discover some of the challenges involved in using a plane for such surveys.


  • Legal size envelopes
  • 3 or 4 legal size pieces of paper or computer paper that will fit inside the legal size envelope
  • Scissors and transparent tape
  • Pencil or pen

Let's get started!

Break into groups of 3 or 4. One student will be the pilot of the plane and the other 3 will be the scientists.

  1. Take the legal size envelope and cut off both ends so a piece of paper can slide right through the envelope.
  2. In the top third of the envelope cut a square 'window' so that as the paper slides through the envelope you can see it as is passes by the 'window'.
  3. Take the legal paper and attach three or four sheets together end to end with transparent tape to make one long sheet, or use an equivalent length of computer paper that will fit through the envelope.
  4. At one end of the paper attach a pull-tab to help you pull the paper through the envelope. You can make this out of paper or use a cardboard bookmark.
  5. The 'pilot' should go to a separate part of the classroom and draw small circles randomly over the paper. These circles will symbolize the leather back turtles or whales. The 'pilot' will need to know the final number of spots, but must not tell the scientists.
  6. The scientists gather around the 'pilot' who then slides the paper through the envelope at a steady but fast rate.
  7. The scientists count the spots as they pass in front of the 'window.'
  8. The scientists should then compare their numbers and the 'pilot' can reveal the actual number of marine mammals on the paper.


You can make this exercise more realistic and more difficult by varying the size of the spots. Big spots can be whales and smaller ones can be leatherbacks and small whales. Have scientists count both or try to distinguish the spots from each other.

Talk about it!

Adapt these questions to further your discussion.

  1. Did any of the scientists get the number of leatherback turtles and whales right?
  2. What are some of the challenges of counting marine mammals from airplanes?
  3. Can you think of other ways to count marine mammals?
  4. Why do we need to count marine mammals?

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Environments that Support Life Forms

Canadian Space Agency

Learning Objectives

  1. Engage in situational problem solving to learn about bacteria in open and closed environments.
  2. Apply the scientific method as an internationally accepted research protocol in situational problem solving and experimentation.
  3. Develop an awareness of environments that support life forms.


At the end of this experiment, students will:

  • be aware that there are bacteria all around them,
  • understand that the search for extraterrestrial life involves using methods that detect the presence of bacteria,
  • realize the importance of good hygiene in preventing the transmission of bacterial infections.


  • 3 sterile Petri dishes containing nutrient agar
  • 3 cotton swabs
  • 1 felt pen
  • Adhesive tape

To get ready for the experiment, the educator should prepare the petri dishes containing nutrient agar in advance.

Preparation of nutrient agar

  • Prepare 100 ml of 2.5% agar aqueous solution in an Erlenmeyer flask.
  • Bring to a boil and, after complete dissolution, cool to about 50°C.
  • Cover the bottom of each Petri dish with the solution. To avoid contaminating the agar, make sure you only open the lids wide enough to pour in the solution.
  • The nutrient agar solidifies at 40°C.

Experimental procedure

Using cotton swabs, students:

  1. Take a sample from a surface that is likely to host bacteria, such as the classroom floor, a door handle, someone's hands, etc.
  2. Lightly rub the entire surface of the agar in a Petri dish with the cotton swab.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the two other Petri dishes.
  4. Seal the Petri dishes with adhesive tape and label them.
  5. Place them in a warm, dark location.

Make sure students completely seal the Petri dishes after they have been inoculated.


Do not open the Petri dishes once they have been sealed. Bacterial cultures can be dangerous.

Stress with your students the importance of avoiding contact with bacterial cultures, since they will have had the time to develop into potentially harmful concentrations.

Disposal of bacterial cultures

Sterilize the agar in the Petri dishes by covering it in alcohol for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a spatula to remove the agar and place it in a garbage bag. Disinfect the Petri dishes by soaking them in bleach. Afterwards, be sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap.


Two or three days later, students observe the Petri dishes and draw what they see.

Drawings will be rod or generally oblong-shaped with rounded edges, depending on the type of bacteria.

Analysis of results

  • Which surface had the most bacteria?
  • Were all of the bacteria you sampled the same?

Extension Activity

The effect of soap

Students develop a hypothesis concerning the effect of soap on bacteria, then repeat the activity, using samples taken from their hands before and after a vigorous washing with soap.

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Leatherback Maze

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Get the leatherback turtle back to his friends safely!

Leatherback turtles are threatened by fishing gear in which they can be entwined, as well as by plastic bags and other garbage.

Leatherback Maze

Answer Key

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The Web of Life

Environment Canada


  • Facilitate participants' understanding of the concept of "ecosystem" and the relationship between species and their habitats.
  • Make participants aware of the impacts of habitat modification on the survival of the species that live there.


  • 40-50 minutes

Materials (per team of four to six students):

  • easily pierceable cardboard (e.g. cardboard box);
  • 12 pointed wooden rods (e.g. skewers);
  • 10-12 small light balls (e.g. ping pong or styrofoam), ideally of varied diameters (3 to 5 cm);
  • sticky tack, paper, sculpting clay or alternative materials (to identify the rods, use whatever is available and a little creativity);
  • coloured felt pens; and
  • a transparent container, approximately 10-15 cm high (for example food storage containers). The surface must be large enough to serve as a base for the tower.

Constructing the Game

  • With the cardboard, make a square tower about 10 cm per side and 25 cm high. Leave both ends open. This tower represents an ecosystem. The participants will be able to draw a natural landscape on it.
  • Turn the transparent container upside down. Cut an opening at the top that is slightly smaller than the tower's base. Place the tower on the container base.
  • Take between 10 and 12 balls. On each ball, draw a plant (flowers, trees, etc.) or an animal (fish, insects, birds, mammals, etc.).
  • Draw four representations for each of these habitat components (water, food and shelter) on paper circles, for a total of 12. Fasten each circle on the unpointed ends of the rods.

The Web of Life 1

Suggestion: First build a prototype of the game to serve as a model.

Home Sweet Home

  • Ask the participants if they know the words "ecosystem" and "habitat".
  • Explain the two words:
    • A habitat is the natural living environment of any living being. The beings that are found there must have access to water, food and shelter or space to live.
    • An ecosystem is a group of living organisms and their physical environment (soil, air, water, light). All elements of the system are in interaction.
  • Ask the participants to give examples of ecosystems (ocean, forest, lake, city, dead tree, pond, etc.).
  • Explain the goal of the game: understand the relationship between living beings and the environment in which they live.
  • Show the model of the game.
  • Form groups of four to six participants and give them the instructions to make the game.

Let's Play!

  • Show the participants how to pierce the tower with the rods.
  • The young participants stick the rods (water, shelter, food) into the lower half of the tower. The 12 rods must pass through the tower and cross one another in the middle in a random manner.
  • The compact trellis created by the rods will support the balls. This "web" is the image of a rich environment, because water, food and shelter are abundant, so living organisms can survive there.
  • Balls representing different organisms are added from the top of the tower. Animals and plants begin to populate the ecosystem. When the ecosystem is healthy and the habitat components are abundant, the organisms reproduce. Everything is going well!

The Web of Life 2


When the habitat undergoes changes, this has consequences on the species that live there. Here are some examples of changes and the consequences:

  • There is a drought in the region and many plants have died - a food rod is removed.
  • Pesticides have been spread, contaminating the water - a water rod is removed.
  • Many trees have been cut down to make way for construction - a shelter rod is removed.

Chain Reaction

  • Each group in turn gives other examples of habitat changes. If the educator validates the example, all the groups remove the corresponding rod.
  • The rods that are removed represent habitat degradation. At first, removing one or two rods has no major consequences for the organisms, because the other rods maintain the support. As more rods are removed, we reach a critical point: the holes in the web get bigger and some balls start to slip through the trellis, falling into the transparent container below. These balls represent the organisms that have died. From that point on, the process speeds up and removing just a single rod causes a number of balls to drop. More and more organisms die; a large proportion of the species of this ecosystem are endangered.
  • The game continues until all the balls have dropped into the container base.

The educator confirms the participants' understanding of the relationship between habitat "richness" and species survival by asking them to explain it in their own words.

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Match the Food

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Do you know where your food comes from? Draw a line from food you eat with where it originally came from.

Match the Food

Answer Key

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These symbols mean danger!

Health Canada

You can see these symbols on the labels of products in and around your home, things like paint thinners, drain cleaners, windshield washer fluid, different kinds of polish and other household products. When you see these symbols remember these steps:




These symbols mean danger 1

How to play

You'll need: dice (1) and a playing piece (a coin or marker) for each player.The youngest player rolls first. Players take turns rolling, moving from start to finish. If a player lands on a square with a hazard symbol, they slide down to the space that is marked with an X. If a player lands on a "Point to..." square, they must find the correct hazard symbol anywhere on the game board and point to it to jump ahead to the square marked with a star. If a player points to the wrong symbol, or forgets to point before moving ahead, they must to stay on the square they landed on.

These symbols mean danger 2

Tips for parents

  • Keep all products with these symbols locked up in a place where children cannot SEE or REACH them.
  • Read the label and follow the instructions. If you have trouble reading the label, ask for help.
  • Do not cover up or remove labels from these products.
  • Copy emergency phone numbers from the first page of your phone book and keep them next to the phone.
  • If someone is hurt by a product that has these symbols on the label:
    • Call the Poison Control Centre or your doctor right away.
    • Tell the person who answers the phone what the label says.
    • Bring the product with you when you go for help.

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Word Search

Natural Resources Canada

Find the words

Word Search













Answer Key

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Food Group Medicine Wheel

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

By: Annemieke Farenhorst, NSERC Chair For Women in Science and Engineering (Prairie Region). Isca Spillett, Student, Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

Today there are more than 600 First Nations communities across Canada, representing more than 60 languages. Cree is the most widely spoken of these languages in Canada.

For thousands of years prior to European contact, Indigenous peoples had a very sophisticated food system which included items harvested from the lands and waters. Examples of such foods included wild rice, buffalo meat, fish, berries, and squash. These are rich in nutritional value and offer many health benefits.

Traditionally, Indigenous peoples did not eat milk products, which are a source of protein, a nutrient that helps build strong bones and teeth. Instead they obtained calcium from alternatives such as broth and fish head soup.


Students will learn about the four food groups according to Canada's Food Guide and be able to associate a traditional food item with each food group. They will also have the opportunity to learn Cree words.


1. Trace the medicine wheel on a large sheet of paper so that the food cards (next page) fit. Students can colour the medicine wheel.

2. Cut out the food cards (next page) and learn the Cree word associated with the traditional food.

3. Place the food card into the correct food group on the medicine wheel.

Medicine Wheel

All of these are traditional foods of the Cree people. Cut out the cards and place them on the medicine wheel

Food Cards


Fruit and vegetables (Squash and blueberries); Meat and alternatives (Moose and Buffalo), Grains (wild rice, bannock), Milk and alternatives (bone broth, fish head soup).


Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst, PhD NSERC Chair For Women in Science and Engineering (Prairie Region)

Dr. Farenhorst focuses on the environmental fate of pesticides, steroid estrogens and antibiotics in soil and water, and on developing community-based research collaborations for strengthening human and ecosystem health. The University of Manitoba soil science professor leads the newly established NSERC CREATE H2O program for First Nations Water and Sanitation Security.

Isca Spillett, Student, Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

An Indigenous woman with roots in the Northern Manitoba Wekusko community, Isca Spillet explores the impacts of colonialism on traditional Indigenous food systems, to re-establish a connection to the land and traditional food harvesting methods

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It All Adds Up

Natural Resources Canada

These problems will challenge both your math skills and your energy knowledge.

Give them a try!

1. Julie, her brother and her mother each take a shower every day. Julie's dad takes a bath every day. Each shower uses 40 litres of water and each bath uses 75 litres.

a) How many litres of water does the family use to bathe each day?

Each week?

b) If Julie's dad switched to showers too, how much water would the family save each day?

Each week?

2. David's mom drives a hybrid car that uses 1 litre of fuel for every 20 km driven. She drives to work 30 km each way, 5 days a week. How much fuel does she use to get to work every week?

3. Marie's dad drives an SUV that uses 2.5 litres of fuel for every 20 km driven. He drives to work 20 km each way, 5 days a week. How much fuel does he use to get to work every week?

4. If Marie's dad replaced his SUV with a hybrid car like David's mom has, how much fuel would he save every week?

Answer Key

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Flower Power

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Where does your plant water go? Discover what happens to your flower when it drinks up coloured water.


  • A white carnation
  • Two small vases of water
  • Two food colouring dyes
  • Knife
  • Adult helper


  1. Add 20-30 drops of your first colour to the first vase. Do the same with your second colour and second vase. The more colour the better!!
  2. Have your adult helper use a sharp knife to slit the flower stem straight down the middle, about half way up the stem.
  3. Put each half of the stem into a vase of different colored water.
  4. Watch what happens! The carnations will soak up the water and take on the new colors. This can show in only hours, but may also need a few days.

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