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Salmon Move into Deeper Waters

WGBH, Teachers' Domain

This video segment features subsistence fishing and harvesting in the Northwestern US. The segment was adapted from a student video produced at Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Washington.

Video length is 2:10 min.

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Optional extension: students take on the role of organisms such as predators, prey, or plants within a specific ecosystem. Each group is assigned different survival needs, provided by the educator.

About the Science

  • Students hear from an Elder who speaks about how he used to go trolling (fishing) for salmon with his relatives when he was young. He recalls that they noticed the salmon were moving farther offshore into deeper water. They suspected it was because the water was warming.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - The description of and connection between the PDO and salmon is a great example!
    - The cultural background is excellent!
    - The video is a great media use
    - Have students define "trolling" and "subsistence"
    - I don't think this activity should be used for students older than 8th grade, unless more discussion questions are added about colder waters holding more O2, Western scientific methods, how CO2 warms the planet, added graphics of the PDO, etc.
    I think some more specific discussion questions / background info should be included to meet the highest scientific standards, even though these standards are listed in the activity. For instance, nothing is mentioned in the background about climate models. There is also no information about why the climate is changing. I think the only standards met of the ones listed are for grades 6-8, but this could be easily adapted by adding a paragraph about climate model observations, projections and why the climate is warming (simplified).

About the Pedagogy

  • A good background essay and discussion questions accompany the video.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Video is best viewed on desktop. Can also be downloaded.
Entered the Collection: April 2018 Last Reviewed: September 2016

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