Sandy’s incredible shrinking footprint

Author(s): Femida Handy & Carole Carpenter

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3dgEJMv
Indigo: https://bit.ly/2ywCF4n

Social Justice focus: Environmental

Synopsis: Sandy and her dog Pepper love to play on the beach when visiting her Grandpa’s house. One day when they are playing on the beach, Sandy notices that people had left behind a bunch of garbage from their beach party. Sandy struggles understanding why someone wouldn’t clean up after themselves. While she is busy cleaning the mess, she meets the Garbage Lady. The Garbage Lady explains to Sandy that we all have an ecological footprint and it’s up to us to shrink it as much as possible. Full of inspiration for shrinking her footprint, Sandy rushes home to tell her Grandpa everything that she has learned and all the ways she wants to work on shrinking her footprint. At the end of the picture book, a list of ways you can shrink your footprint is provided so that everyone can be inspired, just like Sandy!

Lesson Plan: Karly Bignell

Primary/Junior/Intermediate Lesson Plan (Abbreviated Template)

Consecutive and Concurrent Programs

Unit/Topic: Global Citizenship/ Ecological Footprint

Grade: 7

Lesson: What is the focus of this lesson in relation to the unit?

The purpose of this lesson is to educate students on what we are using natural resources for and how much natural resources they consume themselves in order to get an idea of how much resources need to be produced for every person.

Curriculum Areas: What are possible connections to other curricular areas?

Geography Overall Expectations:

Inquiry – Use the geographic inquiry process to investigate issues related to the impact of the extraction/harvesting and/or use of natural resources around the world from a geographic perspective

Understanding Geographic Context – Demonstrate an understanding of the sources and use of different types of natural resources and of some of the effects of the extraction/harvesting and use of these resources

Specific Expectations:

Inquiry: Investigating Issues Related to Natural Resources

B2.1 Formulate questions to guide investigations into issues related to the impact of the extraction/ harvesting and/or use of natural resources around the world from a geographic perspective

B2.5 Evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about issues related to the impact of natural resource extraction/harvesting and/or use around the world

Understanding Geographic Context: Using Natural Resources

B3.2 describe ways in which people use the natural environment, including specific elements within it, to meet their needs and wants

Visual Art Overall Expectations:

D1.Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process to produce art works in a variety of traditional two- and three-dimensional forms, as well as multimedia art works, that communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts as well as current media technologies

Specific Expectations:

D1.1 Create art works, using a variety of traditional forms and current media technologies, that express feelings, ideas, and issues, including opposing points of view

D1.3 Use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings for a specific audience and purpose

Curriculum Expectations: What Overall and Specific Expectations will be addressed?

Language Overall Expectations:

Oral Communication:

1.Listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes


1. Generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience

3. Use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively

Language Specific Expectations:

Oral Communication:

1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate listening behaviour by adapting active listening strategies to suit a wide variety of situations, including work in groups

1.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the information and ideas in increasingly complex oral texts in a variety of ways

1.9 Identify a wide variety of presentation strategies used in oral texts and evaluate their effectiveness


1.2 Generate ideas about more challenging topics and identify those most appropriate for the purpose

1.4 Sort and classify ideas and information for their writing in a variety of ways that allow them to manipulate information and see different combinations and relationships in their data

1.5 Identify and order main ideas and sup-porting details and group them into units that could be used to develop a multi-paragraph piece of writing, using a variety of strategies

3.1 Spell familiar words correctly

Learning Goal(s): What are students expected to know, do and understand? We are learning to….

I will know what impact my ecological footprint has on the environment.

I will explain ways to reduce my ecological footprint in a thoughtful response.

I can use elements of design (lines) to create a personalized footprint.

Success Criteria: How will students know they have met the learning goal? I can….

  • Submits a completed ecological footprint calculation
  • Student submits a completed reflection with thoughtful ways to reduce their ecological footprint
  • Student submits a personalized footprint using the art component of lines incorporated into the design.


How will I meet the needs of my students? Have I addressed any IEPs?


  • Extra time to complete Ecological Footprint test
  • Send to SERT Room if available for one on one assistance
  • Assistance in adding total numbers on Ecological Footprint test


  • Calculate total points for students in order to reduce the mathematical component
  • A minimum of one way to reduce their ecological footprint

Minds-on: How will I connect to prior and future learning? How will I engage students and set the context for learning?

Students will be connecting to their prior learning of sustainability and natural resources. A picture book will be introduced that will explain future learning of ecological footprints.

Guiding Questions:

  • What is a natural resource?
  • What example was used in the video to show how many resources contribute to our everyday life?
  • What is an ecological footprint?
  • Do you consider the amount of resources you use each day?

Minutes: How much time will I allocate? 20 Minutes

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

  • Introduce Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint
  • Read the book to the class
  • Ask students what they think the main message from the story is and why it’s important and have a group discussion
  • Play video: “What do we use resources for?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LfD_EKze2M
  • Discuss other examples of what we use resources for with the class

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment? Assessment for learning

Action: How will I introduce new learning / reinforce prior learning / practice learning / scaffold learning?

Learning will be built upon their introduction of what an ecological footprint measures as students will be entering in their own resource consumption information in order to calculate their own footprints.

Minutes: How much time will I allocate? 40 Minutes

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

  • Distribute one copy of the Ecological Footprint test to each student
  • Instruct students to answer each question to the best of their ability
  • They must then add together each section (food, water, transportation, etc)
  • They must then divide their total by 300. This will give students the number of Earth’s required if everyone lived like they did. (This is their ecological footprint)
  • In order to get the number of acres, multiply the number of Earth’s needed by 4.7

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment? Assessment for learning

Consolidation: How will I reflect on the learning goal? How will I have students reflect on the learning goal?

Students will use the knowledge they gained from their ecological footprint quiz and apply it in the consolidation. They will be looking at their results and determine how they can reduce their footprints based off the results they received.

Minutes: How much time will I allocate? 50 Minutes

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

  • Once their footprint is calculated, students will get a lined sheet of paper and move on to writing their reflection. It doesn’t have to be based on categories, it can based on a point they scored really high in and have ideas about how to lower it. They must submit two paragraphs (one paragraph for each point) for a complete reflection.
  • Once the reflection is complete, they may bring it up and show the teacher their calculation and reflection and get a footprint sheet.
  • Distribute one copy of the footprint outline to each student
  • Instruct students to write their name and how many Earth’s it would take to sustain people if everyone lived like they did.
  • They can then get creative! Colour the foot in and make it theirs stand out
  • Split the class up into three groups. We will then be doing a gallery walk so students can see their peers footprints. (Optional: Display footprints on the wall as a reminder to your class their commitment to lowering their own footprint!)

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment? Assessment for learning. Evaluation of completion of ecological footprint calculation, two realistic ways they can reduce their footprint and the use of lines on their foot outline.

MATERIALS: What resources and materials do I need? Where can I find them? In a perfect world what other resources might I need?

  • Ecological Footprint test
  • Handout with Footprint outline
  • Markers/ Pencil Crayons
  • Preparation:
  • Photocopy Ecological Footprint test (one per student)
  • Photocopy footprint outline handout (one per student)
  • Have student attendance sheet on hand (for participation marks)

REFLECTION: Questions to determine the success of your lesson:

  • Were my students successful in meeting the learning goals and success criteria? How do I know?
  • Did my instructional decisions meet the needs of all students? If not, what are my next steps?
  • What worked well and why?
  • What will I do differently in the future when teaching this lesson? For the subsequent lesson?
  • What are the next steps for my professional learning?


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Social Justice Picture Books Copyright © 2019 by Ruth McQuirter, editor and Gurbinder Kaur, contributing editor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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