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Category: Nature

Fort McMurray is on fire

Level 2 The forest around Ft. McMurray is on fire. Large parts of the city are on fire. Ft. McMurray is Alberta’s fifth largest city. This is the largest wild fire in Alberta history. This is the largest evacuation in Alberta history. Map of the fire zone It all happened in a few days. The…

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Surprise! We saw bears

LEVEL 2 Newcomers to Canada enjoy learning about camping and wildlife. Last year we went camping. We camped in a national park. We woke up very early. We went bird watching. We didn’t see any birds. We saw a black bear and her cubs! We were very surprised. The bears were far away from us….

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Wildlife returning to the city

Story adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Patty Bossort LEVEL 2 Black-tailed deer left Vancouver 30 years ago. Elk disappeared from the False Creek area a century ago. The last cougar in Vancouver was shot in Stanley Park in 1911. People in Vancouver did not want large wild animals to live in town. Parts of…

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Wilbur the pig

Wilbur the pig Adapted from The Province by Nila Gopaul Level 1 Listen to “Wilbur the pig” – Level 1 Reading by Nila Gopaul Wilbur has a good life now. He lives at a dog day care in Vancouver. The day care is called Canine Adventure Den. His owner, Kirsty MacGregor, found Wilbur on the Internet. Wilbur lived in Edmonton, Alberta….

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Two paws in the ocean, and two paws on the land

Two paws in the ocean, and two paws on the land The fish-eating gray wolves of B.C.’s coastal islands Adapted from CBC News by Nancy Carson Level 2 The Heiltsuk* people of Bella Bella knew something special about B.C.’s gray wolves. For 6,000 years the Heiltsuk have lived in that area. They have always known…

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Tips for a short camping trip

Campers roast marshmallows Photo by the Government of British Columbia/CC, Flickr Tips for a short camping trip Adapted from Wikipedia by Patti-Lea Ryan Edited by Nila Gopaul Level 3 NOTE for campers: Click here to find current fire bans in BC  Checklist of things to do before leaving home If you plan on taking a pet…

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Dyeing brown grass green

Dyeing brown grass green Adapted from The Province and The Vancouver Courier by Nila Gopaul Level 2 The weather is very dry this summer. Lawns are turning brown. There are water restrictions all over B.C. These lawns are not dead. They will turn green again in the fall with the rain. Some people do not like brown…

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An octopus “sees” with its skin

An octopus “sees” with its skin Adapted from cbc.ca by Nancy Carson Level 2 Cover the eyes of an octopus with your hands. Or put a blindfold over its eyes. It will not be blind! New Study Researchers studied pieces of skin from a California two-spot octopus. Octopus skin is different from its eyes. The…

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The beautiful rings of Saturn

The beautiful rings of Saturn Adapted from NASA by Patti-Lea Ryan Level 3 Saturn is the second biggest planet in our solar system. Only Jupiter is bigger. Saturn is much larger than Earth. You could fit 700 Earths into Saturn. Being the sixth planet from the sun, Saturn is very, very far away. It is about…

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Eagle count in B.C. – January

Counting the Brackendale eagles Adapted from The Province by Nila Gopaul This year is the 29th annual Brackendale eagle count. Every year in January, wintering eagles gather in Brackendale, B.C. Brackendale is near Squamish (see the map below). Volunteers count the eagles. The volunteers work in teams. They walk. They hike about 40 kilometres. And they go out on kayaks and…

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Bear cubs need help

Adapted from The Province by Nila Gopaul In Smithers, B.C., 30 hungry bear cubs* play and live at an animal shelter. The cubs are orphaned. This means each cub has lost its mother. Most mothers were killed by accident – by cars and trucks. *cubs – a young bear, fox, lion

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Elephants know the voices of their enemies

Level 3 Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nancy Carson Can you recognize different languages? Do you say, “Oh, that sounds like Spanish,” or “That sounds like French.” Can you do it when you do not understand the words? Elephants can! Listen to the story Elephants know the voices of their enemies. Reading by Nila Gopaul-Level 3 Read…

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Get to know BC: rain

Did you know? The Canadian record for the most rain on a single day was set on October 6, 1967: 489 millimetres fell in Ucluelet, BC that day! In BC, we love to talk about the weather, especially about the rain. Each region in BC has its own climate patterns. So many rainy days can…

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Salute to Salmon (Oct 3 – 26)

Adapted from CBC News by Nila Gopaul Celebrate the salmon run in October The salmon run is the time when salmon return to the rivers and lakes to spawn (lay eggs). Salmon swim. Why do we call it a “run”, you ask? A run means a route or a journey, especially on a regular basis. The biggest salmon…

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Lighthouse Park is worth a visit

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun Level 3 The lighthouse Point Atkinson lighthouse is a national historical site. It was built 130 years ago. The lighthouse overlooks Burrard Inlet. It protected ships on the Strait of Georgia. The federal government of Canada owns the lighthouse. They want to sell the lighthouse. The community loves the Point Atkinson…

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How many bald eagles?

Adapted from The Province Level 1 Volunteers count bald eagles. They count them every year. It is an annual event. The birds gather near Brackendale, BC. Seventy people looked for the birds. Read the PDF and do the exercise Bald Eagles Visit the links See the bald eagle photo gallery from The Vancouver Sun. Watch…

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Be-leaf it!

Adapted from The Province Level 1 January 2011 Eve Steel has the world’s biggest maple leaf. This leaf is 44 centimetres (cm) wide and 34 cm long. Eve’s mother says, “With the stem, it’s 59 cm. It’s just a huge leaf.” Eve found the leaf near her Vancouver home. Eve says, “It was really windy,…

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Start a container garden

Level one April 2011 Save money Grow your own vegetables. It is a great way to save money. Start your garden You don’t need a big space. You can grow many things in a pot or a container. Plant vegetables You can plant some herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes and peas this month. Put in a…

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A tiny bird is big news

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun / burnabybirdguy.wordpress.com / Wikipedia Submission by: Patti-Lea Ryan A tiny bird is big news in B.C. these days. A young Red-flanked Bluetail has come to Queen’s Park in New Westminster. It is far from home. Not a Canadian bird Our tiny visitor is not from Canada. It has come from…

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