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For teachers

Footprints: Environment and the Way We Live

A Word for Teachers

The environmental crisis is one of the most critical issues facing young people today. Footprints, a dynamic new Web site from the NFB, provides them with a guide to the complex interplay between our physical environment and human culture.

The growing urgency surrounding environmental issues challenges us all to re-evaluate basic cultural values and economic models — to reassess how we consume and share the earth’s resources.

It’s a complex and daunting task, but Footprints offers an engaging point of entry into the project. Featuring 124 films from the NFB’s vast collection (57 in French, 4 without words and 63 in English in the English part of the site) and 191 excerpts (95 in English, 2 without words and 94 in French), the site will help students of secondary and post-secondary levels identify key actors and areas of concern within the shifting public debate on the environment.

Here’s what the site offers:

Issues at Stake

Films and film excerpts focus attention on specific issues relating to the intersecting concepts of environment and culture:  climate change, natural resource management, consumerism, citizen activism and more.

Specific films and film clips illustrate the interests of four distinct social actors: industry, government, pressure groups, and citizens, as both consumers and activists.

The NFB and the Environment

A selection of NFB productions highlights divergent points of view and traces the history of environmental consciousness in Canada.

See Everything, Hear Everything

Quick and easy access to all material on the site. At its core  — 124 complete films and 191 pre-selected excerpts, each illustrating a specific teaching point.

For Teachers: 6 lesson plans

A teacher’s guide for the site as a whole, four teacher guides on specific films, and one on the Stakeholders section.

Terms and Concepts

An expert text on the various environmental trends, visions and approaches. Definitions of useful words and phrases relating to environment and culture.

Background material

Filmed interviews with specialists, essays by environmental experts,
Vox Popoli — a range of Canadians share their thoughts, and a selection of over 30 environment-related archives (visual and audio material).

Provisions for students with hearing and visual impairments

19 films are available with closed captioning for the hearing-impaired viewers, and 34 films include described video for the vision-impaired.

Search functions

Easy to navigate internal search functions.

How to cite content in Footprints

Students citing Footprints in their written work can use the following model:
Diamond, Miriam. “Chemical Pollutants in our Cities” Footprints: Environment and the Way We Live. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2008, date of access.