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Black Bear Ecology-Interactions within Ecosystems

Life systems - Interactions within Ecosystems

Middle, Secondary

Description

Students take a close look at the ecology of the Black Bear to demonstrate the interactions that characterize ecosystems.  Four highly engaging lessons explore a number of key ecological concepts.

In lesson one students particpate in a game of predator-prey in which they take on the roles of various biotic and abiotic elements in the black bear's environment to explore the concepts of habitat and niche.

In lesson two students participate in the 'web-of-life' simulation to experience first-hand, the significance to all life of the interrconnectedness of biotic and abiotic factors.  Concepts of food webs and energy flow are key components of this lesson.

In lesson three students research areas of interest concerning  Black Bear ecology to develop a solid understanding of the concepts of life cycle, adaptation and survival.

Lesson four focuses on human-bear interactions and bear safety in the wild.

 

 

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

No skills are explicitly taught.

Strengths

  • guide is easy to use
  • lessons are interesting and easy to incorporate into Grade 7 curriculum
  • interesting activities and ready-to-use lessons
  • includes a glossary
  • engaging simulations and activities

Weaknesses

  • lacking in assessment support
  • lacking in an action component

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Ecosystems
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: The biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interconnected, as matter cycles and energy flows through them.
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interaction of Ecosystems
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions in the Environment
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Ecosystems

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (4)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Habitat Loss
    • Interdependence
    • Wildlife Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The resource presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The resource addresses economic, social, and environmental aspects.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Satisfactory
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

With the exception of performing skits to address bear-human safety, there is little attention paid to action or service learning.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Satisfactory

Students are not asked directly to clarify their own values.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good

In lessons 3 and 4 there is a definite effort made to connect students with nature.  Many of the activities can take place out of doors.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Satisfactory
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory

Only addresses the present.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Satisfactory

The learning iis often teacher directed.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

Includes knowledge and skills from the following subjects: languages, sciences, geography & social studies.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

The activities are mainly simulations.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good

Cooperative learning is specifically taught in some of the activities.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory

Students are not provided with any self assesment tools.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

Incidental only; arises from presentations, discussions or cooperative learning.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Satisfactory
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory

Students are not presented with many choices of what or how they will learn.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.