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Black Bear Ecology- Habitats and Communities

Life Systems - Habitats and Communities

Elementary

Description

Black Bear Ecology Life Systems – Habitats and Communities focuses on educating students about the black bear habitat. This resource aims to generate awareness about black bears habitats, ecosystems and the species within; their needs, their adaptations and bear-human interactions. Students will:

  • participate in a habitat game where they take on the role of a wild animal and attempt to find a suitable habitat in order to survive.
  • design their own ecosystem by choosing an animal of their choice, preferably a wild species, and drawing a map of that animal’s habitat.
  • present their ecosystems to the class.
  • participate in a food web follies game where they classify organisms according to their role in a food chain.
  • design their own food web
  • research one component of the black bear and present their findings to their peers.
  • play a role in a mini-play about an encounter with a bear.

The resource includes background information for teachers, lesson plans, suggested activities, a glossary, list of books, web sites and information sheets about black bears.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • No skills are explicitly taught.

Strengths

  • The resource and activities are age-appropriate
  • Lesson plans are easy-to-use
  • Blackline masters are clear, appropriate, and easily accessible.
  • Glossary, appendices, and supplementary resources provide support to the resource.
  • The content is Canadian-based and current.

Weaknesses

  • No assessment tools/rubrics are provided
  • The resource lacks a significant action component.
  • Suggest some practical outdoor activities or experiences.

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.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts: Drama
        • Arts: Visual Art
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life.
        • Investigating matter and energy facilitates understandings of natural phenomena and can inspire discovery and innovation.
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts Education 4: Drama
        • Arts Education 4: Visual Art
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts: Drama
        • Arts: Visual Arts
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats and Communities
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts: Drama: To appreciate dramatic works, personal productions and those of classmates
        • Arts: Drama: To interpret short scenes
        • Arts: Drama: To invent short scenes
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts: Drama: To appreciate dramatic works, personal productions and those of classmates
        • Arts: Drama: To interpret short scenes
        • Arts: Drama: To invent short scenes
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Water in the Environment
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arts Education 4: Cultural/Historical
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (3)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Interdependence
    • Wildlife Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
  • The background information provided will help teachers to prepare for and deliver the lessons of the Black Bear Ecology education program. No bias are evident in this resource.
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 Satisfactory
  • environmental
  • social
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
  • The resource contains one section which focuses on how to handle encounters with black bears and what  can be done to prevent them. Within this information the problems and solutions with black bears are addressed.

     

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
  • No action activites are suggested.
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 given a formal opportunity 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
  • Not considered in this resource
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Two of the games could be easily adapted to be played outdoors.
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 Good
  • Students take the information presented in class and reflect about how this applies to their life and how they can prevent bear encounters.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource.
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 Good
  • Research, questioning, discussion, and simulation activities are included in the lesson plans. Students are encouraged to find as many answers as possible.
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • Science
  • Art
  • Drama
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 Good
  • The resource provides opportunities for students to research, design, and demonstrate understanding. Students are provided with intriguing questions and unique experiences.
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
  • The resource advances different instructional strategies that take into consideration various learning styles. These strategies include teacher-directed and some independent learning opportunities. No suggestions are made for students with learning difficulties.
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
  • Simulation activities are suggested.
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 skills are explicitly taught and practiced through research and drama 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
  • Some suggestions regarding assessment strategies are provided. The resource does not include examples of assessment tools or rubrics.
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 Good
  • The drama activity creates an opportunity for students to teach their peers about bear safety.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in the lesson plans.
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 Good
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.