Incorporate a bear unit into your class! Check out these educational materials and ideas for teachers.
Ontario Bear Wise website includes information about black bear ecology providing teachers with a classroom ready resource on: background readings on the Bears of North America; hibernation and bear-human interactions; lesson plans and suggested activities; resources including a glossary, list of books and web sites and information sheets about black bears. This program aims to generate awareness about black bears – their biological needs; their behaviour and how human action influences bears. It is an initiative of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Guides for grades 2, 4 and 7 are downloadable [NOTE: click on the grade level you want to download].
Check out a variety of eco-related resources from CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society).
Wierd Webs. What happens when you remove a grizzly bear or a flower from an ecosystem or food web? Play this game to find out!
Why the Y2Y? : Students represent various stakeholders on the issue of conserving habitat for bears, illustrating the complexities.
Bears of Banff : In this simulation game students assume the role of grizzlies as they try to meet their basic needs in a compromised ecosystem.
Disperse or Decease : Students play the role of species trying to disperse into new habitats, or deal with the consequences!
Ecosystem Enigmas : Students learn about the enigmas that occur when we try to manage a complex ecosystem. Find out why trees need bears and wolves!
Where is Sophie? : Using real GPS data points, students analyze a map to determine if Sophie, a real bear, is behaving the way a normal bear should.
Get an Edukit: A trunk full of props educators can borrow (large and small size). The kit contains books, scat (rubberized), claws, skull, fur sample/pelt, puppets, and a radio collar.
Available from Friends of Banff National Park. For more information on renting a kit: visit the website.
Grizzly Bear Education Unit: The Importance of Grizzly Bears in our Environment (Grade 4, Science)
When children learn about the individual nature of animals such as grizzly bears, they learn to care about their fate and also recognize that ecosystems and humans are connected. This unit of study was designed to align with the British Columbian curriculum, allowing for easy adoption by teachers, and contains five 45 minute lessons and accompanying teaching tools.
Additional artefacts (replica skull, claws, fur, size chart) are available from the Grizzly Bear Foundation. For more information or to borrow a kit: visit their website.
Books and Other Written Materials
Wild About Bears! An Educator’s Activity Guide: Grades K to 7. This unique guide uses bears – and other environmental-related topic – as organizing concepts in teaching to allow students to reach a deeper understanding so they can apply their knowledge to the real world. It contains a conceptual framework, key concept overview, primer and lots of activities. Click here to order.
Grizzly Bears Forever! A teacher activity guide for Science 7, 8 and 9 Available from Canadian Parks and Wilderness (CPAWS) For more information email CPAWS visit their website. This guide is also available from Friends of Banff National Park. Email or phone 403-762-8918
Ballad of the Wild Bear by Pat Chamberlin-Calamar and Sandy Kogl, Illustrations by Libby Hatton: See the listing under “For Kids and Students” below. Download a FREE Teaching Guide for Ballad of the Wild Bear.
The Florida Black Bear Curriculum Guide (193 pages): This outstanding, beautifully illustrated Curriculum Guide is a comprehensive series of lessons on the natural history and conservation needs of Florida’s black bear. It is designed to educate and stimulate teachers and students in grades 3-8. The lessons address many subject areas such as reading, language arts, history, geography, social studies, math, art and science. While the guide focuses on Florida’s black bear, it contains a plethora of fabulous and creative activities as well as great ideas for engaging students. Click here to download.
Bear Country is a musical project for wild kids & wild cubs produced with the hope that the future will hold places where both bears & people can coexist & thrive. You can purchase the CD & download the lyrics. If you are a non-profit or environmental education initiative please contact Julie for wholesale orders: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is just about the sweetest little record I’ve ever heard.
A recent happy listener remarked.
For Kids and Students (and Teachers too)
Become a Junior Ranger
WildSafe BC’s Junior Ranger program introduces students to the concept of human-wildlife conflict and encourages them to take an active role in reducing human-wildlife conflict at home by helping their families identify backyard wildlife attractants. Proactive attractant management is the most effective long term solution to human-wildlife conflict! Learn more about the program here and download fun acitivities.
Bear Smart Kids by Evelyn Kirkaldy, 8 1/2″ x 11″ soft colour cover, 18 pages, black and white inside.
This book will make you smarter than the average bear! This is a wonderfully illustrated colouring and activity book about bears around the world, bear necessities, the life of a bear, crosswords and much more. A fantastic book for teachers too, produced by the Get Bear Smart Society. Order now.
Discovering Black Bears by Margaret Anderson, Nancy Field, Karen Stephenson, Illustrated by Michael Maydak, published by Dog-Eared Publications, 2007, Soft cover, 40 pages, 8.5 x 11″, many colour pages, ISBN: 978-0-941042-37-6
Discovering Black Bears is a nature activity book that explores the natural history of the black bear, its behaviour and habitat. It also covers bear-human conflicts and how problems can be resolved. This engaging book, aimed at children of all ages, introduces the reader to real-life bear biologists, who have new insights into bear behaviour. Discovering Black Bears has full color illustrations, a sheet of black bear stickers, and contains 20 activities designed to challenge children’s minds. A great resource for teachers too. To order, call 608-831-1410 or visit their web site: www.dog-eared.com
Ballad of the Wild Bear by Pat Chamberlin-Calamar and Sandy Kogl, Illustrations by Libby Hatton
Follow Grizz as she wanders the trail full of risk to town in this children’s picture book with musical CD. Will Grizz’s fate be the same as her brother after the boar learned to like people’s feasts? Can bears and people co-exist? Learn what can happen when people adopt new habits to keep bears wild and people safe; when campsites are clean, animals safely tucked behind electric fences and garbage cans can’t be pried. Ballad of the Wild Bear is based on true-life events in Talkeetna and adapted from an old folk tune.This award winning children’s book includes a music CD with original music and read-a-long versions for children. Received top media awards in 2005 from the Association of Partners of Public Lands and the National Association for Interpretation. Available anywhere books are sold.
Bear Wise Kid’s Activity Booklet (downloadable)
An Activity booklet on “What you Should Know About Black Bears” containing a checklist, maze, crossword, rhyming words, word scramble, colouring pages, word search and some advice on what you can do when a bear comes into your schoolyard. A great resource for teachers too.
All Bear Smart playing cards are unique decks of 52 regular playing cards (plus 2 jokers) that you can use to play your favourite card games or create new variations on traditional card games.
Play your way through bear country as you learn to live with your ursine neighbours.
Get 52 Bear Safety Tips & Facts. This deck contains 52 different photographs of black bears each with a different tip.This deck is perfect for hikers and campers heading out into bear country; people living in areas where they share the landscape with bears; or for those who just want to learn more about bears. View all the cards.
Bear~ology playing cards contain 52 different cartoons each one giving a different and fascinating bear fact. They are not just educational, they are hilarious! Bear~ology playing cards are fun for kids, adults and the whole family. You can learn about safety around bears; and discover the truth about bears and bear behavior. View all the cards.
Get Bear Smart playing cards are a valuable educational tool and they make an ideal gift! The cards retail for $6.99 each. Shipping costs may be extra. Buy single decks on Amazon.
Wholesale prices are also available for stores and bear aware groups. Just send us an email to order large quantities at wholesale prices.
Getting to Know Grizzlies playing cards help children, parents, and grandparents understand the importance of grizzly bears in our environment. An educational tool, they have one fact and one photo per card that illustrate why grizzly bears are a species that is worthy of conservation. 52 regular playing cards, plus 2 jokers. Reading level: Grade 4 and up. Order here for $5 per deck.