Florida Black Bear Curriculum Guide
The Florida Black Bear Curriculum Guide is a joint project of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Defenders of Wildlife.
The Florida Black Bear Curriculum Guide was created in 1999, with revisions in 2014 and 2017. It is a comprehensive series of lessons on the natural history and conservation needs of Florida's black bear. Designed to educate and stimulate teachers and students in grades 3-8.
The lessons were designed to address many subject areas such as reading, language arts, history, geography, social studies, math, art, and science. Each lesson is correlated to Florida State Education Standards for each subject addressed.
Although the primary focus of the curriculum is the Florida black bear, the curriculum actually uses the Florida bear as a focal point to address broad and significant ecological concepts including limiting factors, carrying capacity, optimal versus marginal habitat, habitat fragmentation and corridors, habitat mosaics, and umbrella and indicator species. The underlying message connecting all of the lessons in the curriculum is that the best way to conserve a species like the Florida black bear is to restore, conserve, and connect large tracts of undisturbed natural habitat.
The 15-minute video below on Living with Florida Black Bears offers a broad background on the subject and is recommended viewing by teachers and students before using the bear lesson activities.
Bear activities are organized around a conceptual framework that addresses the following concepts:
Guide, Intro and How to Use
Lesson 1 to 10 Summaries
Lesson One: What Makes a Bear a Bear?
Lesson Two: The World of Bears
Lesson Three: Bear Dilemmas
Lesson Four: It’s a Bear’s Life
Lesson Five: The Black Bear Necessities
Lesson Six: Bear Barriers
Lesson Seven: Tracking Bears
Lesson Eight: Bear Neighbors
Lesson Nine: Population Problems
Lesson Ten: Oh Where, Oh Where is Florida’s Black Bear?
For comments, questions, or suggestions on the Florida specific lessons, please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at BearManagement@MyFWC.com.
Top Photo: U.S. Air Force | Airman 1st Class Alex Echols