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. It was designed to educate and stimulate teachers and students in grades 3-8.
The lessons below were designed to address many subject areas such as reading, language arts, history, geography, social studies, math, art, and science. To open the page and associated materials for the lessons show below, simply click on the lesson of interest. 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 save 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:
- Bears as a distinct animal group
- Diversity of bear species
- Human perceptions/views of bears
- Florida black bear natural history
- Florida black bear habitats
- Factors influencing the conservation success of the Florida black bear
- Ecological significance of the Florida black bear
- Status of the Florida black bear
- The future of the Florida black bear
- 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 the Florida Black Bear?“
Click here for more information on how to use the Florida Black Bear Curriculum Guide.
For comments, questions, or suggestions on the Florida specific lessons, please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at bearmanagement@MyFWC.com.