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This lesson requires approximately 3 class periods.
Show students some photographs of adult male grizzly bears, either from library books or the bookmarked Web sites. Based on the pictures, ask students to make predictions about the size of these immense creatures. Record all predictions on the board. Use the yard stick or measuring tape to mark on the edge of the butcher block paper the various predictions made. Explain that the class will work together to create a life-size poster of a grizzly that will be covered with interesting information about these bears.
As part of the introduction, you may wish to show students an
online map of where grizzly bears can be found.
Ask students to create a list of questions they would want to ask a scientist who specialized in grizzly bears. Write down all questions on the board under the heading "What We Want to Know about Grizzlies." Then explain that, using the Internet and their research skills, they are going to attempt to answer those questions. Once students have generated their own list of questions, distribute the list of Grizzly Bear Research Questions and ask students to select five more questions from the "What We Want to Know" list to add to the research questions. To help the class select, you may wish to have the class vote question-by-question, tally the totals, and write down the top five.
Distribute the Vocabulary List.
The Answer Key provides answers to the questions posed on the research-question sheet. The answers to the selected added questions will vary.
Create a life-size poster of an adult grizzly bear, about 10 feet long. Invite each of your students to annotate the poster with an interesting fact they discovered in the course of this lesson. Make sure that they all use a different bear fact.
To help students hone their observation and memory skills, have students divide into small teams and play the Match the Bears game on the Bear Den Web site.
Research Questions - ANSWER KEY
Appearance & Behavior
1) What color is a grizzly bear's fur?
2) What is the weight of an average adult male grizzly bear (in pounds)?
3) What is the difference between grizzly bears and brown bears?
4) How fast can grizzly bears run?
5) What is the life span of a grizzly bear in the wild?
6) How often does an adult female grizzly bear give birth to cubs?
7) How common are bear attacks on humans?
Habitat & Diet
8) What kinds of habitats do bears prefer?
9) What do grizzlies eat? Are they herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?
10) What senses does the grizzly bear use to find food?
11) What do grizzly bears do in the winter?
Conservation & Protection
12) What is the estimated number of brown bears in North America? How has this number changed in the last 200 years?
13) What is the main reason that grizzly bears are endangered?
14) When a naturalist raises a bear cub that has been orphaned, what are some challenges the naturalist faces? How can these challenges be overcome?
View in class the NATURE program WALKING WITH GIANTS: THE GRIZZLIES OF SIBERIA. (Optional.)
(ANSWER: 23 days)
(ANSWER: approximately 13,500-14,000 pounds of food a year -- about 7 tons.)
If you have a big monitor or projection facilities, you can do Internet research together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen, go to the relevant Web site(s), and review the information presented there. You can also select a search engine page and allow your students to suggest the search criteria. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.
Several Computers in the Classroom
Divide your class into small groups. Groups can do Internet research using pages you have bookmarked. Group members should take turns navigating the bookmarked site.
You can also set the class up so that each computer is dedicated to certain sites. Students will then move around the classroom, getting different information from each station.
Using a Computer Lab
A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is ideal for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three. This way, students can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time.
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