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Bears for Teachers

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Legendary Bear

Objective:

  1. Students will understand the significance of the bear to several Indian tribes as demonstrated in legends.
  2. Students will be able to identify the purpose and structure of a legend.

Background:

An overlay map or transparency showing the historic habitat areas of major bear species and historic major Indian tribe territories. Indian legends on bears.

Materials:

  1. A copy of the story, The Woman Who Married A Bear by Gary Snyder
  2. A video or slide and lecture presentation of the characteristics and behavior of black and/or grizzly bear
  3. Writing paper

Age: Grades 4-7

Subjects: science, writing, language

Polar bear

Procedure:

  1. Read, or have students read the legend (or use video). See The Woman Who Married A Bear by Gary Snyder.
  2. Analyze with students the role of the bears in the legends.
  3. Determine through discussion why legends were told.
  4. Examine the structure of legends.
  5. Share via video or slide and lecture presentation characteristics and behavior of black and/or grizzly bear.
  6. Students write contemporary legend about bears of their area. Students should state a modern day phenomenon (e.g., San Andrews Fault) using legend form, or a legend explaining the phenomenon using bear as the major figure and using actual behavior traits perception to explain it.

Evaluation:

The evaluation is accomplished with the writing and sharing of student legends.

Many thanks to Idaho Fish and Game and Project WILD for all of their help in this project. Information for this site developed from "WILD ABOUT BEARS", and is copyrighted by Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Idaho Project WILD. Permission obtained and granted to use this material for educational purposes. Photographic images were provided by the Department of Fish and Game and various other sources.

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