Lesson Plan

The Bear Essentials - Grades 1 and 2

A black bear cub climbs a tree
Grade Level:
Lower Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes


Welcome to the Rangers in the Classroom—Bear Essentials presentation. This program introduces students to the American Black Bear. It provides a framework for understanding Black Bear habitat, diet, and life cycle. It also explains how human activity can have a negative impact on a bear’s natural behavior.

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Explain how sows communicate with their cubs.
2. List 2 types of food black bears eat.
3. List three things bears are.


Bears capture our imagination as few other animals do. They have inspired stories and cultural icons such as Winnie the Pooh, Yogi bear, Paddington bear, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Smokey Bear, and teddy bears. They appeal to many of our emotions and values: fear, humor, grace and strength.

Seeing a bear in the wild is an unforgettable experience. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks—right in your backyard—is home to the American black bear, which is one of the 8 species of bears found in the world. Black bears are found only in North America. Today, we will learn about these fascinating bears and how our behavior influences bear behavior and how bearbehavior influences us.


Have students create a "My Bear Book" about what they already know and what they want to learn about black bears.

Download First Grade Pre-Visit

Students show off what they learned about a black bear's diet.

Download First Grade Post-Visit

Students learn new vocabulary words by making predictions about black bears.

Download Second Grade Pre-Visit 1

Students learn facts about black bears through math-based word problems.

Download Second Grade Pre-Visit 2

Students solve a crossword using black bear vocabulary words, then write a letter utilizing the new words.

Download Second Grade Post-Visit 1

Play black bear charades and have students pretend to be bears while the class guesses what bear activity they are doing.

Download Second Grade Post-Visit 2

Contact Information

Email us about this lesson plan

Last updated: January 5, 2017