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Bears: What and how much does a black bear eat?

Students see the foods that a black bear eats, and weigh it on a scale to compare to how much we eat.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Lessons activity is in: 
  • Scale with kg
  • Worksheet (attached)
  • Bags of food that add up to 5kg:

  • nuts (about 2kg)
  • berries aka dried fruit (1.5kg raisins and cranberries)
  • plants aka spinach (2 bunches) and alfalfa sprouts (2 boxes)
  • fish (plastic)
  • insects (plastic)
  • Skunk cabbage and berry branches if available
  • Bear skull if available

Look at the foods that a black bear eats, and unnatural foods that they should not eat. Draw one of the foods they eat on the worksheet.
Add bear food to a scale until there is enough for one black bear “meal” (5kg), and record the amount on the worksheet. Compare with a person’s lunch (e.g. bagel and cheese)
If time, look at a bear skull to see the kinds of teeth they have.

Grades taught: 
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Christine (North Shore Black Bear Society)
Christy Wong
Kecia Boecking
Teaching site: 
McBride Elementary
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

Scientist in Residence Program, Vancouver School District with teachers Ms. Wong and Ms. Boecking.
Activity part of the lesson plan: