These brief video segments can be used alone or in combination, to introduce a topic or to spark discussion among your students. The video segments can be adapted for any grade level – suggested focus questions are provided. Stream the video segments from the playlist below, or scroll to the bottom of the page to find downloadable QuickTime versions of the videos. These videos are also used in the lesson plan Dare to Care for a Grizzly Bear (grades 9-12).
Grizzly bears were once scarce in Yellowstone National Park and on their way to extinction. After becoming designated as an Endangered Species over three decades ago, governmental protections have allowed these natural predators to make a comeback. But the grizzly’s success has come at a destructive and often dangerous price for people living nearby. These clips from the NATURE episode “The Good, The Bad and the Grizzly” examine how human exploitation endangered the grizzlies in the first place, how human intervention helped restore their numbers, and how delicately humans coexist with the resurgent grizzlies today.
Suggested Focus Questions:
Clip 1: Bears’ Lunch Counter
- What was the effect of Yellowstone’s former policy of feeding the bears?
- What was the eventual solution to the problem of dwindling bear populations?
Clip 2: This is Their Land
- What is a “bear jam” and why are they dangerous?
- Why is it so important for bears’ safety to design garbage bins that they can’t break into?
Clip 3: Bears Don’t Recognize Boundaries
- Why is livestock so vulnerable to bears?
- When do bears do most of their hunting?
Clip 4: Bears in the Schoolyard
- What is the biggest attraction for bears in Wapiti?
- How do Wapiti residents try to minimize this problem?
Clip 5: Bear Necessities
- What are the four major foods for bears in Yellowstone?
- When these foods are scarce, where will bears come to seek food?
Clip 6: To List or Not To List:
- How would taking bears off the endangered species list change their habitat?
- Who might be most interested in taking bears off the endangered species list?
Downloadable QuickTime versions of the video segments:
(Note: to download a video, right-click on the video title and click “Save Link As…” or Save Target As…”. On a Mac, press the CTRL key and simultaneously click the mouse, then save the link.)
Clip 1, Bears’ Lunch Counter
Clip 2, This is Their Land
Clip 3, Bears Don’t Recognize Boundaries
Clip 4, Bears in the Schoolyard
Clip 5, Bear Necessities
Clip 6, To List or Not to List