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Bears for Teachers

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How Big?


Students will be able to describe the sizes of the three major bear varieties of North America compared to their own body size.


Students will draw life-size replicas of the polar, grizzly and black bear.


(Provide data on length, weight and height of the three bears) The major purpose of this activity is for students to gain a greater appreciation of the sizes of the three bear types.


Pictures of the silhouettes of the polar, grizzly and American black bear; large sheets of colored paper, graph paper optional.

Age level: Upper elementary, junior high

Polar bears


  1. This activity requires the students to draw life-sized bears on large sheets of paper. For this, they will need to know the average size of the three types of bears.
  2. Divide students into groups and assign a bear to each group. Students may use an opaque projector to enlarge bear or freehand drawing being careful to adhere to actual bear size and characteristics or features. Using an appropriate colored paper provides a more realistic silhouette.
  3. Cut out and display the bears.
  4. Compare and contrast the sizes of different children to the bears.
  5. Have students sit by individual bears while the teacher provides information on habitat of that bear.
  6. Summarize the purpose of the activity. This is an attempt to allow the students to gain awareness, appreciation and respect for the bears found in North America.


  1. Students draw pictures of the four elements of the habitat and glue them on the appropriate bear. Pay special attention to likes and differences.
  2. Draw the actual size of a cave bear and compare to present-day bears.
  3. Prepare a bill of rights for bears to cohabitate with humans in your state.


Giving examples, compare the size of bears to human beings.

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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