Illustrative Examples of Units of Practice

Is Wildlife Management Necessary?


An urban lifestyle, consumption of pre-packaged food, and engagement with entertainment forms such as multi-media characterize a shift in students'relationship with the world around them. Many students have less intimate understanding of the natural environment, and how our stewardship or lack of stewardship affects the natural world. Modern North American society's children often do not recognize the issues involved in wildlife management. The neglect of wildlife by humans has an impact on the number of animals in the environment, the animals' health, our experience of the environment/habitat and human and animal safety.

Subjects: Science, Social Studies, English/Languages Arts

Learning Level: Grades 7-9

Author(s): Ross White


What are the impacts of unmanaged wildlife populations on the environment and humans? What issues must be considered when developing a wildlife management plan which will conserve the natural environment while providing people with reasonable access to and use of the natural environment?


Students will develop critical thinking skills, through research, writing, listening and viewing arguments, values and perspectives on a potentially controversial subject, wildlife management.

Students will work cooperatively toward a common goal.

Students will learn how to debate and to listen critically to oral presentations on perspective on wildlife management to identify the values, perspectives, and factual bases of arguments, and to formulate an informed personal perspective on the issues of wildlife management.


The classroom setting can be arranged to support small group collaborations and a range of explorations of the issues surrounding wildlife management. Access to the Internet is a must; however, that access can occurs in the classroom, school library and at home.


In small groups, students investigate and demonstrate their understanding of the issues around wildlife management using a number of exploration vehicles. Student will conduct primary and secondary research, observations and interview authorities and community members about their perspectives on wildlife management. Through these investigations, students develop an understanding of the arguments, values and perspectives and complexities of perspectives of those issues. Students share the data they have gathered with all students within the class. Each group of students then creates a debate, taped interview, visual collage, display, fact file, oral report or panel discussion to explicate the arguments, and to develop and represent their personal perspectives on approaches to wildlife management.

Motivator: I start this unit of practice by playing the game" Oh Deer," a resource developed in the United States by Project Wild, to help students understand nature more clearly.

A: As a way to introduce the unit and the validity of investigating the merits and problems of wildlife management, I have the students reflect on the game "Oh Deer". I ask the students thought provoking questions, such as:

These are only examples of the type of questions you need to have students consider.

A brainstorm on the board, chart paper or using a concept mapping software such as Inspiration will reveal many more.

B: Develop timelines for research, development of a perspective, selection of the form of representation, initial drafts, peer conferencing and presentation of final drafts. You will need to judge for yourself the timelines that will work for you; however I recommend 1 to 2 weeks.

C: Have students choose task types. For example: debate, display, interview.

The more task types the class takes on the better. This will produce a rich range of research sources, and representation types which suit student learning and research preferences.

D: With the whole class, brainstorm the type of questions for which they need to find answers. Use chart paper, the chalk board, or a software such as Inspiration 6 to create the concept/question map. Questions need to be broad in scope. ex:

E. Provide students with the names of contact people or have the student research for contact people using the Internet and telephone book. Include resource people such as staff of a Provincial Natural Resources Department, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty, Department of Agriculture and Internet site listed below.

(See list of sites in the URL below.)

F. Set the schedule for research, development and presentation of the debate, panel discussion, or oral reports.

G. Students who are involved with the panel discussion are responsible for refreshments and thanking the speakers.

H. Students are to make notes from each form of presentation to understand each position brought forward. To develop the notes, class discussion of the major ideas is helpful.

I. Finalize the unit by reviewing the highlights of the unit paying attention to both sides and learning by reflecting on events. This might be done by asking students at random to explain at least two perspectives on one of the questions brainstormed previously, and presented to the whole class by another group.

J. Evaluate all the work.


Students working on each side of the issues will share their information with all other students to develop their arguments.

Communication within the group and among groups is critical for information sharing.

Those doing oral reports must decide among themselves who is reporting on what subjects and perspectives so that a balance of perspectives is presented.

Those doing taped interview as a means of gathering personal perspectives of people in the community and people who work directly in the field must have a list of coolaboratively developed, standard questions.

All work must approved by the teacher in the rough draft stage.


Assessment needs to be multi-faceted.

Criteria for self and peer evaluation need to be written by teacher and students. Verbal feedback about the rough draft is given by the teacher unless the feedback needs to be lengthy or the student has difficulty following verbal direction. Written evaluation needs to be given for the final draft and performances.



The web links attached below provide information from the perspective of those engaged in the fur industry and governmental sites related to Natural Resources.


National Animal Interest Alliance (USA)

Factual Rebuttals To HSUS Non-factual ‘Facts about Trapping’ (US Resource Context)

Rabies Advisory 2001, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)

A Rational To Wildlife Management (Trappers Association of Nova Scotia,Canada)

Canadian Wildlife Education (Canadian Wildlife Federation)

Nova Scotia Wildlife - Research Articles (Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources)

US and Canadian Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Wildlife Land Trust Project (Humane Society of the United States)