A Great Spirit Bear captured on camera in the Great Bear Rainforest. Images like these are now part of a resource that fits B.C.’s Grade 7-9, touching on topics such as conservation. Photography by Natalie Bowes

Students can now explore B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest in the classroom

Website gives students access to one of province’s most beautiful areas

  • Feb. 13, 2019 6:00 a.m.

Not many will ever get to explore the Great Bear Rainforest, but students across the province will get the chance to learn about preservation through a new resource that focuses on the B.C. treasure.

There is a new educational resource to help students in grades 7 to 9 discover the Great Bear Rainforest. A website sponsored by the Great Bear Rainforest Education and Awareness Trust will help students explore the rich biodiversity of the area.

Stretching for more than 400 kilometres along the coast of British Columbia, the Great Bear Rainforest is sometimes called the Amazon of the North. The vast, sodden land encompasses 1,000-year-old cedars, waterfalls, granite dark waters and glacial-cut fjords.

RELATED: B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest film headed for the biggest screens

The resource will bring the beauty of the area, and lessons about stewardship, right to the classroom.

“This new resource will help B.C. students learn about a global treasure right in their own backyard,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We are all stewards with a responsibility to protect our forests and learning about that responsibility in the classroom is key.”

Through teacher-guided activity plans with clear objectives, students can learn through inquiry and research about everything from the white spirit bears in the 64,000 square-kilometre area, to the 26 First Nations communities who live in the region, to whales, birds, salmon and the importance of environmental stewardship.

“Today’s middle school students now have an opportunity to learn about a precious area in our province, and how their generation can learn valuable lessons about why it is so important to protect it for generations to come,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education.

The website and curriculum resources are designed to employ an exploratory approach, based on an inquiry model of learning through a variety of learning projects, including video, images, text and interactive media to allow for a personalized learning experience for students.

The activity plans and backgrounders on the Great Bear Rainforest website align with four subject areas within B.C.’s grade 7-9 curriculum: art education, English language arts, science and social studies.

Under the Great Bear Rainforest land use order, 85% of the forests are protected, with the remaining 15% providing economic opportunities and jobs for local First Nations and communities.

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