gator science

active adventures in lower school science

5th Grade debates NJ Bear Hunt

on March 12, 2013

Today fifth grade students debated whether there should be a bear hunt in New Jersey.  Over the past 20 years, bear populations have increased across the northern part of the state.  A bear hunt helps to stabilize the population and help decrease human-bear interactions in suburban backyards and neighborhoods.  We heard views from wildlife biologists, hunters, animal activists, a family, and land developers.

ideas students have about decision making:

It’s really hard to consider all the things you can do
It’s hard because you have to examine all the different views.  You have to do what is best for everybody
I was taught to listen to all of the sides of a story and not just make my decision
It taught me to look at all sides of the “picture”
you really have to know the facts to make a good decision
there are a lot of elements that you need to look at before you make a decision
you have to take your time and do it thoughtfully (making a decision)
some people can really get on your nerves, and do anything to prove you wrong, even if that means providing false facts

student thoughts about how a role play helps understand environmental issues:

I think it helped because it brings the situation to reality
the role playing was great because it’s fun.  I like being in character and it helped me understand more.
the role play helped me see everyone’s perspective
the role play help because you learn about debate and how to solve problems without hurting.  You compromise with problems.
Yes! this was so much fun! I loved role playing! It made this so much more fun!
Yes, because it lets you see all of the different points of view for different people and different things they could do and then what would happen.

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